In a video clip posted on the Internet on May 23, 2012, a Saudi woman films her harassment by Saudi religious police attempting to force her to leave a shopping mall because she is wearing lipstick and nail polish. Defying them and refusing to leave, she claims that she is free to do as she likes, and states that she is uploading the video to Twitter and Facebook "as we speak."
The MEMRI TV translation of the clip on YouTube has been viewed over one million times, and the clip has been reported on by hundreds of media sources worldwide (see list below).
The following is the transcript of the clip as translated by MEMRI (to view the clip, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpUUOYRLW3k)
Saudi Woman [behind the camera]: "Get out of the mall?! I'll show you who's getting out of the mall! This is none of your business.
"Why are you following me? What do you want from me? The government did not send you to follow me. The government said there would be no persecution [of women]. Your job is to advise people and move on. You have no right to harass anyone. Enough!"
[Police consult with each other]
Religious Police: "Get out of the mall. Move it."
Saudi Woman [arguing]: "Who's getting out? This is none of your business. You don't see other women here showing their hair... None of your business. I'm free to put on nail polish if I want to."
[Police consult with each other]
Religious Police: "Please, move on."
Saudi Woman: "I'm not getting out. What are you gonna do about it? I'm not getting out. I'm standing right here. I'm standing right here. For your information, I'm filming it all. Here, smile for the camera. ..."
[To policemen]: "You are in an official capacity, right? You received a complaint from a citizen about harassment, and it doesn't matter if it was done by government officials or not..."
[Policeman makes phone call, police consult with each other]
"For your information, the video is on its way to Twitter and Facebook as we speak. One more word from you and it will reach Abd Al-Latif Aal Al-Sheikh, and he will deal with your mess. You are not the boss of me, and you can't tell me not to wear nail polish. Lipstick on my mouth?! Come look at my mouth. Shame on you! And he pretends to be God-fearing… Don't' let him follow me. I am free to walk around this mall as I like."
Media Outlets Worldwide Report On MEMRI TV Clip
Hundreds of media outlets, in the U.S. and worldwide – including Europe, India, South Asia, and the Middle East – have reported on the MEMRI TV clip. The Huffington Post, Mail Online (U.K.), Times of India, and many others called the unnamed Saudi woman "brave"; CNN noted that the incident "revived an ongoing debate in the Kingdom about the role the religious police should play in Saudi Arabia." AFP reported that the video of her "defying religious police" had gone "viral," and Reuters International stated that "more than a million people have watched... this woman who dared to stand up to the religious police." The French news website Atlantico called the clip "the buzz on YouTube," The National (UAE) said she was "defying orders," and Arabian Business (UAE) said that she had "let rip at the kingdom's religious cops."
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