RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s morality police are on the scent of illicit red roses as part of a clampdown on would-be St Valentine’s lovers in the strict Muslim kingdom. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious vigilantes, have banned shops from selling any red flowers in the run-up to February 14.
Florists say the move is part of an annual campaign by the committee — whose members are known as "mutawwaeen" or volunteers — to prevent Saudis marking a festival they believe flouts their austere doctrine of "Wahhabi" Islam. "They pass by two or three times a day to check we don’t have any red flowers," said a Pakistani florist in Riyadh’s smart Sulaimaniya district. "Look, no red. I’ve taken them all out," he said pointing to a dazzling floral collection covering every color of the rainbow except one.
I know I should not be surprised by any news coming out of Saudi Arabia, but this one is just too much. I mean come on, red roses! This is what I call energy wasted!