A Saudi writer with more than 97,000 Twitter followers has been promoting the molestation of women on under the hash-tag #harass_female_cashiers to pressure for Saudi women to stay at home in order to protect their chastity.
Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, author of several books, urged his abundance of followers to harass women working in Saudi grocery stores nationwide.
He is attempting to campaign against the employment of women in mixed-gender environments and his move towards condoning assault is regarded as a backlash against mild socioeconomic reforms in the country.
Since 2011, women have begun taking up private-sector work in increasing droves, following official moves encouraging their influx into the sphere in order to boost the country’s economy.
His tweet was apparently ‘justified’ by a sermon about a 7th-century Islamic warrior who did not want his wife to leave home to visit the mosque, according to Gulf News.
The warrior, Al Zubair, hid in the dark and molested his wife anonymously when she left the house. His terrified spouse never set foot outside again, realizing that the external world was a corrupt and evil place.
Some fellow conservatives have lauded his Twitter campaign as part of a great fight against government efforts to ‘Westernize’ the nation.
One cleric, named Khalid Ebrahim Al Saqabi was fully supportive, saying that government laws against sexual harassment were only meant to encourage consensual debauchery, and accused the labor minister of being “concerned with finding jobs for women instead of men.”
Another stated that, “They had better ban mingling of the sexes, not protect it.”
However, his comments have sparked a backlash across the Twittersphere from people suggesting that he wouldn’t like his own words if the women in question were his wife or sisters.