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Saudi official's proposal to let women drive flips the men out

Good old Saudi Prince (and Chimpy family friend) Bandar’s kingdom is not particularly woman-friendly, eh?

This is so absurd that you have to laugh…then given a few moments of thought, you start to feel sick that women have to live under such oppression that the simple act of driving a car will damn you and likely place you in physical jeopardy. I wonder what “Bandar Bush” has to say about this crap?

He just wanted his colleagues in the government’s legislative arm to discuss the possibility of conducting a study into the feasibility of reversing the ban on women drivers — the only prohibition of its kind in the world.

But Consultative Council member Mohammad al-Zulfa‘s proposal has unleashed a storm in this conservative country where the subject of women drivers remains taboo.

Al-Zulfa’s cell phone now constantly rings with furious Saudis accusing him of encouraging women to commit the double sins of discarding their veils and mixing with men. He gets phone text messages calling on Allah to freeze his blood. Chat rooms bristle with insulting accusations that al-Zulfa is “driven by carnal instincts with 454 horsepower.”

…Conservatives, who believe women should be shielded from strange men, say driving will allow a woman to leave home whenever she pleases and go wherever she wishes. [AND?] Some say it will present her with opportunities to violate Islamic law, such as exposing her eyes while driving or interacting with strange men, like police officers or mechanics.

Driving by women leads to evil,” Munir al-Shahrani wrote in a letter to the editor of the Al-Watan daily. “Can you imagine what it will be like if her car broke down? She would have to seek help from men.”

But al-Zulfa contends neither the law nor Islam bans women from driving. Instead, the ban is based on fatwas, or Islamic edicts, by senior clerics who say that any driving by women would create situations for sinful temptation.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding