RIYADH — A video of a girl and a member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arguing over why she had manicured nails has gone viral and ignited a debate over the way commission members should deal with people in public places.
The video, shot by the girl, and uploaded on the popular video-sharing website YouTube, shows a commission member ordering the girl to leave the Hayat Mall in Riyadh on account of her manicured nails.
The two become engaged in a heated argument with the girl telling the commission member he has no right to look at her nails.
“You don’t see a strand of hair from other girls while you are showing off your manicure in a public venue… this is my duty to tell you this,” said the commission member to which the girl replied, “Why are you chasing me? The government said no more chasing! Your duty is to advise people… why are you looking at my manicure? I will never leave the mall!”
At one point, the girl sought the help of two of the mall’s security guards.
“I don’t trust them,” she said referring to commission members. “They may hit me with their car. You are two security men and you got a report from a citizen who is being harassed.” The security guards can be heard telling the girl to listen to the commission member who they say is a good man.
The girl then boldly declares, “I will publish this video on Twitter and Facebook so the Hai’a Chief Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh may see your behavior. You are not responsible for me and have no right to ask me why I have manicured nails!”
Many conflicting opinions and comments were made by users who viewed the video. Some described the commission member’s behavior as “uncivilized” and said the girl was in a public place and had done nothing wrong.
Others voiced concerns that the clip might be exploited to distort the commission’s image but they also questioned why the girl was specifically targeted.
A source told the Al-Hayat daily that the commission will open an official investigation into the incident based on the reports written by the commission member and the mall’s security guards respectively. — SG