Thursday, November 15, 2007

Women drivers

by Arnold Beichman from The Washington Times (US: Washington DC)

Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Jazeera published an interesting cartoon June 12 with only two visible objects: an auto ignition key lying next to an unexploded hand grenade. What do you think the cartoon was suggesting in this 21st century? That allowing Arab women to drive automobiles would lead to untold disasters. Seventeen years ago this week a group of Saudi women protested a two-point fatwa, issued in the name of the highest Muslim clerics: (1) Women must not be allowed to drive cars. (2) Women caught driving should be punished. In a 2005 interview , Saudi King Abdullah said, "Someday women will be allowed to drive cars." That day hasn't arrived. Meanwhile, someone must chauffeur the wives and mothers around town. So foreign drivers are there to meet the demand. In Saudi Arabia there are more than a million foreign drivers about whose background little is known. The largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, has no restriction on women drivers that I know of.

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