Thursday, December 30, 2010

Arab News Op-Ed - Religious intolerance in Saudi Arabia - enough is enough

This opinion piece in the Arab News by Dr. Khalid al-Nowaiser (a Saudi attorney) calls for an end to religious intolerance in Saudi Arabia.

A big topic - that encompasses a woman's right to drive. I'm including it here because he points out how it's in the last 30 years that officially, the 'rules' have made things more difficult for Saudi women, not better. That of course has a strong bearing on the issue of women driving. Since the article isn't per se about women driving, I'm pasting in the quote about that topic. You can read the whole article by linking on the post title above. This op-ed illustrates how the issue of women driving is connected to a much larger question that continues to grip Saudi society at all levels, even though many in the government want society to change and open up.

Personally, I agree with every word in his article. But that's just my opinion.


"Most irritating is the way that these religious dogmatists wrongfully meddle with our lives and personal freedoms contrary to the very teachings of Islam. Who gave them the power to decide how our lives should be lived? Why should a social issue like women driving cars be so contentious? 

Shouldn't a woman decide this? Moreover, why is a woman not entitled to travel without the consent of a man? Why are her employment opportunities so constricted? " 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saudi male journalist drives dressed as a woman to test reactions

Saudi journalist Saad al-Salem went driving for three days in Saudi's capital city, Riyadh, dressed in a woman's traditional black cloak, the abaya. He wanted to see how people reacted.

He was not arrested, nor was he caught by the 'religious police'. However, he was harassed and tailed by young men. His conclusion? That any women driving would face similar harassment.

You can read his account by clicking on the title of this post. I'm also adding the story to my list of news stories on women driving.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Senior Saudi cleric questions women driving ban

MSNBC picked up a Reuters story  about Ahmad al-Ghamdi, head of the Mecca Region of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). He is questioning the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. He apparently told a group of journalists that the Qur'an doesn't support the ban.
Click on the title of this post for the full story.