On Thursday, May 30, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif ordered the confiscation and ban on the importation of the Guy Fawkes masks, first made famous by the 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” by Andy and Lana Wachowski.
According to reports, the Ministry of Commerce will confiscate the mask from stores across the country and importers have been instructed to stop bringing the mask to the Saudi market.
Saudi authorities claim the masks promote “a culture of violence and extremism,” and “encourages young people to breach security and spread chaos in society.”
However, the clear implication of the new law is that the Saudi Arabian government fears the power of the mask, and the power of the Anonymous collective the mask has come to represent.
Anonymous, and the iconic Guy Fawkes mask, has come to represent a universal symbol of protest, an international symbol of hope and justice.
Anonymous, and the Guy Fawkes mask, became a prominent feature of the Arab Spring uprisings. As a result, the mask is now a symbol of rebellion against tyrannical governments and regimes across the region, and across the world.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia is not the first government to ban the mask. Bahrain banned the Guy Fawkes mask in February, while the United Arab Emirates banned it in November.