Saudi Arabia to Trim Powers of the Morality Police
This morning I have chosen what at first glance seems to be a much less charged piece of news than the last two. At least at first glance. It seems that Saudi Arabia has a police force that has been unofficial in its capacity to enforce the strict morality of the Sunni Islam practiced there. Some of the enforcements of these fashion and morality police have been for improper dress, non correct mixing of the sexes, and such crimes as drug and alcohol abuse.Â Traditionally, the morality police have not been required to carry identity cards and would simply grab a person that was violating the moral code , hold them, give them to the police, and the police would then charge them with whatever crime the morality police recommended. As with most police, this wielding of power over the population led to abuses of individuals, abuse of power, and in at least one case the deaths of 14 schoolgirls that the morality police would not allow to be rescued (and hence touched) from a burning building by unrelated men.Â The powers of this âforceâ are now being trimmed and they are going to be forced to carry ID cards and to deal with the public they persecute in a more orderly way.Â This change comes about after reports of people reacting to the morality police with violence. Newly crowned King Abdullah is seen as a progressive force of cautious change in Saudi Arabia.
The thing that gets me about this story is the fact that human beings have a tendency to abuse power that is given to them. This can be true in a situation such as this and it can be true in personal relationships.