Obama was just there, but rather than pursue the issue, he gave the Saudi’s a waiver on their continued rights violations. Source: Saudi Arabia refuses to end its ban on women drivers | Daily Mail Online
Saudi Arabia is ‘not convinced about women driving’ and sees negative consequences if it is allowed, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said.
The prince, who is one of the Middle Eastern country’s most influential figures, has previously indicated his support for more freedom for Saudi Arabian women.
However, he has since said that reform can’t be rushed and that changes ‘could’ happen in the future, Bloomsberg reports.
In an interview on Monday, Prince Mohammed, who is second in line to the throne and believed to be around 30, said that allowing women to drive is more than just a religious issue, but a community one.
His comments came after he outlined a plan to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil.
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric defended the ban on women driving, claiming it would ‘expose them to evil’.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin-Abdullah al-Sheikh added ‘obsessed’ men with ‘weak spirits’ could end up causing female drivers harm.
The Grand Mufti is known for being outspoken and earlier this year ruled that chess is forbidden for Muslims because it is a ‘waste of time’ and promotes gambling.
He issued the fatwa ahead of a major chess tournament in Mecca in January.
Last year campaigner Loujain al-Hathloul was jailed for 10 weeks after violating the ban by driving from the United Arab Emirates to the Saudi border.
And in February 2015, Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon caused controversy in trying to justify the ban, claiming women ‘could be raped’ if their cars broke down.
In reaction to the prince’s comments on Monday, Muneerah Sulaiman, 26, a lawyer in Riyadh, told Bloomsberg: ‘We were very disappointed. I don’t understand the argument of people who appose the ban on religious grounds.
‘How is it okay to have a strange man drive women around, which is against Islamic teachings, but not okay to drive yourself around? It doesn’t make any sense.’
Ah, the sharia.
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