The UK’s Telegraph reports that Saudi Arabia’s clerics are warning that there will be no virgins in the Kingdom within ten years of permitting women to drive. What’s more, allowing them to drive will lead to an increase in prostitution, pornography, and homosexuality. I guess they’re pretty scared of women if they imbue them with such awesome power!

Allowing women drivers in Saudi Arabia will be ‘end of virginity’
Allowing women drivers in Saudi Arabia will tempt them into sex, promote pornography and create more homosexuals, according to some conservative Muslim scholars
Andy Bloxham

Academics at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, which is Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, said the relaxation of the rules would inevitably lead to “no more virgins”.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving.

The academics, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the conservative King Fahd University, produced the conclusions in a report for the country’s legislative assembly, the Shura Council.

It warned that allowing women to drive would “provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce”.

Within 10 years of the ban being lifted, it claimed, there would be “no more virgins” in the Islamic kingdom.

December:03:2011 - 09:03 | Comments & Trackbacks (59) | Permalink
59 Responses to “‘Beware Women’s Driving!’”
  1. 1
    Jerry M Said:
    December:03:2011 - 11:52 

    This is the worst kind of medieval thinking. For one thing nothing is stated with any detail. If morals are in decline in other Arab states, give me statistics. Yes, there will be a change if driving is allowed. Women will now be able to move about on their own without being chauferred by their husbands, sons or foreign drivers. Some women will use their freedom of movement to play around. Men already do that. If women are moral because of a cultural straightjacket that is hardly a virtue.

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    December:03:2011 - 12:02 

    @Jerry M: I agree in every particular. Incoherent fear-mongering works as a social/political tool, though, sad to say.

  3. 3
    oby Said:
    December:03:2011 - 18:44 

    hahahahaha!! What will they think up next?

  4. 4
    Solomon2 Said:
    December:03:2011 - 18:53 

    Obviously keeping women from driving is a Zionist plot! Because us Zionists must want more Arab virgins, not less, right? :)

  5. 5
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:03:2011 - 22:11 

    The money quote from the article:

    In the report Prof Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state where “all the women were looking at me”.

    “One made a gesture that made it clear that she was available,” he said. “This is what happens when women are allowed to drive.”

  6. 6
    Saudi Jawa Said:
    December:03:2011 - 23:29 

    LOL the ego on this guy is amazing!

    The stereotype of the Saudi guy abroad who thinks all the women want him is unfortunately all too true :)

  7. 7
    Sparky Said:
    December:04:2011 - 04:54 

    He should lose his degree! What a load of shit…shows lack of compassion and impaired critical thinking skills.

  8. 8
    Sparky Said:
    December:04:2011 - 08:08 

    I dought i wrote loose his degree :-)

    That is what is loose the screws in his head, not the ladies who drive…

    God protect me from the sickness around me…guard my heart and mind from sick people…like those who think because you drive that you will automatically go to copulate with losers who think because you look at them that you want to hump them incessantly such an upright figure! God please give me peace in my brain. Divine mother help me out here please!

  9. 9
    Sparky Said:
    December:04:2011 - 08:36 

    I told my students to make a revolution today. They said not while Prince Naif is here. I looked around and said where is he “in the speakers”.

    i FOUND MY grace in divine mother and she sends me message, “I have grace as I am great shit slinger.”

  10. 10
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:04:2011 - 10:59 

    @ Saudi Jawa,

    I really wish there was a way to call this guy out (publicly) and have him explain the “gesture” that the woman made toward him. What exactly did she do that indicated her availability? Men from around the world want to know what secret signal they may be missing! LOL. It’s unbelievable that a supposed “Academic” gets away with a comment like that. I suppose he was frequenting that coffee shop for research purposes. right.

  11. 11
    John Burgess Said:
    December:04:2011 - 12:10 

    @ratherdashing: A comparative study would be equally useful. Does he get more ‘gestures’ in a coffee shop in Beirut or a belly dancing club? How about a strip club in Berlin vs. a coffee shop in Abu Dhabi? Does a cerebral hemorrhage hurt more or less than a crushed ego?

  12. 12
    Dakota Said:
    December:04:2011 - 18:14 

    Someone should tell him the gesture with the middle finger is not an invitation.

  13. 13
    Dakota Said:
    December:04:2011 - 18:27 

    My understanding of the Koran is that virgins are supposed to marry virgins and the experienced are supposed to marry the experienced. If that is true, then the country is going to the devil, because it means all those men you see driving around are no longer virgins. The Saudi daughters will not have anyone to marry.

