Saturday, December 03, 2011
Conservative Report Claims Saudi Women Drivers Will Lead To Premarital Sex
According to Waleed Abu Alkhair, a Saudi Arabian rights activist, some prominent former King Fahd University professor has decided that giving women the right to drive will turn them all into whores. Well, that's not quite how it was put, but Kamal Subhi believes that if women are finally permitted to drive, this will lead them to engage in pre-marital sex, which of course is a major no-no in Saudi Arabia.
This 'driving leading to sex' report was presented by Subhi to the Shura Council, the King's advisory board, and all male, naturally. It contained the following logic: driving will lead to gender mixing which will lead to sex. You have to remember that mixing of genders in the Kingdom is not the norm, and one cleric even issued a death fatwa last year against opponents of gender segregation.
Saudi Arabia is probably one of the most backward, unenlightened countries in the world, but to his credit 87-year-old King Abdullah has been trying, in very small steps, to bring them out of the dark ages into the 18th century (since they are light years away from the 21st). After all, the King himself overturned the lashing sentence of a woman found guilty of driving all by her ownsome. And Abdullah recently announced that Saudi women will soon be able to vote and run for office (in municipal elections only), in 2015. The problem is that as reform-minded as King Abdullah might be, he has to deal with the ultraconservatives in his country, both in the general population and the religious leadership. Then factor in his age, and how much longer can he be expected to live? And, unfortunately, the heir to the throne, Prince Nayef, is supposedly a traditionalist.
So, will any of the reforms ever fully take root? Probably not, once Abdullah is gone, and it's terribly sad that the women of Saudi Arabia (at least the ones who yearn for independence, because there are those who don't) are being tantalized with promises of small freedoms that will never materialize.