Manama: A Saudi legal consultant has advised a group of local women working in a fast-food restaurant to sue a blogger for calling them “prostitutes.”

“Those who felt insulted by the tweet targeting their honour and dignity should go to the court and demand the application of the law dealing with IT crimes in Saudi Arabia,” Ahmad Al Muhaimid said. “The law is also intended to protect public interests, ethics and morals, as well as the national economy. The law thus criminalises assaulting or defaming people or targeting their private lives,” he said, quoted by local news site Sabq.

Action against violators includes a maximum of one year in prison and fines of up to 500,000 riyals (Dh489,711), he said.

Anger swelled in the Saudi blogosphere after a blogger posted a tweet addressed to the labour minister.

“You should stop corrupting the society. We will be your enemies on Resurrection Day. Our women are now waitresses at Hardee’s in Jeddah,” the blogger posted.

However, a woman blogger blasted him for the remark.

“Being a waitress and doing an honest is better than begging or prostitution,” she wrote.

However, the blogger insisted on his view.

“A waitress at the beginning of the work shift, and a prostitute at the end. The frequent mixing of women with men leads them to sitting together easily and to dating.”

The tweet sparked outrage on the Saudi internet as web users called for punitive action against the blogger and supported the call by the legal consultant to take legal action for “insulting the Saudi women.”

“Insulting honest women is to be punished, the Shariah texts say,” Jood Al Sineen remarked. “People are working honestly to make some money, but others are attacking them. I really wish the law be applied.”

Rare Pearl posted that honest women did not need any custody or honour testimonies.

“An honest woman will always remain honest wherever she goes. Nobody should accuse women of anything unless they witnessed it. That is the rule,” she said.

For Ahmad The Human Being, the real issue is about intentions. “These women have applied for an honest work to earn a living so they should not be bothered by criticism. Those who do not like it should be honest with themselves and apply their convictions by not allowing their wives, sisters or daughters to speak with foreign men when they place their orders in restaurants,” he posted.