Arrests for Afros & Low-slung Jeans in Saudi Arabia

According to some reports 800+ people have been arrested in Riyadh for wearing low-slung jeans and sporting Afros in Saudi Arabia. Mosques in the Eastern Province have warned people that they will be banned if they are caught with either at prayer time and can also be arrested.

The youth arrested were released after their parents were called to get them and after they promised to never do it again. What is more likely: the youth will change their style or avoid the mosque?

An unanswered question is why would a mosque ban a worshipper? Common sense says that if a person if coming to the mosque to pray you want to encourage their good behavior, and use the opportunity to educate them (without the fire and brimstone style boring lectures of course). Crazy fashions are a part of youth and people outgrow them with age.

But banning these young men from coming to the mosque helps neither the youth nor the society. Associating the mosque with an oppressive environment where a person can get arrested for wearing the “wrong” clothes is not conducive for a longer term attachment towards religion, or even respect for local traditions.

An educational approach would be more effective in this case rather than draconian measures.

2 Comments

  1. Susie of ArabiaSeptember 9, 2009

    You are absolutely right. They should be pleased that youth are going to the mosque even in low strung trousers and long hair. Is this really what Allah is looking at and what will these holy men say when Allah asks them who gave them the right to banish these youth from worshipping him? They are really missing the boat here. Rejecting people because of how they look is not a very well thought-through decision on their part.

    Reply
  2. Amina AliDecember 5, 2009

    Asalaamo Alikym WaRahmatullahi WaBaraakatuh

    My real issue with this story is the Afro part. Afro is a type of hair style worn by people who are blessed with curly hair.
    If your hair is more than 1/4 inch in length and tightly curled then you are wearing an afro. This is the way Allah swt designed this persons hair so how in the world can anyone punish them for not straighting the hair?
    The way I understand this action is, as long as you have afro-centric features (Afro style hair) then you will not be permitted to pray in the Masjid.
    This is so interesting when you consider how many people who smoke cigarettes and reek of smoke are permitted to pray in the Masjid. How many so called Muslims are drinking liquor, putting on modest clothes just to enter the Masjid and then removing them as soon as Salaat has ended? How many are fornicating outside of marriage and using illicit drugs yet we are told to make duaa for them and they are not turned away at the Masjid doors.
    Being born with an Afro is a part of a persons genetic make-up, this is the creation of Allah swt and Allah have mercy on the soul of any person who laughs, berates or discriminates against another human for wearing their in it’s natural state.

    Mrs. Amina Ali of Seattle, WA

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top