Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) became the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has been on the road to revolution — or so they say.
Resorting to traditional moral values, Saudi sport authorities shut down a female fitness center in Riyadh over a “vulgar” promotional video.
Reportedly, the video showed a woman in a “figure-hugging attire.” Authorities have been asked to investigate the makers of the video and prosecute them.
Saudi sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh, who is also a trusted adviser to the crown prince, seethed, “We are not going to tolerate this.”
The video reportedly showed a woman kicking a punching bag in a gym while her head was uncovered.
The General Sports Authority said the video could “corrupt” the general public’s “morals.” But who is to decide what is considered “indecent”?
Saudi Arabia probably has the world’s strictest social laws, which require women to cover their head and wear long, loose fitted robes in public. However, during a recent interview with CBS, bin Salman said women are equivalent to men in every single way and should be given the right to decide how to dress decently. He specifically said the attire does not necessarily have to be a black head scarf and robes. So who is to judge what attire is considered “vulgar” enough to be prosecuted?
In the same interview, the crown prince promised to take Saudi Arabia back to what is considered “moderate” Islam. In an attempt to put the kingdom back on par with the rest of the world, there have been some significant policy changes under MBS.
However, the disturbing details of the possible prosecution over a mere promotional video brings back the question: What is exactly considered liberation of women in Saudi Arabia? Does it hold actual weight or is it simply masking traditional values in the name of revolution?
Thumbnail/Banner: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed