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Saudi Morality Police Arrest Men for Playing Music, Dancing at Party

Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the national morality police, arrested a group of young men for dancing and playing loud music at a birthday party in Buraydah.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as Haia, stormed into a private residence after they received a tip. An anonymous official told the media the men were “in a compromising situation.” Authorities did not find women or alcohol at the party, as co-ed partying and drinking are illegal in the Saudi Kingdom. Police claimed the men engaged in “shameful movements,” but did not elaborate. Haia referred the matter to local police.

This official also said, “[N]one of the men were dressed traditionally,” and took the opportunity to tell parents “to prevent their children from engaging in such behavior ‘because it can lead to immortality and even homosexuality.’”

Buraydah is one of the more conservative cities in the Islamic country and, the Daily Mail notes, the operating base for a number of prominent conservative clerics. The city and clerics observe Wahhabism, which is a strict interpretation of Islam. People are not allowed to celebrate birthdays, and Western music is considered sinful.

Those against the raid posted pictures of the Saudi royal family “performing a traditional sword dance,” but those who support the arrests claimed “that form of dance was socially acceptable” and “masculine.”

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