Religious police in Saudi Arabia imprisoned the head of a kindergarten school for allowing a rainbow mural to be painted on the walls of his educational institute in Riyadh.
The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice said rainbows represent the LGBT community and promote homosexuality, both of which are prohibited by Islam, and that is why the head of Talee al-Noor International School had to be arrested and fined 100,000 riyals. The religious police also ensured that the brightly coloured walls were repainted immediately with a more sober indigo blue.
The incident has been left unreported in the Middle East, even though Saudi Society Channel, a Twitter account handled by the religious police, tweeted about it last month.
هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والبلدية والأمارة تزيل الشعار وتغرم "مدرسة أجنبية"في الرياض بمبلغ١٠٠الف بعد وضعها شعار المثليين pic.twitter.com/sLTldRQ8yt
— قناة المجتمع السعودي (@ksa12300) July 17, 2015
Translation: Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice removed the flag and fined the school 100,000 SAR after using LGBT flag. The fine equals $26,663.47.
Saudi Arabia abides by the ultra-orthodox Wahhabi culture and enforces the stringent Sharia law in the country. In the kingdom, homosexuality is looked upon as a criminal offence and homosexuals are usually punished with flogging and prison sentences. In fact, Wahhabis also allow death by stoning to those found guilty of being homosexual.
On social media, some Saudi nationals praised the religious police for taking action against the school’s administrative head but others protested against its decision by putting up photographs of people using rainbow-coloured accessories on a day to day basis, to imply that rainbows are not always used to represent lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals.
Rainbow Qur'an.A headache for the Saudi Arabia religious police.Copies will be confiscated.But what to do with them? pic.twitter.com/4ODbASUntl
— Ruslan Trad (@ruslantrad) July 21, 2015
After rainbow fine in Saudi, I'm waiting for reports of leprechauns being jailed for luring children to rainbows. http://t.co/JrHg5nkIHc
— J. Lester Feder (@jlfeder) July 20, 2015
@DavidKenner @MarcherLord1 Will the Saudi airforce be scrambled to shoot down rainbows?
— Russell Taylor (@RussTayles) July 20, 2015
Photo Credits: The Cairo Gossip