    As soon as a guy gets behind the wheel, you know he’s going to be on his way over to Battha for some “prostitution, pornography, and homosexuality”. Would you want your daughter to marry a guy who drives?

  14. 14
    John Burgess Said:
    December:04:2011 - 18:44 

    @Dakota: LOL! I had the same thought myself.

    But it is an invitation, not just what he might have been thinking.

  15. 15
    olivetheoil Said:
    December:05:2011 - 02:05 

    I am very curious as to how women driving with increase homosexuality (man on man I presume, unless he is restricting it to lesbianism). So the sight of a woman driving with turn a man gay? We really some clarification on this issue.

  16. 16
    John Burgess Said:
    December:05:2011 - 07:11 

    @olivetheoil: Isn’t that a fascinating question? Women have been driving for the whole of my life, yet…

    Perhaps we should just interpret the messages as ‘Women driving: Scarey!!’

  17. 17
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 10:05 

    Dakota # 13 was brilliant…I love it! Two thumbs up :-)

    I got rid of a lot of anger in India, but it is very easy to Re accumulate it living here!!!

    I was speaking in freaking tongues last night and i’m not talking the Holy Ghost…I’m talking about I don’t know what I’m talking about…

    I’m sick of the stupidity.

  18. 18
    Corey Macy Said:
    December:05:2011 - 11:34 

    Unsaid in this drivel passing for a news story is that Dr. Suhbi didn’t produce a “study” or “report” for the Shoura Council, but offered an unsolicited opinion on women driving based on his own observations and anecdotes from male drivers around the Gulf. Dr. Suhbi says so in his introduction. Nowhere is it reported that members of the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala actually read Dr. Suhbi’s “report,” much less that they actually delivered an announcement that women will lose their virginity if they drive. No one bothered to directly ask any member of the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala or the Shoura Council about this alleged report. Instead, the news report originated with the Egyptian publication Bikya Masr, which did not interview a single person, including Dr. Suhbi. What we have here is another exaggerated or phony news report that perpetuates Saudi stereotypes. Another “aren’t Saudis weird and sick” story. Then the blogs pick it up and report it as fact.

  19. 19
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 12:13 

    Corey, I don’t believe anyone is saying Saudis are Sick. What we are saying the excuses used and bviews by such individuals for not allowing women to drive are deficient. I think that’s the point and if you fail to see that then you are blind… So why aren’t women driving yet forbGods sake?! That is fact! Why is this a fact? Perhaps because either a significant or iinfluential bunch a very vocal and whispering into the ears of whichamacallits.

  20. 20
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 12:18 

    Who cares whether it is their opinions or a formal report THEY MUST be CHALLENGED to the last tooth and nail!!!! I say Hooray for blogs like this that allow for discourse into the WHY S… If people sit and say nothing they become like sheep in the pasture…the dogs keep them in line!

  21. 21
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 12:38 

    You know I just want someone to get my engine started…!!!

    Stop oppressing WOMEN!!!

    Respect them for what God gave them. As long as God gave me a brain I will use it for God Sake and I won’t be bullied by anyone if that makes me MASCULINE then I suppose it is what is…and I don’t give two shits or a Willie. I wish I could be sweet and feminine but I might get attacked by a pack of wolves here so better I stay the way I am

    Thank you Divine Mother.

  22. 22
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 13:21 

    I pray that I never oppress anyone so that would plan to attack me while I am asleep… Ha!

    Oppressed people will not remain oppressed forever.
    -Dr. Martin Luther King

    Good night sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite

    Oppression can only survive through silence.
    - John Locke

  23. 23
    Corey Macy Said:
    December:05:2011 - 13:48 

    @Sparky. You completely missed the point. My comments had absolutely nothing about women driving or even whether Dr. Suhbi’s report has any merit (it doesn’t). Nor do I even address the oppression of Saudi women. It had everything to do with the fact that news reports about Dr. Suhbi and the people who supposedly acted on his “study” are likely phony, faked, a hoax, lazy reporting or whatever. Call it what you will, but it appears that not a reporter talked to the good doctor, a Shoura Council member or the religious council. There is no attribution in any publication other than the website that originally published it. And even they don’t attribute their information. Yet you so enthusiastically embrace it as the gospel truth. You rather believe something on the most slim evidence because it’s in black and white. Just because the Washington Post and the Telegraph quote some itty bitty paper in Egypt doesn’t make it true. The fact is you want it to be true because the Western press says so and because this blog reposted it.

