The head of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice says it will be easy going at the Riyadh Book Fair next week. Members of the Commission will not be seizing books or harassing women for being in the same room as men. This is in distinction to past practice where members (or self-professed members) of the Ha’ia have done exactly that, sometimes leading to scuffles and the closing of exhibits.
Hai’a chief: No ban on books, mixing at fair
Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — All members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) attending the Riyadh book fair next week will not seize any books nor ban intermingling between women and men visitors, said Hai’a chief Abdullatif Al-Alsheikh.
The role of Hai’a members is to report books with inappropriate content to the Ministry of Culture and Information, he added, responding to claims posted on social networking sites that claimed Hai’a members would confiscate any book with content considered against Shariah or social traditions and norms prevalent in Saudi society.
Al-Alsheikh said: “Shopping is open to all men and women as long as they do not commit improper acts that are against Shariah.”