It was Saudi National Day. Many of the people in the street were euphoric. All of the religious zealots were outraged. The former were celebrating, relaxing, going wild and having a good time. The latter were watching the Will of God being challenged, virtue being transgressed, grave sin being committed. In such a situation things had to happen. Most zealots in Saudi Arabia have no formal authority so they simply watched in anger and dismay. But there are about 4000 of those who are employees in a government institution whose mandate is to fight sin. They work in The Committee for Promotion of Virtue and The Prevention of Vice. In Saudi Arabia it is called “the committee” while popular foreign media calls them “the religious police.” All of the committee’s members were aware that the government has makes an exception as to what is publicly allowed on National Day. They knew that they should not take action against the “sins” committed on that day. But self-control is not a quality zealots are known for, particularly in the presence of those defying God Almighty’s Will. So there were a number of cases where they harassed celebrators. But all of those were over shadowed by the tragic death of two citizens. We do not know all the details yet. But we do know that there was a car chase between the committee and another car. And that the committee’s car rammed the other one which lost control and went off a bridge. One driver was immediately killed. The second died later in hospital. They were brothers.
Consider this for a moment: when a member of the committee walks near a policeman, he thinks of himself as an agent of God, while he thinks of the policeman as an agent of the stateAbdullah Hamidaddin