  24. 24
    John Burgess Said:
    December:05:2011 - 14:19 

    @Corey Macy: I take your advice about sourcing. But it is not just an Egyptian blog of unknown provenance that’s reporting the story. Here’s an AP piece, out of Riyadh, sourcing a Saudi activist. Perhaps he is not trustworthy, either, but it’s more than some anonymous blog. AP has a two-source rule, one I try to follow myself, counting AP as only one source.

    Yes, I thoroughly agree that Saudis get bashed unfairly on stereotypes alone. But I also know, having lived there, that many of those stereotypes are well-earned. There is nothing in the reporting of this story that is implausible on its face. There is much that seems very typical and not-in-the-least surprising. Nor have I seen Dr Suhbi screaming in the local media about being misquoted or taken out of context, never mind a flat denial that he wrote that report. Another thing I’ve learned is that senior Saudi clerics are not slow to air their grievances when they believe media have done them dirt. I have to take his silence as serving to confirm the story, if not absolutely, then at least to a considerably degree.

  25. 25
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:05:2011 - 17:36 

    yep. Professor Subhi has been quoted world-wide to have made the comment about a woman who made a gesture regarding her availability. He “reportedly” has linked her behavior with driving. So, he can now confirm the comment or retract it or deny it. I, for one, would like to hear from him.

    Prof. Subhi … are you out there? Inquiring minds want to know!

  26. 26
    Elizabeth Truesdale Said:
    December:05:2011 - 22:40 

    Great responses, all! Esp. #s 13,14! My thought was, why would they get out of the house without men for once and run right toward other men? No way. Independence, maybe, but not out of the frying pan, into the fire!

  27. 27
    Sparky Said:
    December:05:2011 - 22:40 

    No Macy I didn’t miss the point. I don’t miss the point at all ever. Thank you

    And if it isn’t Subhi it is some other A hole out that thinks that way. Fact: WOMEN STILL DON’T DRIVE. Why?

    No valid reasons given!

  28. 28
    Corey Macy Said:
    December:06:2011 - 06:54 

    Thanks, John, for the reply. The AP report handled the issue OK, although it simply reports that the activist said the the study was sent to the council. Nothing else. And no second source. The contents of the report are not in dispute and the fact it was sent to the council is not in dispute. Although the AP says it’s unclear whether the report was solicited, Dr. Subhi clearly states that he is offering it. The issue is, did the council or religious panel really act on it? Did anybody, other than Dr. Subhi, come to the conclusion that driving poses a changer to women? It’s a great leap from writing a “study” and offering it unsolicited and the country’s religious body endorsing it and making an announcement. There is just no verifiable evidence of it. Why rush to judgment unless endorsement of the study comes from the horse’s mouth? The activist is not a direct source. He is only identified as saying it was sent to the council. How does he know this? The most basic reporting should tell me what his connection is to the good doctor and the study.

    BTW, I have lived for many years in KSA and continue to do so, and agree about Saudis earning some of the stereotyping given to them. What annoys me, though, is the unsubstantiated garbage that doesn’t even meet the minimal standards of reporting passes for news and leads to unfair stereotyping. This kind of thing prompts folks like Sparky to go off the deep end over something that may or may not be true.

  29. 29
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 07:23 

    Corey I don’t care about Subhi or any other person…what I care about is the rubbish that is being fed into decision makers that affect me personally.

    Entire families are affected with the ban on driving…in a negative way. Where are those studies and research?! If it is true about Subhi’s opinions then I’m sorry to say he has gone over the deep end. Oppression “is the exercise or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.”

    Example one in the last week:

    1. I go to renew my iquama. My regular driver the one who takes me to work and back Drops me at bank. I cannot afford to have him wait for me. Those things add up quickly. I go outside to flag taxi. My house is only across street but it a six lane highway. Sparky has no death wish. The taxi driver is hostile! When he realizes how far it is he insists on 10 riyals and says nastily “if I knew you were this close I wud have not picked u up” I bit my tongue but what I wanted to say is f u mother f er.

    2. My driver charges 30 Sar for literally 5 minute drive between work and uni. After work I needed to stop at pharmacy and he said “u have five minutes cuz I have another pick up at 4″ he laughs under his breath while he says it…

    You wonder why I’m on the deep end? My kids all have activities and we all got places to go. Shall I spend my entire salary on it?

  30. 30
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 08:45 

    Why aren’t women driving?

    Stop oppressing women!!!


