By: Mohamed Khodr
“As for the believers, both men and women they are allies to one another. They enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty and wise”
“The rights of women are sacred. See that women are maintained in the rights assigned to them.”
–Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
“Saudi Arabia is a puritanical state that claims a monopoly of wisdom and virtue”.
–The Honorable James Buchan; Scottish Novelist and Journalist
Twelve Saudis were arrested on October 26-27 for posing a grave threat to Saudi Arabia’s security and masculine misogynist interests. All were immediately charged for the same crime and referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution. The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said it has taken the appropriate measures to prevent such crimes in the future.
Their heinous crime: Driving While Female (DWF)
Sixty courageous Saudi women on October 26 dared to defy this outrageous and Un-Islamic ban on women driving despite governmental threat of arrest and punishment.
These women will be remembered as the Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia who refused to surrender their right to drive and who thus began a civil rights struggle which will take time but with God’s help will eventually succeed. Like Rosa Parks they will succeed in this noble effort during their lifetime.
This driving ban against women is simply a result of the racist and gender bias of a patriarchal and puritanical Wahbist kingdom where women are only wombs and servants to men.
Such sex discrimination goes against the most basic tenets of Islam where men and women are blessed h equal human rights..
Saudi Arabia is the ONLY Muslim nation and the only nation in the world that bans women from driving. The corollary to this is that the other 56 Muslim nations that allow women to drive are, unlike Saudi Arabia, are defying Islamic teachings.
In face of this oppressive denial of Saudi women driving there arose courageous Saudi women to challenge the all powerful whims and nonsensical fatwas of the Shura Council, a council created to subjugate the masses but avoids dealing with the corrupt immorality of the ruling family.
The most visible courageous face and voice for the right of Saudi women to drive is Manal Al Sharif; a 33 year old wife and mother of a son. She is highly educated and works in the field of computer science and software development. She has won several awards for her professional work and now for her activism to free Saudi women from the iron fist of the Shura Council.
Manal, the driving force behind the campaign to gain Saudi women the right to drive said: “We won’t stop until the first Saudi license is issued to a woman”.
Below is a Video of Manal Al-Sharif speaking. Her eloquence is incredible.
Saudi women should know that the entire world, Muslim and Non-Muslim, men and women of all ages, races, ethnic groups, and color stand with you and support your rights to live free of all oppression and have the free right to drive in your misguided country.
Islam forbids the oppression of anyone and puts the onus on the Muslim community to fight oppression anywhere and against anyone in the world be it a ruler, a government, or a group regardless of their faith until the oppression ends.
Justice is the paramount goal and objective of a Muslim society as repeatedly addressed in the Holy Qur’an. It is a religious duty and an important part of worshiping God. Thus every Muslim must stand firmly against all injustice regardless of who is the perpetrator.
God in the Qur’an says:
“O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding justice and equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and relatives. . Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God’s claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort the truth, behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do”. (Qur’an: 4:135)
“Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD’s revelations are the unjust, the evildoers”. (Qur’an: 5:45)
In Islam God tells us that He has denied himself the “Oppression” of mankind and thus forbids any oppression against humanity.
“O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another”. (as taught by our beloved Prophet Muhammad)
What God has forbidden for himself in terms of oppression let no man take it upon himself to oppress their better halves – women.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) instructed Muslims not to keep silent against any tyrant.
“The best Jihad (struggle) is to say a word of truth before a tyrant ruler”
Tragically Muslims are ignorant of the duties and demands placed on them by universal faith of Islam, slamof their faith upon them and thus endure quietly much oppression, denial of human rights, impoverishment despite the wealth available in many Muslim nations that is hoarded as the personal checking account of the ruling tyrants; as well as repeated wars and conflict the majority of which is devised by their dictators and foreign nations.
Some Qur’anic Verses on Women:
“And their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any good works you do, be you male or female – you are equal to one another”. (Qur’an: 3:195)
“And among His wonders is that He creates for you mates (males and females) so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you. In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!” (Qur’an: 30:21)
“And live with them (male and female spouses) in kindness.” (Qur’an: 4:19)
Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Teachings on Women:
“God enjoins you to treat women well, for they are your mothers, daughters, and aunts.”
“Women are the twin halves of men.”
“The world and all things in it are valuable; but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman.”
“Whoever does good for girls, it will be a curtain for him from the hell-fire.”
“Heaven lies at the feet of mothers.”
As men we owe our very lives to women who are blessed and endowed by God with maternal love, strong enduring patience, endurance, extraordinary compassion and dedication to all of her children including the very boys who like the Saudi Clerics grow up to oppress them.
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Qur’an: 4:15)
There is NOTHING in Islam that forbids women from driving nor is there a Saudi Law to such effect. This prohibition comes from the Kingly appointed Shura Council, a council of ignorant, close minded tribal misfits, short sighted, misogynistic men intoxicated with power over Saudi citizens. Their mission is to issue religious Fatwas, i.e. religious opinions (not edicts) and not laws, that have controlled every aspect of the lives of Saudi citizens.
