The Spanish Inquisition is over but its spirit is alive and well in the 21st Century. According to the Associated Press, a Saudi Arabian judge recently sentenced 20 foreigners “to receive lashes and spend several months in prison after convicting them of attending a party where alcohol was served and men and women danced.” The rest of those arrested were awaiting trial.
The AP reports:
The defendants were among 433 foreigners, including some 240 women, arrested by the kingdom’s religious police for attending the party in Jiddah, the state-guided newspaper Okaz said.
The rest of the story is below the fold.
The prosecutor general charged the 20 with “drinking, arranging for impudent party, mixed dancing and shooting a video for the party,” Okaz said. . . .
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam under which it bans alcohol and meetings between unrelated men and women.
The religious police, a force resented by many Saudis for interfering in personal lives, enjoys wide powers. Its officers roam malls, markets, universities and other public places looking for such infractions as unrelated men and women mingling, men skipping Islam’s five daily prayers and women with strands of hair showing from under their veil.
In May, the Interior Ministry restricted the powers of the religious police to just arresting suspects, because the police sometimes had held people incommunicado and insisted on taking part in ensuing investigations.
No word yet on the availability of a “Girls Gone Wild” video of the party.