My earlier post may have been light-hearted, but a small bit of analysis does leave one with a more sobering impression of the story.
The appalling behaviour of the religious police in Saudi Arabia is widely reported. They are essentially thugs: there is no accountability and no oversight. They are reported to drive around in large numbers with clubs and hassle people, mostly women, often violently and usually without provocation. These are, after all, the same people who prevented 15 girls from escaping from a burning building because they weren’t appropriately dressed.
It seems deeply unlikely that, having launched an unprovoked assault on two members of the religious police, anyone — let alone two women — would be released unscathed. It’s quite likely that they were acting in self-defence, and similarly likely that if they weren’t punished by the police, they probably will be by their families, since such public disobedience would bring the family into disrepute.
Saudi Arabia is a vicious, misogynist theocracy, perpetuated and reinforced by a delusional world view which is politely called “religion”, but which should accurately called “fantasy”. It is appalling that we call them friends. This is a nation that, but for its vast reserves of oil, would almost certainly long ago have been subject to UN security council resolutions and economic sanctions.
If there is indeed an Axis of Evil, Saudi Arabia is most certainly “on” it.