Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saudi Woman to be Lashed for Driving Car

The Telegraph
September 28, 2011.

A Saudi woman has been sentenced to 10 lashes for challenging a ban on women driving.

Amnesty International reported the sentence just two days after Saudi King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections.

"Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car", Philip Luther, an Amnesty regional deputy director, said in an emailed statement.

"Allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the king's much trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little," Mr Luther said.

Two other women are also believed to be facing charges related to driving, the Amnesty statement said.

Najla Hariri, one of the women facing charges, told Reuters: "They called me in for questioning on a charge of challenging the monarch on Sunday... I signed a pledge not to drive again, although my driving was a result of necessity not an act of defiance."

Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws, women require a male guardian's permission to work, travel abroad or undergo certain types of surgery.

There is no law banning women from driving, but there is a law requiring citizens to use locally issued licences while in the country. Such licences are not issued to women, making it effectively illegal for them to drive.

Read the rest here.

Comment: Just a day or so ago I was severely amused to watch Obama explain the democratic reforms that are unfolding in Saudi Arabia.

What democracy was my reaction.  There are no real national elections in the constructed and absolute Saud monarchy - itself an aberration in Islamic terms.

Women will now supposedly have the right to vote in municipal elections in 2015 but will not be able to legally drive themselves to the polling stations.


Driving or any freedom of movement make women more open to sin, of course.  So when they insist on driving a fine will not do.  They must be lashed for their own good.

Men breaking any traffic laws (being divinely superior to women by design) only pay a fine.  If they drive in sin or towards sin it is not a matter of having a predisposed or innate sinfulness like that of the weaker and idiocy prone sex.

Is there a car manufacturer that can build a car that stops women from sinning - perhaps a car that stalls when a woman starts to sin or even starts to think about sinning?  Can this be achieved with a dashboard mounted sinalyzer that works like a breathalyzer?

What absolute nonsense this driving under the influence of sin or is it sinning under the influence of driving?  And it is un-Islamic to boot too.

In the days to come the King will likely intervene in the case above.  It is all part of the window dressing he and his need at this historical moment marked by reform tensions in the so called Middle East.

And over the coming months the issue will fade from front pages.  What will stand is the autocratic nature of the Saudi regime and the unthinkable but very real reality of US, British, and other non-Muslim military forces who are present and policing Saudi soil.

These "kufaar", as they would be named in private, are 'securing' the kingdom and in so doing they are in effect in control of the holy sites of Islam.

If a revolt like the ones that grew in Egypt and Tunisia was to break out in the streets of Riyadh there would be no time wasted by the oil-dependent Western powers to seize their interests.

Why do you think Obama is touting democratic reforms there?  There is a need to put a smiley face on the absolutist regime so as to ward off any would-be reformers who may arise and call for the end of the kingdom.

Despite this reality there are millions of Muslims everywhere outside Saudi Arabia who are too scared or selfishly 'prudent' to raise their voices against the tyrants that occupy Islam's holy sites (inclusive of the monarchy).

You will hear this and that reason why it is important not to cause dissension among Muslims and do as I am doing here.

These apololitical apologists miss the point and the crisis that faces Islam.

The Western forces that in effect occupy Saudi Arabia are the same ones who kill innocent Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and anywhere else Muslims stand in opposition to their thieving hands (are you watching the US instigating tensions in Pakistan?)

How can anyone watch this carnage and the attack on Muslims anywhere and think that the West is not at war with Muslims and Islam?

In a very real sense Islam is occupied by the West and its occupation has been made possible by the constructed Saudi monarchy (Turkey too).

Muslims have a religious duty to be incensed and to raise their voices instead of standing around pointing fingers at the creep of moral decadence into this or that personal context.

Personal politics and morality is of little relevance when Islam's equality revolution is being degraded/disowned by Muslims.

The extent to which Muslims have sold out this equality revolution must be measured by the presence of the West in the land where the last Prophet took to the battlefield for Islam.

But the sad truth is that the navel-gazing and bead-counting crowd are too busy worrying about their selfish salvation to notice that their very movement around the earthly center of Islam (the Kaaba) is now decided by the likes of Obama.

And we are not free.


UPDATE (September 29): "Saudi woman driver saved from lashing by King Abdullah"


Samir said...

Brother you have named this folly right. It takes courage to say this but it must. Our religion is subverted by Abdullah and his like.

Your brother in Islam.

Ridwan said...

Salaam Samir:

It is "folly" indeed.

I was not surprised to read that the King has rescinded the "lashes" sentence. But the ban on driving stands.

The larger picture is that all of this is a symptom of how Islam has been hijacked and even perverted to support the kind of oppression that makes women less than even a male child.

Where in Islam are these dictates?

Even if one is to use the example of the last Prophet (pbuh) then his first wife Khadija was hardly a 'controlled' woman.

She was in fact powerful and wealthy and influential. But if she lived today she would be banned under a burka without freedom of movement.

She would in effect not exist unless she was attached to a man.

In South Africa this assault on women's rights in Islam has grown considerably under the influence of the Tabligh movement. The same movement the CIA has funded to de-politicize Islam in Indian/Pakistan.

Their influence has help to reduce women to attachments and mere symbols of male power (often through brokered marriage schemes).

Interestingly, as the Tabligh movement grew in South Africa the general populace of Muslims retracted further from standing by the anti-apartheid movement(s).

It is a sad reality of the struggle against apartheid - a reality that found Muslims replicating the oppression of apartheid rather than resisting.

The few examples of Muslim leaders like Imam Haroon who stood against apartheid were dwarfed by the massive duplicity of the Muslim Judicial Council, for example, which in effect remained pliant and un-obtrusive.

This is not the Islam that took our last Prophet (pbuh) to the battlefield is it?

This is not the substance that calls on Muslims to stand for the principle that all of us are created equal and that only God judges about the worth of anyone.

In the end we will be asked what we did to defend Islam - prayer is not enough.

Thank you for your comment Samir.

We are indeed brothers in Islam.