    This is just only one example but a significant one IMO…yes there is a crapload of other issues too but worrying about taking your business and budgeting it is a MAJOR concern too! I will speak to any sheik, prince, person, alien etc….I don’t care because there is a speech and inspired words coming.

    I rest my case but I got more later stay tuned!

  31. 31
    dan Said:
    December:06:2011 - 10:29 


    It’s not a question of whether ANY council solicited, read, endorsed, rejected or acted on the report – unless they’ve actually gone and published the procedures by which a woman can apply for a driving licence, take a driving test and get the necessary paperwork so that they can, you know, legally drive in Saudi Arabia, verifiable evidence of their interest in, or reaction to, Dr. Subhi’s report is somewhat moot.. as it’s not like he’s advocating for the banning of an activity that is not already banned by the various councils that you mention.

    All the parties that you mention would appear to be on the side of the current status quo.

    Obviously it would be great if an enterprising Saudi journalist could, you know, get in touch with the relevant figures in the Shura council, at the various ministries and on the religious council to get them to go on record, or even offer deniable comment, on this issue, and then report on it. Anyhoo, it would be interesting to know what the Saudi Arab language press is reporting on this issue.

  32. 32
    dan Said:
    December:06:2011 - 10:57 

    Sorry, that should be Saudi Arabic language press

  33. 33
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 14:11 

    Dan is the Man (wink) :-)

  34. 34
    Corey Macy Said:
    December:06:2011 - 16:21 

    Emam Al Nafjan finally sheds some light on the ruckus in the Guardian. You’ll find the link here:

    She also has a link to a rebuttal by Dr. Suhbi. In his rebuttal, which is in Arabic, he denies ever working with the Shoura Council or anybody else (as incorrectly reported in most of the press), but that someone else gave the council the report. He goes on to give a incredibly weak defense of his “study.”

    Ms. Al Nafjan notes that a Shoura Council member endorsed it (although interestingly not the council itself or the “Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala”). She doesn’t name the council member, leading yet again to casting doubt on any official sanction of the report. Anyhoo, as Dan says, Ms. Al Nafjan perhaps got closer than anybody from the Western press.
    Good work!

  35. 35
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:06:2011 - 20:32 

    @Corey Macy,

    That was good work. She offers the background to how this study made it out in the open. Here is Dr. Suhbi’s response (after Google Translate does its thing).


    Moved from a postal Abdulaziz Qassim No.: 972

    By the international consultant, Dr. Kamal bin Mohammed Subhi
    Consultant project management development and decision-making and problem-solving

    Women driving a car
    Group published a denominator that Western newspapers obtruded my name in the news of her women driving cars in Saudi Arabia. Therefore I like to draw attention to the West knows who is Kamal Subhi, and know that I followed the same methodology, the scientific and practical thinking within their own countries. The theme of women driving cars subject to rage between the different spectra in Saudi Arabia in a purely Tnziria, and these things do not involve myself in as much as possible. So I decided to see what happened to the Arab and Muslim countries that have allowed him .. Any you convert it to the subject of a field based on the results and extrapolation of reality pension in those countries. I did not say that in my study of women should not take the lead car, this (decision of the community) is also known and authorized by the Commanding Saudis, not the individual researcher or a resolution or decision or the decision of the category of news east .. Or Western!!
    And that I got you – after consulting a plan – visiting 3 Arab countries during my work which included: two in the Gulf and one in North Africa.
    And used a scientific method known and accepted in the West are direct meetings and non-systematic unstructured direct interviews with those responsible for women and society, and visit the places that I thought that the study benefit in those countries, because we did not know what we will face.
    We have found the bad aspects of the decision of the summary provided in the report, which was written in simple language to read the small and large. The summarize a magazine of 15 pages to less than half a page, written after his lose. I did not distribute it on a – as claimed in newspaper story Bank – even within a group wrote Abdulaziz Qassim only, and I challenge that no man say I gave him a copy of the study. This is my style that I write in only one place, then those who can convey what I like to write as he wished. I would like to say I was a professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and graduated with honors, so I am not a simple person that you can play with. Even if you saw me gag sometimes keeping the door of friendliness and courtesy – and most Ojaml – the Mava my mind may be entirely different from what you think. Has worked in the West with some of the Ataulthm consultants, and offered the nationality of their country, they know me and know that my way is the correct and scientific. It can not any of the wise men to respond to the Western scientific way, because they know I am right in the methodology followed by the.
    But may use some of the haters of the Saudi journalists desperate to write the report is ridiculous to care about the interests of the Saudi society and no institution of government and Akian the state and its stability, and Ajriqa to understand anything, but Mava the mind of the cost of writing the report.

