Who knew that something as seemingly innocent as attending a fashion show could get you fired?
This was the unfortunate fate of one Saudi Arabian adviser to the ministry of commerce and investment who attended and praised a fashion show over the weekend.
“A Royal Order was issued today relieving Adviser at the Ministry of Trade and Investment Dr. Ghassan bin Ahmad Al-Sulaiman of his post,” reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA), according to The Express Tribune's translation.
While there was no specific reason given for his termination, reports speculate that it was because the event featured models without headscarves for a co-ed audience.
As videos from the event began circulating the internet, religious conservatives throughout the country condemned the unorthodox show.
Al-Sulaiman was interviewed by local media outlets and applauded the “beauty” of the show, but he later took to Twitter to denounce the “unIslamic” event, noting that the Authority didn’t know it was taking place.
However, the damage was clearly already done as Al-Sulaiman lost his job despite condemning the show.
While this ordeal is unsurprising considering Saudi Arabia’s strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public, it does seem to contradict the words of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who vowed to work toward a more “moderate, open” Saudi Arabia.
“[Seventy percent] of the Saudi population is under 30, and honestly we will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas,” the crown prince said back in October. “We will destroy them today and at once; we will end extremism very soon.”
Apparently, these progressive changes are proving to be easier said than done.