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Saudi is one of the few countries that have "religious police" (also known as Haia or Mutaween), who patrol the streets "enjoining good and forbidding wrong" by enforcing dress codes, strict separation of men and women, attendance at prayer (salat) five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia (Islamic law) or behavior it believes to be commanded by Islam.

Cinema theatres were shut down in 1980, for example.

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Because Friday is the holiest day for Muslims, the weekend is Friday-Saturday.

In accordance with Wahhabi doctrine, only two religious holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, were publicly recognized, until 2006 when a non-religious holiday, the 23 September national holiday (which commemorates the unification of the kingdom) was reintroduced.

They remain a significant and very influential minority of the indigenous Saudi population, though many who call themselves "bedou" no longer engage in "traditional tribal activities of herding sheep and riding camels." According to authors Harvey Tripp and Peter North, Bedouin make up most of the judiciary, religious leaders and National Guard (which protects the throne) of the country.

Bedouin culture is "actively" preserved by the government..

Following the principle of "enjoining good and forbidding wrong", there are many limitations and prohibitions on behaviour and dress which are strictly enforced both legally and socially, often more so than in other Muslim countries.

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited, for example, and there is no theatre or public exhibition of films. Five times each day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques scattered throughout the country.Women's clothes are often decorated with tribal motifs, coins, sequins, metallic thread, and appliques.Foreign women are required to wear an abaya, but don't need to cover their hair.Observers have described Saudi Arabian society as deeply religious and deeply conservative.Saudi Arabia is the "only modern Muslim state to have been created by jihad, the only one to claim the Quran as its constitution", and the only Arab-Muslim country "to have escaped European imperialism." The many limitations on behaviour and dress are strictly enforced both legally and socially.In contrast, assigned readings over twelve years of primary and secondary schooling devoted to covering the history, literature, and cultures of the non-Muslim world comes to a total of about 40 pages.

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