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Saudi Religious Police to Begin Operating at Tourist Attractions

The Saudi Arabian Religious Police is intending to work in tourist attractions in an effort to ensure tourists do not violate Islamic law.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 6/28/2012, 8:43 PM

Saudi police
Saudi police
Reuters

The Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), also known as the Religious Police, is planning to start working in tourist attractions in the kingdom after its staff receives the necessary training, Al-Arabiya news reported.

In coordination with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), 450 members of the religious police are undergoing intensive training in order to be able to maintain law and order in tourist areas and deal with different segments of society, said Sheikh Abdul Latif Al al-Sheikh, CPVPV director general.

“We signed an agreement with SCTA,” he told the Saudi newspaper al-Watan. “We provide them with the staff that we believe is suitable for the job and they pay for the training they also conduct.”

The training, he explained, includes familiarizing members of the religious police with tourist attractions in the kingdom and the diverse backgrounds of tourists expected to visit the sites.

“They were taught how to deal with each type in a way that does not violate Islamic laws,” he said.

The training consists of 12 courses in 12 different areas in the kingdom over the course of five months.

He emphasized the importance of cooperation between the CPVPV and SCTA saying, “Both institutions have to work together in order to boost tourism and serve tourists within the framework of Islamic teachings.”