Clash of Civilizations Alert

Arab News reports on the latest outrage by Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice: the “arrest” of a 36-year-old businesswoman identified only as “Yara” for the crime of drinking coffee in a Riyadh Starbucks with a male business associate described as a “Syrian financial analyst.”
Yara was “apprehended” by a member of the religious police–at least, a man assumed to be such, since he produced no identification–and taken to Al-Malaz Prison, where she was forced to sign a confession. The crime of which Yara, who grew up in the United States, was accused is “‘khulwa’ (a state of seclusion with an unrelated man).” The Saudi Society for Human Rights, however, notes that “Yara was not in a state of khulwa. She was in a public place where people were all around them.

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