Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Kinder, Gentler Mutawa?

A new head of the mutawa (religious police) in Saudi Arabia has been appointed. Rumor has it the new leader has counseled the mutawa to be kinder. Are changes on the horizon for the mutawa and the enforcement of religious practices in Saudi Arabia? I guess we'll have to wait and see.


  1. This is not a comment on the above post but a question. Today we were at the Bronx Zoo, which, as I've mentioned in my own blog, is almost like a trip around the world. The people are as interesting to watch as the animals.

    Today as we came out of the rear door of the reptile house, I happened upon a fairly secluded area where I saw two Muslim men on their knees praying. The women with them were sitting on nearby benches and were not participating in the prayers. This was surprising. Are only the men called to prayer? What do the women do in Saudi Arabia during the prayer times?


  2. Good question. Women pray, just as men do. In the mosque they are segregated and pray in a different area away from the men. Prayer or salat is a religious duty on both men and women, five times daily. I'm presently in Saudi Arabia and while walking round the shopping malls during prayer times I occasionally see women, not just men, roll out their prayer mats and pray. I presume the women you saw at the zoo chose not to pray! If you need anymore information please contact Dr Valentine on