Riyadh: A number of members of the religious police (the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) have urged the Chairman of the Saudi Shura Council, Dr Saleh Bin Humaid, to enable them to have access to blocked websites to monitor immoral practices by visitors of these sites.
In an open meeting held by Dr Bin Humaid at the headquarters of the Commission in Makkah last night they justified this unexpected request by arguing that there are some male and female youngsters who exploit blocked websites to get involved in negative practices away from the eyes of the Saudi authorities.
"Since members of the Commission have no access to these blocked websites, such immoral practices cannot be pursued and put an end to," they said.
Dr Al Humaid told the Commission members to provide the relevant authorities with convincing justifications to give them to access to the blocked sites.
However, he expressed doubt on the need for such a thing
"These justifications must be supported by clear evidence, otherwise there is no need for it," he said.
He said that Commission members should not think that they can correct all immoral practices in society but they have to advise society members who might listen to them.
"It is your duty to advise people and try to guide them to the right path, but you should not expect immediate results following your advice," he said.
He urged them to be polite with wrong-doers and to listen to the views of others and try to strengthen relations with them.
Replying to a question about the problem of Saudi youngsters who waste time in shopping centres simply because they have no other suitable places to go to, he said the Shura Council was studying the possibility of providing places where youngsters can spend their leisure time.
The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is one of the government departments in Saudi Arabia which has come under severe criticism from the press and private bodies.