JAFFA, Israel – The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca is underway and in preparation for the religiously sensitive event, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry released a warning to nurses working in hospitals near holy sites to protect the holiness of the ceremonies and, of course, not to arouse the sexual urges of the pilgrims.
The Saudi news outlet Okaz reported that, according to the Health Ministry, nurses and other medical employees helping the doctors must dress modestly according to the tenants of Sharia: “Cover the hair and head completely, don’t wear see-through, revealing or tight clothing. In keeping with Sharia, exclude any transparent articles that are decorated. It is also forbidden to wear clothes that have pictures or writing on them.”
Women were also told not to wear any jewelry besides a wrist watch and no more than one ring, while “it is completely forbidden to wear fingernail polish or use any other cosmetic materials. Medical robes should be long and wide and shoes must not be with heels.”
Nurses will also be forbidden from leaving the medical facilities, certainly not without a member of the immediate family as stated in Sharia. The nurses also won’t be allowed to sit in outdoor areas of the medical facilities.
Meanwhile, outlets in Saudi Arabia have reported that authorities ordered drug tests be carried out on any foreigners who want to marry a Saudi woman. The drug tests join a long list of different medical checks required for foreigners who wish to marry Saudi women.
The demand for drug tests is seemingly part of the discussion in the kingdom over the alleged increase in the number of women addicted to drugs. Authorities were asked in the last few days to address the claims made in a number of news outlets and on social media that the percentage of women addicted to drugs has grown.
The secretary-general of the national council, Abdullah Sharif, was forced to respond, claiming that since the council’s creation several years ago, only 10 cases have been uncovered of women using drugs. According to Sharif, the figures prove that Saudi women are committed to the tenants of Islam and local traditions.