Saudi Shoura studying plan to merge religious police into Islamic Ministry

Updated 20 September 2017
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Saudi Shoura studying plan to merge religious police into Islamic Ministry

RIYADH: The Shoura Council is currently studying a major proposal to merge the religious police, officially known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, into the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The plan is widely seen as a move to redesign and redefine the role of the religious police, as also to curb its powers further.
“This is not a plan or proposal from the Saudi government; rather, it is a proposal put forward by three members of the Shoura Council,” said Mohammad Al-Khunaizi, a Shoura member, on Tuesday. He said: “The Shoura Council is currently studying the merger proposal, while seeking the opinion of the members on this subject.”
Al-Khunaizi could neither confirm nor deny the fact that the proposal of merger of the commission into the Ministry of Islamic Affairs will go for voting next week. But, a Reuters report said: “The Shoura Council, an influential advisory body to the government, will vote on the proposal to merge the religious police into the Ministry of Islamic affairs, further curbing the force’s authority, next week.”
The report has quoted Atta Al-Thibaiti, a Shoura member, as saying the proposal had overcome initial opposition by the Shoura’s Committee on Islamic and Judicial Affairs.
The religious police, which have had the mandate to implement Islamic laws and better social ethics, patrol public spaces to enforce bans on alcohol, obscenity, abnormal behavior, store closures during prayer times, and the mixing of unrelated men and women. It also imposes strict modesty requirements on women’s dress, as well as on men, especially youngsters chasing women and philandering.


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 9 min 33 sec ago
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”