Staffers to stop chasing minor offenders
Wrong to prevent young men from entering mallsRIYADH — The new head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the Hai’a, has said he will cut back on the number of “undercover” patrols by his organization.
“The number of undercover vehicles will be reduced in all regions, and we shall reconsider their tasks by either regulating their work or canceling it all together,” Dr. Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Aal Al-Sheikh said, quoted by local media, Tuesday.
Members of the Hai’a will “stop chasing” violators and in the case of “minor breaches” will note down the culprit’s vehicle registration number and pass it on to regular police.
“We shall not tolerate any mistakes,” Aal Al-Sheikh, who took over in January this year, said referring to the behavior of his 4,000-strong force. The Hai’a chief was addressing a guidance program for about 500 Hai’a field staffers here, Monday evening.
He said there will not be any more chases on the Kingdom’s roads for petty offenses, and that such things will only occur in the case of serious matters such as the kidnapping of a child or woman. “No one can stand back and do nothing when such incidents occur,” he said.
The Hai’a chief added that it was wrong to prevent young men from entering malls. “The youth are our children, brothers and sons. They are not from a different planet. Preventing them from entering malls is a mistake.”
He said the Hai’a’s function is to correct the behavior of the young and old alike. “We will never ever turn a blind eye to those who
commit mistakes. It should be understood that we have never instructed any mall owners to stop the youth from entering malls.”
He also urged the public not to criticize the entire Hai’a organization if one of its members makes a mistake. He said there are thousands of staffers who are performing their jobs well. “Sometimes they are provoked so we should not exaggerate such mistakes.” He said it was “human nature” for people to make mistakes especially during a long working day.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, urged Hai’a staffers not to chase and speak harshly to women who are seen in makeup and go the malls and shopping centers.
Aal Al-Sheikh, who is also Chairman of the Board of Senior Ulema, said Hai’a staffers should either advise these women gently about decent behavior and speak to their guardians.
“Instead of forcing them to observe certain decencies, advise them gently because being harsh and violent will not help to convince them to change their attitude,” said the Grand Mufti.
He said the Hai’a staffers should understand the limits of their responsibilities and use “sound reason” when speaking to these women. They should also not question the intention of women and ask whether they perform their daily prayers. The staffers should instead “leave these matters to Almighty Allah Who knows the secrets and ins and outs of His slaves”.
He said the Saudi government is constantly under attack from people who post insulting and abusive remarks on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. — SG