    The main result of the study
    Our study does not say: It should not allow Saudi women to drive a car.
    But the study suggests, and its simplified the Saudi government to study how to deal with these problems of social and moral that would result from women driving cars, some of which is catastrophic for the ruling establishment and the state and society, if not handled well kept community cohesion moral. She explained that the Saudi government is responsible before God for maintaining the moral level of what surrounds Mecca and Medina, and it should not be overly so, otherwise you will get Malaihamd consequences, it is no more revenge from God if it violates the sacred limits.
    If it was possible to deal with the consequences of ethical bad as we have explained and we stood for in those Arab countries and we have delivered in all honesty to the guardians and Saudi officials and members of the Abdul Aziz Qasim and citizens who have received a copy of it by friends are members, who may have some of whom belong to the Consultative Council , Admin. Otherwise, the community – with the future development – is taken from the person receiving the resolution .. When McCann ready for it. Simply: what benefit if we lose the moral and social security … ? What will remain of the ruling establishment if you lose constants .. ?! Will bring people together again is simple, even Nthor .. ?! I address here only the wise. The Hotheads not Okhadobam.

    New evidence that the level of moral decline and needs a follow-up and evaluation

    Guide I: Mancherth electronic newspaper already entitled (domestic violence and infidelity gripping Kuwait) and find it on this link:
    Kuwait where the good and the other. And our relationship with them is the relationship of friendship, love and friendship, and our country is willing to sacrifice Balgali and cheap if one thought to harm Kuwait, as we did previously. Kuwait was one of the countries privileged to visit the good guys, and I visited the place, and I regret that the title has continued to progress. I hope the wise and the good guys to pay attention to this problem. The recognition of the opposite sex on the web has become easy, but moving to another place to practice adultery should not be that easy, and needs to be solutions of order. We need to pay attention to this as well. Each one of us is exposed to temptation, but the community needs to be restrictions on this matter until the Aanchr and destroys the moral community. Read the link above, and tried to imagine what is beyond that. Guide II: Mancherth already electronic newspaper titled (complaint of irregularities and illegal actions of some students of a university), and find it on this link:
    This story shows that there is a willingness exists among some of our girls throw themselves into the unknown, pretending to go to university, then go out and ride a taxi or private car and the intervention itself in a maze of breaking the future. How should I deal with these problems that seem simple and you will get complicated with time and create problems that need to know how to deal with them now?!
    Guide III: Mancherth group Abdulaziz Qassim in the letter No. 954, entitled (homosexuals impose their agenda firmly on the meetings of the General Assembly of the United Nations through international organizations for human rights) by Camellia Helmy Mohamed, what we see from the focus on women in a way where a blatant interference in the internal affairs of our country will followed by interventions, much worse.
    If we give in to this, will come the day that will come of it tells you that you should safeguard the rights of gays and appointment of ministers, managers and officials of public education and high, and perhaps bring them in prayer – and God forbid – on the grounds that all are equal in front of the system. Where they stand .. ?! Will stand at nothing, and then what will happen to us from the wrath of God Almighty, God forbid. God .. God .. O our people in Central, West and East, North and South .. Men and women .. Unite behind your Mitanasb and do with your oppression and satisfaction of your Lord, and save your country.

    Proposal for the princesses creams
    I would recommend creams princesses who are thrown in their own names in such reports that their value remains as long as this state is fine, and the covenant between them and the citizens .. !! I suggest – their views and opinion – to be more diplomatic in answering reporters’ questions seeking to entrap them and their state. If a journalist asks: What do you think of women driving cars in Saudi Arabia? Let the answer – for example: women driving a car is acceptable, if accepted by the various sections of society, and agreed that that does not affect the fundamentals of our country or reduce the level of moral. In other words, must keep the space behind you to back down and maneuver intelligently to protect your country, rather than allow the journalist to take everything he wants and then starts attacking your country. Leave some of the decisions for the future .. The haste makes waste. There is no doubt that the status of women needs to be developed, but the correct ways that preserve our country.

    Then I want to ask a simple question to the wise: Do not you see that the problems in Western countries and Eastern inspired more than the heart, and some of them almost collapsing economy .. However they have the time to follow up on women in Saudi Arabia, meticulously, as if their mother or their sister .. Or anyone assigned to them to oversee p guardian!! Not notice that they themselves Ochgloa Bamorna, they are in dire need worry after them?! I say usually, as we say: God is great on the apse and attention .. !! The consolation that reasonable people in the West know what it means change and the importance of the stability of nations, and they who Omtdham God in the Quran that they Christians closer to the believers who follow Muhammad peace be upon him.

