‘They can fly!’ Saudis mock religious police after attack on Briton
Photos and a video of the incident were widely shared on the internet, attracting the attention of several tweeps in Saudi Arabia
Saudis took to Twitter to mock the latest controversy clouding the kingdom’s religious police, after members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice attacked a British man outside a crowded Riyadh mall earlier this week.
Photos and a video of the incident were widely shared on the Internet, attracting the attention of several tweeps in Saudi Arabia.
Using the “ISIS-followers (in reference to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group) in the commission attack Briton” hashtag, users mocked the apparent “ability to fly” as shown by one member of the religious police while attacking the man with a flying jump kick.
“I just found out they could fly!” one user tweeted attaching a still from the video showing a member of the religious police suspended in air before he landed on the British man.
“Look at how he flies! This is the ending they cut from the Spiderman movie on MBC,” another user tweeted mockingly.
Another user tweeted a photo of a man jumping off a cliff next to the flying religious police member writing “nailed it.”
Response from officials
The commission’s spokesperson released a statement, on Twitter, in response to the criticism that ensued confirming that members of the religious authority were involved in the altercation, in an effort to honor “transparency.”
The statement included an apology to “the resident and his wife” adding that the dispute was a result of “individual behavior that contradicts the rules and regulations of the commission.”
“The commission does not accept the assault on any citizen” that abides by the rules and regulations of the kingdom, the statement read.
"Must I be British?"
In response to the statement, Saudis criticized the fact that authorities expressed a lesser reaction last year when two brothers died after their car crashed following being chased by members of the religious authority.
Fahd al-Butairi, a Saudi comedian and TV host with almost 1.5 million followers on twitter, tweeted, using the hash tag mentioned above, about the al-Qoos brothers, who were killed in the car crash, praying that God bestow his mercy upon them.
Al-Butairi’s post has been re-tweeted more than one thousand times.
Another user tweeted asking rhetorically, "must I be British to get a speedy investigation? " adding that it has almost been a year since the death of the al-Qoos brother.
Following last year’s incident, the head of the Saudi religious police, Sheikh Abdullatif Al Sheikh, admitted that a recent car-chase pursuit which involved members of his force had indeed killed the young men.
“The truth is that the pursuit took place, and I have immediately issued a decision has condemned the incident,” Sheikh said in an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel.
A Saudi court acquitted the six members of the commission involved in the car chase.
The men were cleared of charges that included lying, forgery and giving misleading information.
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