In Saudi Arabia, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is a religious police force that has been a constant presence in the Kingdom arresting woman having coffee with colleagues or forcing young girls to burn to death in fire rather than run out without their scarves. Then there was the time that the religious police in Dammam marched into a popular dinosaur exhibit and shut it down without any explanation of why the dinosaurs threatened the virtue of good Muslims. Then there was the flogging of a women who insulted them. Then there are the round ups of religious people for simply praying at home. Then there is the arrest of a man for standing in line with his wife at a grocery store. The list goes on and on. The latest entry is the arrest of young men for simply dancing at a birthday party. Birthday parties have been denounced by Saudi clerics as unIslamic, but this the first such arrest that many can recall that did not involve dancing with women.
The Vice police in Buraydah arrested the men for “loud music and inappropriate dancing.” The charge reflected the medieval views of the dominant Wahhabi sect of Islam. The police said that the young men were in “a comprising situation in their dance and shameful movements.” There was even a birthday cake. There is enough to send the Vice police into a fence. Recall that grand mufti Sheik Abdul-Aziz bin Baz declared that “It’s not permissible to take part in them. Birthday parties are an innovation . . . and people are in no need of innovations.”
The Vice police also noted that they saw the hair styles of the men as non-traditional and said that such styles are dangerous and “can lead to immorality and even homosexuality.”
It appears that the no dancing rule does not apply to other settings.