    Lord, make me a resident Dhirata prayer and our Lord and accept the prayer, the Lord forgive me, my parents and believers on the account, God Agnni science, and Zinni dream, and honored me with piety, and Jmlna well-being. I seek refuge with You from being bad, and money to be punished, and Khalil cunning eye see me, and his heart looks after me; that saw the well-buried, and if the bad broadcast. I seek refuge from your misery and Altbaas, God does not Adrickna time does not follow the Knower and the Asthia of Halim, hearts, hearts of the Persians, and their tongues the tongues of the Arabs. I seek refuge with You from the predominance of religion and the predominance of the enemy, from the tribulation of the Antichrist, and the trials of life and death, the torment of the grave, Lord, forgive my parents .. Lord has decreed that you worship none young, O Allaah and peace and blessings be upon our master and beloved Mohammed bin Abdullah peace be upon him

  36. 36
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 22:51 

    Now women are also responsible for the collapse of the economy.

    These type of men deserve to be spat on!

    He says that he cannot be played with well I got news for Subhi and Corey “He got played!”


  37. 37
    John Burgess Said:
    December:06:2011 - 22:56 

    @Ratherdashing: This is far more nuanced than the initial reports. It’s still wrong, but it’s not just pulled out of his hat.

    I am really curious about ‘princesses creams’ though… Sounds like something from Mario Bros.

  38. 38
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 23:10 

    Its pulled out of his ass…

  39. 39
    Sparky Said:
    December:06:2011 - 23:16 

    Preservation of the Saudi states means maintaing the status quo of oppressing women and the rest of the Sadistic world sits watches and does nothing but bow for the HOLY $$$.

    They will all pay for their crimes

  40. 40
    Sparky Said:
    December:07:2011 - 03:13 

    It also occurred to me that there are good ‘people’ in the world who do go out and work to help lessen the plights of those who are less fortunate than them. These noble people may be helping people in their own backyards (countries) or elsewhere. However Subhi said exactly what I had predicted he would say. Basically he wants “outsiders” (to put it nicely I imagine their are other terms like pigs disbelievers infidels etc. But those words are only used in some circles) to focus on their own problems. He is asking people to look the other way so he can maintain his ‘comfortable’ status quo while women are oppressed. I’ve never heard a Muslim doing good deeds or caring about all those they condemn. I only hear criticism about how the women are whores and other harsh statements. So much energy, activities etc., could go into bettering the lives of women around them but they would rather condemn!

  41. 41
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:07:2011 - 06:44 


    He obviously doesn’t like the fact that his opinion got aired to Western media sources. So he tries to smooth out the rough edges of his message. I’d still like to hear what “gesture” was made by the woman that was “available” in the coffee shop.

    Dr. Subhi wants the “princess creams” (from Super Mario!) to answer the questions about women driving the same way that men in the country have been answering it for YEARS. He wants to kick that tin can further down the road and leave that decision for the future. It’s the same old stall tactic. He says its acceptable for women to drive IF society wants that and there is no loss of morality for it. This reiterates that it is NOT unlawful for a woman to drive in the KSA; it’s a societal problem and not a purely legal problem. That point needs announced from rooftops so women who are contemplating driving will know that they are not breaking the law if they drive. They are only hurting people’s fragile sensibilities.

  42. 42
    dan Said:
    December:07:2011 - 07:45 


    Thanks for the Guardian link – sadly it’s not in my paper edition today.


    Saying that it’s not illegal for women to drive, whilst simulataneously making it impossible for a woman to drive legally is the kind of bureaucratic-administrative dodge that would gladden the heart of Sir Humphrey. Basically, it IS illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, and everything else is just PR. I think that you’re spot on about the demand that the delectable creampuffs toe the line.

    In the spirit of cynical kremlinology, I’d suggest that the Saudis noted that the US, having got very close to recognising the Taliban regime in the 1990′s then did a pretty abrupt volte-face, largely over the issue of women’s rights. This mattered little during the Bush administration, which never mentioned the issue; but the current Saudi line, which afaict is a relatively new iteration, appears to be crafted with the Clinton state department in mind.

    Basically, the current dispensation regarding women driving is firm Saudi policy, and anyone who thinks that there is any substantive impetus from the top of the Saudi pyramid to change this is fooling themselves.

