Why won’t Saudi Arabia let women drive?
It’s not because women are bad drivers – if that was the case, we’d be in big trouble over here in Qatar!
It’s actually far worse than that, according to a list recently compiled by Foreign Policy magazine.
Here are some excerpts from the piece, titled “Hands off the wheel:”
- You’re not oppressed, you’re a princess! In Arab News, Rima al-Mukhtar argues that Saudi women don’t really want to drive to begin with. “To them,” she writes, “driving is a hassle and not appropriate for Saudi Arabia” because Saudi women usually hire drivers to chauffeur them wherever they need to go. “Usually, only the rich and famous have their own chauffeur,” she adds, “but in Saudi Arabia almost everyone has one.”
- You steer, I leer. In the newspaper Asharq Alawsat, Salem Salman reviews a play entitled “Profit Becomes a Loss” performed at Riyadh’s Disabled Children’s Association Theater. The concluding words, spoken by a forlorn woman driver, read: “Help me, people, I’m afraid to drive…. We do not want this civilization … So write this down; forget about driving.”
- The king knows best. Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, in Asharq Alawsat, eschews a defense of the ban in favor of attacking the methods used by the organizers of the movement. The campaign, you see, is operating under the mistaken assumption that Saudi Arabia is a democracy.
- God says women drivers are evil and deserve to die. And then there’s this. The Saudi-owned Elaph.com website reports on the meditations of Saudi cleric Shaykh Abd-al-Rahman al-Barrak against women who wish to drive cars. “What they are intending to do is forbidden and they thus become the keys to evil in this country,” he writes, calling them “westernized women seeking to westernize this country.”
Read the full article here. And as always, tell us what you think!