Footage of a Saudi Arabian woman giving the kingdom’s notorious religious police a piece of her mind has gone viral on the internet.
The video, posted on popular site YouTube, shows an unidentified female shouting at members of the Commission For The Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice following a dispute over her painted nails.
During the heated argument in a Riyadh mall, she can be heard telling the men in Arabic “you’re not the boss of me” and her manicured nails are “none of [their] business”, before security guards attempt to diffuse the situation.
During the exchange, the woman tells the men that she is filming the argument and will post the footage on Twitter and Facebook.
Saudi religious police have a fearsome reputation in the ultra conservative Gulf kingdom. Its officers patrol Saudi’s streets making sure shops are closed at prayer times, people are modestly dressed and strict gender segregation is adhered to.
In March 2012, the head of the commission said that the force, which is responsible for upholding Islamic values among the population, was seeking to soften its image following lurid reports of car chases and harassment.
Two months earlier, King Abdullah himself had replaced the chief of the commission, although no official reason was given.