Well, not yet. But maybe someday, if Saudi Arabia's "top Islamic scholars" decide to let women drive. And even then, big daddy will be watching closely.
Saudi women should be allowed to drive, senior prince says
A senior Saudi prince questioned the need for a ban on women driving on Wednesday and said lifting it would be a quick first step to reduce the Islamic kingdom's dependence on millions of foreign workers.No signs of liberalization for women in Britain and elsewhere who are subject to a recent fatwa against travel. Jihad Watch:
The Gulf Arab state is a monarchy ruled by the al-Saud family in alliance with clerics from the strict Wahhabi school of Islam. Women must be covered from head to toe in public and are not allowed to drive. [. . .]
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Abdullah and advocate of his reforms, said the kingdom could send some 750,000 foreign drivers home if women could drive.
"A lot of Saudi women want to drive their car in line with strict regulations and wearing a headscarf. But now they need a driver ... This is an additional burden on households," he said.
"The Saudi society wants fewer foreign labourers ... so why the hesitation, why this hesitation (with women driving cars)? I want answers," he said.
A ban could only be lifted by the government in consultation with the country's top Islamic scholars.
Saudi women are subject to a male "guardianship" system which requires they show permission from their guardian -- father, brother or husband -- to travel or, sometimes, work.
Religious police patrol the streets regularly to ensure gender segregation and that women are dressed modestly.
Deobandi fatwa: Women can't travel more than 48 miles without a male guardian:
Its ruling was based on the Hadiths – the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime. The 48 mile limit is believed to reflect the maximum distance one could then travel by camel or horse in one day through dangerous desert.Betty Friedan's nonsense about women being imprisoned in their homes happens to be true in these cases. But feminists, as RS McCain puts it, "are too busy whining about 'pay equity' to notice that Muslims are still stoning women to death under sharia law and forcing girls into arranged marriages."
The decision was defended by a Deobandi spokesman who said the increase in violent crime against women in India showed it remained relevant. "No Muslim family should have any objections," he said.
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