  43. 43
    Michel Said:
    December:07:2011 - 08:25 

    Well there is still a long way to go for that guy, he knows as much on the world as does an 8 yr old in many countries…

  44. 44
    Michel Said:
    December:07:2011 - 08:35 

    I hope Google Translate will improve, it needs to…

  45. 45
    John Burgess Said:
    December:07:2011 - 08:57 

    @dan: I’ll have to take issue with your assertion that the Bush admin. said nothing about women. I was at the US Embassy in Riyadh from 2001-2003. We certainly did say things, often. We didn’t make it a major campaign — there were other, more pressing issues — but everyone from the Ambassador on down constantly beat that drum, insisted on including women in all programs, etc.

  46. 46
    dan Said:
    December:07:2011 - 10:04 


    In the spirit of clarity, I’m specifically referring to the driving ban, not the broader panoply of women’s rights issues.

    Obviously, you have a far more privileged perch in regards to this than I do – so back in the day, was it the standard Saudi line that women driving wasn’t illegal per se, but that there was too much popular resistance to the notion for the question of administrative processes and procedures to be broached? Or, is this a newer twist on things?

  47. 47
    Sparky Said:
    December:07:2011 - 12:03 

    Princess Creams are in high demand it appears…

    Like the Princess who said

    “My guardian knows what’s best for me.”

    Well if your guardian thinks you might be or MIGHT become a whore in the near future you will be condemned to the house for an indefinite period of time because you know women only want one thing and that is to use sex to get money.

    “I believe that so long as those born of women do not respect women, there shall be no peace on Earth.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

    I agree with you Yogi Bhajan

  48. 48
    Sparky Said:
    December:07:2011 - 12:11 

    Am I going crazy but was Subhi’s paper a conspiracy paper that was exposed? If the word “cream” means cosmetics it is like a “cover up” story. Have I gone off the deep end?

    :-) I like a rough ride

  49. 49
    John Burgess Said:
    December:07:2011 - 12:54 

    @dan: Yes, that was the line then as it’s the line now.

    No, the Bush administration (or any other administration) didn’t make a huge fuss about women’s driving. Saudi women told us there were other issues higher on their agendas, like getting rid of ‘guardianship’; allowing freedom of travel; finding jobs. The Embassy officers at my time there figured that the women knew their priorities better than we hawajas, so sought to support them. Higher level Saudi officials, I’m sure, did the same eye roll we did when we got the apparently mandatory 15-minute lecture about Palestine. Lower-level officials just got annoyed.

    Did we expect to change things? Hardly. But we figured that if we kept harping on it and expressing our support for the women’s priorities, we could, like dripping water, start wearing away the stone.

    Similarly, while, for instance, breast cancer is a big issue, with lots of US government and NGO funding for programs abroad, we found that Saudi women were more concerned about other health issues: diabetes, lupus, and others. I tried to focus our programming on those issues rather than the more ‘popular’ ones.

  50. 50
    Sparky Said:
    December:07:2011 - 13:47 

    driving and all the other issues you mentioned John are interconnected in a very important way if you think about it…The women who they brought I am SURE were not representative of the the majority of the Saudi society. Their guardians just would not allow it.

    However, I do believe that you did everything you could to support women and their rights when you were there…I wish you ruled the world (* *)

  51. 51
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:07:2011 - 18:26 

    John Burgess for ruler of the world? How would he have time for the xrdarabia blog?

  52. 52
    John Burgess Said:
    December:07:2011 - 19:53 

    There’s not enough money in the world for me to take that job. But oddly, there’s no money at all in Crossroads Arabia!

    Maybe I’d better go back to school… there’s something off here.

  53. 53
    Sparky Said:
    December:08:2011 - 03:05 

    Let’ s just occupy something! Or harass the 98%!

  54. 54
    dan Said:
    December:08:2011 - 04:06 



    I do wonder though how/when/why the Saudis came up with such an awkward way of formulating the issue.

    Presumably, Saudi Arabia recognises Kuwaiti, Emirati, Qatari, Bahraini etc driving licences as valid – so in theory it ought to be legal for women holding those licences to drive?

  55. 55
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:08:2011 - 06:22 

    jumping back in …

    “In theory” there is more legal precedent to allow women to drive than to enforce the ban.

    ~ Women “drove” camels in the day of the Prophet Mohammed. So why not allow women to drive today.
    ~ The KSA honors drivers licenses from other countries for men. So why not women also?
    ~ There is no codified law that bans women from driving. Since sharia law is the basis of the legal code there is nothing written that allows the enforcement of the ban.

