In 1990 47 women challenged the authorities by taking their families' cars out for a drive. They were jailed for a day and many lost their jobs.
Yet looking at the bright side, in a country where only 5 % of women are employed although with literacy rates soaring above 70%, 47 women losing their jobs is not a big deal. From that day on it was made illegal for women to drive through the streets of the kingdom.
The arguments given by religious scholars for such a law are as follows:
- Driving a car involves uncovering the face which is considered obligatory for women to cover in Saudi.
- Driving a car may lead women to go out of house more often.
- Driving a car may lead women to have interaction with non-mahram males, i.e., they can be stopped by policemen at the scenes of traffic infractions.
- Women driving cars may lead to overcrowding the streets and many young men may be deprived of the opportunity to drive..
What one fails to grasp is the logic and wisdom behind such arguments. Do they mean that women going out more are dangerous to society or do they mean that women are more dangerous drivers than men?
No matter how one looks at it, the fact is very simple. Islam, the religion the system that brought peace, tranquillity and an age of development to Arabia is now vanishing. The age of jahiliya is back and with a vengeance.
By guest writer Musafir