The Free Hugs Campaign is the spontaneous viral movement that started back in 2006 and has been spreading joy ever since. It’s the sole reason I would avoid the quad during my college days. That and the Jews for Jesus.
It’s a harmless premise, someone offers “free hugs” in a public place and people either walk away or take him or her up on the hug. It’s one of the sweeter experiments that went viral and there aren’t many who would criticize it. Well maybe Saudi Arabia, who arrested two young men for giving out free hugs according to Slate
Unfortunately, the Saudi religious police—a.k.a. the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice—apparently don’t approve of hug-induced happiness and arrested the two young men for “indulging in exotic practices and offending public order,” according to the BBC.
Thankfully these two guys weren’t also practicing witchcraft or casting spells.
And when you watch the video, you’ll see the menace these folks were spreading. The terrifying smiles and spine tingling laughs that were emitting from people would disrupt even the most heated torture you could find. How are we going to keep hurting people if others keep trying to love and get along with them!? Like excuse me, I’m trying to run a kingdom here.
The two were then made to sign a pledge that they would no longer offer hugs. Even after the arrest, one of the young men, Abdulrahman al-Khayyal, told the Independent “he would continue to give out free hugs and he was proud of what he had done. He said he considered it an act of charity.” (via)
This is kind of similar to the original reports of the Free Hugs movement from Australia. The big difference is there we had the nice happy Disney movie ending where the public rallied behind Free Hugs and beat the establishment, here we have legal action and pledges against hugging. I don’t want to click on Reddit in a few weeks to read that these guys are now melting away in some Saudi prison. I’m already broken up Sylvia Browne died after my recent psychics piece. I kinda feel like I might’ve played a part in that somehow.
Anyway, the moral here is you shouldn’t go hugging people. It’s dangerous to the community and promotes a poor message that human beings are actually decent. Also probably how you get ants.