    … therefore, it’s legal for women to drive. In theory.

  56. 56
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:08:2011 - 06:28 

    Since we have some newer participants at xrdarabia, I feel obligated to post my arguments in favor of women driving. LOL. As always feel free to give input for improvements/additions on the list.

    * What if she gets a flat tire? She might get raped.
    - She can lock her doors and call for help. Better yet, she can travel with a young non-driving mahram or other women, if this is a legitimate fear. This will help provide safety, if men cannot be trusted to refrain from acting like animals.

    * Saudi Arabia has other problems to fix first.
    - That’s a plain and simple stall tactic. Allowing females with foreign drivers licenses to drive first can be quickly implemented. This small change won’t interrupt other problems that need fixing in the KSA. Later, licenses can be issued to women over a certain age ( ~ 22 years old) after undergoing driving instruction. Female driving instructors are already available. Later still, all women could be permitted to get a license IF THEY CHOOSE. The whole program could be stair-stepped into place over the course of a few years in order to ease the shock.

    * Saudi women don’t want this.
    - That’s correct, many Saudi women do not want this. They don’t have to drive and no female should be forced to drive. But, some Saudi women DO want this. Let them participate if their family discusses and decides upon it.

    * If she can’t speak with non-mahram men then how will she talk with a police officer?
    - A female police official can respond to the scene, if needed. Otherwise a woman should be permitted to speak with a male policeman in the case of an emergency. It’s not like they are arranging a sexual encounter.

    * Women don’t need to drive since they have drivers.
    - Some women desire to not have a driver or cannot afford one. We should allow each to decide for themselves according to their family situation. There is no need for one solution for all. What makes more sense after all … a woman driving herself or a woman alone in a car with an unrelated male driver?

    * The roads are too dangerous with crazy male drivers.
    - Then make the traffic police enforce the laws. This can be changed.

    * This is a western idea pushed to ruin Saudi society.
    - No, this is practical idea designed to give some women a little more liberty. It won’t ruin Saudi society. It will only ruin one very old taboo that should have been removed years ago.

    * Women will be bad drivers.
    - Men are already bad drivers. See, I can generalize too!

    * But, the Jews …
    - Forget the Jews for a second and think for yourself.

    * Women will have their vision impaired if they drive while covered.
    - How do Muslim women drive in other countries? A hijab (pulled back) would not be any more restricting than a regular head scarf that you see all over the world. But if a woman prefers to wear a niqab for religious reasons then maybe she would decide NOT to drive. Either way, give the woman and her family the choice.

    * There’s no reason for it.
    - Would you say the same for men if the situation were reversed? If not, why?

  57. 57
    John Burgess Said:
    December:08:2011 - 07:43 

    @dan: Officials, form the King on down, will acknowledge that there is no religious ban on women’s driving. They will also state that there is no law against women’s driving. All the points ratherdashing makes are valid. But — and this is the real issue — ‘Society is not yet ready for women to drive on the streets of the Kingdom.’ I think that that assertion is questionable, but it is very clear that there are many Saudis, male and female, who do not want to see women behind the wheel. Whatever the reasoning, whatever the fear, it is real.

    How one gets society to change its views is another question, though. Were the King to say, “Let them drive’, that could become de facto law. But the King isn’t dumb. He must believe that there is enough opposition to the idea that it would not be wise for him to do this, at the present time. He’s expressed support for women’s driving — he apparently has lots of daughters — but won’t force the issue. If the plan is to wait for all who oppose it for social reasons to die off, all I can say is, well, that is a plan.

  58. 58
    Sparky Said:
    December:08:2011 - 10:31 

    Refer back to number #39 “Preservation of the Saudi states means maintaing the status quo of oppressing women”

    I don’t know why I said Saudi States. Perhaps Saudi will partition off in the near future or something…I don’t know if I was channelling or thinking of sth. else. If Bahrain had it’s Arab Spring perhaps it would have spread to Eastern province. Does that mean it would have become Shiate and Iran would send its representatives. I doubt it. THe U.S. is starting to look very desparate as it is spouting about it IRan. I imagine it a baby who is crying for its pacifier but mommy is ignoring it. Who is mommy? I don’t know I might figure it out later.

    Yeah you are right John in #57…very diplomatically put but nonetheless true…

  59. 59
    Sparky Said:
    December:08:2011 - 13:55 

    MOMMY IS Divine Mother :-) :-) :-) OMG!

    That is freaky

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