Freeze! It’s the Vice Squad! Part 5: Saudi Arabia Again

It’s been years, YEARS, since I checked in with my assorted Vice Squads to see what kind of wacky adventures they’ve been having. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, let me take a moment to break it down for you. Back in November 2007 news sources began releasing a list of moral vices that had been debuted in Iran. The list was part of a “moral crackdown” in the country that essentially was based on the premise that the police were now empowered, I guess more so than in the past, to cruise around Iran looking to bust anyone being loose with their morals. That bit of news spawned my first Freeze! It’s the Vice Squad post. Since then I’ve had a bit of a love affair with assorted Middle Eastern vice squads. What can I say, I’m a lady that loves her vices. And when the vices in question are rap music, women who use “witchcraft” to make men impotent, and questionable hair cuts, it’s pretty easy to meet with the Vice Squad’s discriminating standards. It turns out that while I was away, a few noteworthy Vice Squad events have taken place.

Picking on “emo” kids.

Picking on “emo” kids is really nothing new, regardless of how much I dislike that trend (I dislike the picking on. I’m a child of the 80’s, boys with eyeliner and skinny jeans are cool.). However, a Saudi Arabian coffee shop owner calling in the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice because some women were in his shop exposing their skinny jeans and colorful t-shirts? Well, that’s a whole new level of harassment. Suddenly name calling, while offensive, looks better. Although before we all congratulate ourselves for merely having schools where kids call each other names based on how they’re dressed, and fill our hearts with righteous indignation over the situation for female “emos” in Saudi Arabia, I feel obligated to share with you an alarming news story from 2008 out of Mexico. Teens beaten to a bloody pulp over eye liner? That’s an extra heaping helping of not cool.

Man bites dog.

In actuality, there was no man, or dog. Just a woman in her 20’s sending a member of the Saudi Arabian Vice Squad to the hospital after kicking his ass. Now, as a fan of action movies, I’ll admit it, I’m kind of a fan of violence. Not for real life, but there is nothing wrong spending an evening watching Christian Bale get his gun kata on. I will readily admit though, that when I read the tale of a 20-something couple being approached by the Vice Squad at an amusement park to confirm their identities and relationship, I couldn’t help but smile when I read ” the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.”

What will be next for the assorted Vice Squads? Who can truly say? Personally, I’d be happy if a day comes when an article about these guys wasn’t a current events article, but was instead discussing ancient history.