57 Saudi Men Arrested for Flirting
Prosecutors say they exhibited 'bad' behavior to woo girls at malls
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 1:03 PM CST
A Saudi man holds bouquets of red roses at a flower shop in the Saudi city of Dammam on February 13, 2008. True to tradition, Saudi Arabia's religious police are zealously enforcing a ban on Valentine's...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested 57 young men accused of flirting with girls at shopping malls in Mecca, the BBC reports. Prosecutors say the men wore indecent clothing, played loud music, and danced to attract the girls’ attention. The arrests were prompted by Saudi’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which runs its powerful religious police.

The police force, known as the mutaween, enforces Wahhabism, Saudi’s strict brand of Islam. Officials, who’d earlier banned the sale of items related to Valentine’s Day, said they received reports of the men’s “bad” behavior at local malls, but guardians for some of the men insisted they’d socialize on weekends without ever violating laws that prohibit mingling of the sexes.