During an interview that aired on Egyptian Dream2 TV January 10, Saudi journalist Nadin Al-Badir relayed horrific instances of abuse and murder — including forcing over a dozen school girls to perish in a fire because they were not wearing traditional Islamic head coverings — carried out by the country’s religious police or, the “Authority for the Promotion of Virtue.” The journalist also revealed that most of these police are “ex-cons who used to be drug users or drug dealers.”
Al-Badir explained that, “Even Sheik Abd Al-Muhsen Al-Abikan, advisor to the royal court, suggested that the Authority should be abolished.” She added, “He said that most of them were drug dealers, drug users, thieves, and ex-cons who repented, all of a sudden, and became violently extreme. These people, according to Sheik Al-Abikan, should not be allowed to have such authorities, because they use it in inappropriate ways.”
At the opening of the segment, Al-Badir told the story of 28-year-old Hassan Nabil Hmeid, who was ultimately beaten to death for growing his hair long.
“At the end of the day, all the matters they pursue are superficial ones.” Al-Badir said of the Authority.
“What matters is that this young man’s life came to an end because of backward, reactionary people, who would like to take us back hundreds of years in time. I don’t think the situation back then was as bad as they would like it to be.”
Al-Badir also relived a heinous incident in which a fire broke out in a girls’ school in Saudi Arabia but all of the female students inside were forced to remain in the building and burn to death simply because they were not wearing their hijabs (traditional Islamic head coverings).
“It would have been easy to extinguish the fire without any girl getting hurt,” a pained Al-Badir began. “But members of the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue stood at the door of the school and prevented any student from leaving, because the girls were not wearing the hijab.”
“How were they supposed to get a hijab when the school was going up in flames?” she asked incredulously.
“They prevented the fire brigade from entering to extinguish the fire, and they prevented the parents from going in…”
“But it is a duty to save them from death,” the interviewer attempted to reason. “Who cares if they are wearing the abaya or not?”
“Their mission is to save you from the Hellfire, not from death,” Al-Badir responded. “They believe that you are martyred in such a case. I don’t know what was going through their minds at that moment.”
I’m talking about 13-year-old girls, not university students. These were schoolgirls. 15 girls from the school died – because of the Authority for Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, and not because of the fire. They could easily have been rescued. Has any member of the Authority been placed on trial? Not that we’ve seen. The department of girls’ education was annexed to the Education Ministry, but the Authority is never held accountable. It punishes, but is never punished itself. You can never get justice. Even if they stab or kill you, nobody can hold them accountable.
Al-Badir said that complaints filed against the Authority are futile, as no court action is ever taken in victims’ defense. She also noted that the rate of “all forms of sexual harassment is the highest it has ever been.”
“The Authority is the enemy of society. How can it protect it?”
Watch Al-Badir relay these chilling accounts below. Video and translation courtesy of the ever-vigilant MEMRI:
Bold emphasis added by The Blaze.