As if women were not subjugated enough already in Saudi Arabia, the nation’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice announced yesterday that “tempting eyes” would be subject to veils if deemed inappropriate.
Sheikh Motlab al Nabet, spokesman of the Saudi Arabian committee, said in the announcement that, "The men of the committee will interfere to force women to cover their eyes, especially the tempting ones. We have the right to do so."
The new ban on well-manufactured facial features is broad enough to lead to some inquiry on the definition of "tempting eyes." Moreover, what is the process by which a woman will be found guilty of having “tempting eyes?” A humorous image can only come to mind with long lines of “tempting eyed women” waiting to be brought before the 1984-esque committee.
According to an unnamed journalist in Saudi Arabia, “tempting eyes” could possibly be defined with these stipulations: "Uncovered eyes with a nice shape and makeup. Or even without makeup, if they are beautiful, the woman will be in trouble."
The unnamed journalist went onto say, "It's so stupid. I don't know what to say. They have to stop this. Many people will oppose this in the country. They won't be silent."
While in most Western nations there is harsh divide between Church and State, in Saudi Arabia no such segmentation exists. In March, King Abdullah awarded the committee more than $53 million to continue enforcing their religious dogma via the estimated 3,500 to 4,000 religious police officers, which patrol the streets.
As King Abdullah nears the end of his reign, there was hope that a younger and more liberal dictator would follow. Prince Naif was recently appointed as the heir to the throne, but after giving his support to the committee, there is little hope that Saudi Arabia will evolve in the human rights department.
"The committee is supported by all sides,” Naif said. “It should be supported because it is a pillar from Islam. If you are a Muslim, you should support the committee."
The parental “because I told you so” argument lacks logic and rationale, but such is the case when a nation resides under monarch rule. It remains unclear how many women will be found or charged with "tempting eyes," but if there is a great enough dissenting voices, public outcry will hopefully have some bearing on the obscene policy.