Monday, May 24, 2010
In Granada mall, its school vacation time 10 am and we are shopping in a group of three girls. There's alot of teenaged Saudi boys and girls around. We spot the muttawa, they are in a group of 3 muttawas accompanied by two policemen. Thats means trouble, that means they can arrest us! At the time I didnt cover my hair and had forgotten to take my "in case of muttawa scarf" with me. So I quickly tried to find a shop to go buy one. Too late, they already had spotted me! They started following me around and into shops (even lingerie shops), shouting cover your hair! I pretended not to hear and kept searching for a scarf to buy. Finally I found one, put it on and they were gone, so I then removed it again. Later we saw four teenage girls running as fast as they could with the same muttawa running and shouting behind them! It was hilarious, the girls hadnt covered their hair and their abayas were OPEN! Wow how courageous of them. I assume they were about 14 years old. They ran out of the mall into their jeep and werent caught.
In Faisaliah mall: four western girls are having dinner at the family section of the food court which is surrounded by walls and there are no men nearby. Two muttawas come in, the older one is wearing the Harry Potter cape making him look more intimidating to the girls. Muttawas immediately head to the girls in the middle of their meal and ask them to cover. They ask why? Answer: Because you are in Saudi-Arabia. The girls feel baffled, why are they being disturbed while eating alone in a quite corner in family section, obviously sitting there for privacy. In their own language they decide to go in the ladies room, not to cover their hair and just wait for them to leave to continue the meal in peace. But muttawa follows them and waits outside the toilet until they come out.
In Panda: a western couple is grocery shopping. Muttawa comes up to the wife and tells her to cover her hair. The husband gets upset and challenges the muttawa, how dare they speak to his wife in that manner?They have no right to address her or to even glance at her. Muttawa leaves her alone.
In Kingdom mall: A western woman who is Muslim but chooses not to cover her hair and her Saudi husband are shopping. Muttawa approaches the woman: cover your hair! Says to husband: pray that Allah will forgive her! Saudi husband replies: No YOU pray that Allah forgives your behavior and for her want to wear hijab one day, otherwise leave her alone it's her decision!! Muttawa leaves the scene.
Also in Kingdom mall: western man runs into his female colleague from work outside a shop, they start chatting. Muttawa approaches them, asks them are they married. They ignore him. Muttawa starts beating the man on his legs with his stick. Western man looks at muttawa in a bad way and continues talking to colleague. Muttawa whips the western man even harder with his stick. Western man grabs the stick from the muttawa, throws it over the edge down to the first floor and continues conversation. Muttawa leaves the scene to retrieve his stick and does not return.
In Hayat mall: Western man is shopping, it's prayer time and the shops close. Two muttawas approach him and ask why he is not praying. Man replies because he isn't Muslim. Muttawas then drag him forcefully into the shopping malls mosque, and make him stand in the back the whole time watching the other men pray.When the prayer is finished they let him go.
A young western woman goes to get take-out food with two male colleagues after work. They drive to the shwarma place and the men go out to get the food. Usually she would wait in the car but this time she decides to step out. Her hair is not covered and she has left her handbag in the car. Muttawa drives by, spots them and starts questioning them, how they know eachother and why they are together. She would have been fine if she had only took the bag with her to show her ID and say she is just walking around. The muttawas don't speak english and she doesn't know what's going on. So they are all shoved in the muttawa GMC and taken to the police station. The woman is interrogated and made to strip to her underwear in front of the female staff who are all laughing at her and demanding she strip naked. Nobody speaks english and she still doesn't know what is going to happen. She is given clothing to change to, and only then she realizes that they are putting her in jail! So she ends up spending two nights in jail, until her sponsor comes and gets her out. Its Ramadan so there's obligatory fasting for everyone. There are many other women in the large prisoncell crammed together lying on dirty floors or benches. Some women are crying, some even have small children with them. Alhamdulillah nothing worse happens to her and she gets out of jail because of influential sponsor.