To protect public propriety, Saudi Arabia has recently banned license plates whose Arabic characters spell out lewd words:
Saudi plates normally have three Arabic characters and three numbers, but the growing fashion is for auto owners also to display a version using the Latin alphabet and some buyers of personalised "vanity plates" deliberately choose Arabic letters which turn into words like "SEX", "ASS" and "NUT".
The authorities in charge of issuing vanity plates have released a list of nine prohibited three-letter combinations, and ordered all branches to stop renewing plates that include them, according to Watan.
In other news, a Saudi judge reiterated his decision that the marriage of an 8-year-old to a 47-year-old man is valid and refused to annul the marriage:
The issue of child marriage has been a hot-button topic in the deeply conservative kingdom recently. While rights groups have been petitioning the government to enact laws that would protect children from this type of marriage, the kingdom's top cleric has said that it's OK for girls as young as 10 to wed.
"It is incorrect to say that it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti, said in remarks last January quoted in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her."
Al-Sheikh reportedly made the remarks when he was asked during a lecture about parents forcing their underage daughters to marry.
"We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls," he said, according to the newspaper. "We should know that Sharia law has not brought injustice to women."