Beirut, SAEDNEWS: A samba show with dancers deemed too naked sparked controversy this week in Saudi Arabia, as local authorities opened an investigation in this very conservative Gulf kingdom.
Videos of three samba dancers swaying in the streets of Jazan, a coastal region in southwestern Saudi Arabia, have toured social media this week. The images show women in the iconic colorful feathered costume, with bare legs, lower abdomen and arms. The dancers were however more covered than for a Rio Carnival.
El-Ekhbariya state television channel broadcast the video while blurring the bodies of the young women. “The shows are intended for entertainment, not to attack good morals and behavior contrary to religion and the morals of society”, lambasted a resident of Jazan interviewed by the channel.
The crown prince’s reforms arouse the ire of conservatives
On social networks, many others were indignant calling on the authorities to crack down, some on the contrary considering the controversy exaggerated, the dancers not being so naked in their eyes.
Faced with the agitation of the conservatives, the prince of Jazan ordered Friday the opening of an investigation and the implementation of “measures necessary to prevent any abuse”, without specifying which ones.
Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salman, the ultra-conservative kingdom has increased the organization of major sporting or entertainment events, in a country with a very austere image.
These reforms arouse the discontent of supporters of the religious hard line. In November 2019, a knife attack injured four members of a Spanish theater troupe in Riyadh. The author was executed in April 2020.
While the country has opened up to entertainment, Mohammed bin Salman’s power has been accompanied by relentless political tightening, with NGOs regularly denouncing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia (Source: NEWS.IN.24).