There is not a day that goes by that a member, members, or the entire council don’t issue the most preposterous fatwas that are rejected by Muslim scholars worldwide. But by such an assembly line of intellectually vacant and often violence provoking fatwas they earn their royal salaries.
Hypocritically these hired assassins of true Islam deliberately ignore, overlook, and avoid saying a single word about the vast immoral corruption of the royal family itself. They’re there simply to whp the citizens but not the tyrants.
Yet Saudi women sent abroad by the Saudi government on educational scholarships to the West own and drive cars but upon their return home they’re denied that right.
Below is a smart satirical Video made by the courageous and talented Saudi activist Hisham Fageeh that spoofs the ban on female driving. It is a smart parody of the Bob Marley Reggae song “No woman, no cry” This video has gone viral around the world and should be shared with everyone you know.
This is a shameful stain upon a nation that spends billions of dollars to build Wahabi schools and mosques around the world. Their mission is clear; convert westerners to their strict radical sect. Hence the primary image of Islam in the west comes through such Wahabi institutions which tragically portray Islam as oppressive, radical, regressive, and misogynist.
But, let’s imagine that the Wahabis do succeed in converting the U.S. and Europe to Washabism, will they then forbid these newly converted western women from driving? If so, then Saudi Arabia will be responsible for the total collapse of the world’s economy and will create major conflicts, rebellions, revolutions, regime changes, and perhaps World War III.
The Saudi royal family and their politically convenient marriage to the dominant Wahabi sect in the country are doing more harm to Islam then all the Judeo-Christian Zionists in the West who would love nothing more than to see Islam disappear from earth. But praise be to God Islam will remain long after the disappearance of the corrupt Saudi family, their fringe sect of Washbasin, and long after all the enemies of Islam throughout the world have vanished.
Thankfully and despite all the negativity Islam is subjected to in the west and by the Saudi Wahabi sect it is still the fastest growing religion in the world. Imagine how much faster Islam would grow and spread around the world if there was not the destructive, degrading and extremist influence of Wahabism in much of the world.
[As a side note the Saudi Wahabis are not only supporting terrorism and wars abroad, especially within the Muslim world and oppressing their citizens, especially women, but they are also criminally destroying the historical heritage of Islam itself, most tragic of all is the wantong destruction of the historical sites associated with our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Where is the outrage in the Muslim world? Where is the alleged love of our Prophet Muhammad? We protested, started fires, destroyed properties, and even killed when the Danish cartoons on the Prophet came out but are inexplicably silent when buildings, wells, and sites associate with our Prophet are deliberately destroyed by the Saudi Wahabis.
This has been going on for decades without any attention from the Arab or Muslim media out of fear of what the Saudi wealth can inflict upon them.
It is left to the western media to highlight these anti-Islamic crimes. Please do read the following article that appeared in the Guardian paper in London on October 14, 2013.
“As the Hajj begins, the destruction of Mecca’s heritage continues” Pilgrims follow in the footsteps of the prophet Muhammad, but there is little of his legacy left in Islam’s holiest city.]
Islam is not the issue. The issue is the vast ignorance of the faith by Muslim men who seek power to oppress and subjugate women. We must never confuse the teachings of Islam with the practice of its wrong headed followers.
As with all governments Saudi Arabia is not immune to hypocrisy and violation of international treaties and conventions it has ratified. It was nevertheless among the first twenty nations to ratify the 1979 Convention On the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which is often described as an International Bill of Rights for Women.
The Convention defines discrimination against women as
“any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”
Signatories to this Convention agree to pass legislation and take special measures to ensure that women have equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities as men do in all aspects of societal life, including the right to vote, hold political office with equal access to education, health services, and employment.
As of July 2011, 187 states have ratified or acceded to the treaty.
Incredibly only two states, the United States and the small Pacific Island of Palau (pop. 21,000), have not ratified the Treaty although the U.S. signed it in 1980 but never ratified it.
Obviously like many nations in the world Saudi Arabia never planned to implement the treaty’s platform.
Another hypocritical move by Saudi Arabia is its strong public support for the establishment of a Human Rights Commission by the umbrella Muslim organization, the Organization of Islamic Conferences (I.O.C.), which is a representative body of all 57 Muslim majority nations. Allegedly women’s human rights will be among the issues this new Commission will address. Much like the Arab League and the United Nations, the O.I.C. is just another powerless impotent organization that is unfortunately based in Saudi Arabia.
The tragic reality is that throughout world history women have been consistently subjected to men’s domination, oppression, often enslaved and treated like property. They’ve been beaten, imprisoned, tortured, raped, and often killed.
Women till this day are still a second class citizens around the world with varying degrees of oppression, exploitation, denial of human rights, subject to slavery and sex trafficking, domestic violence, even murder.
.Men and women around the world should publicly and loudly call upon Saudi Arabia to immediately lift this outrageous and discriminatory ban on women driving.
This is an email address I found on the internet for the Saudi organization campaigning for women’s right to drive. I hope it’s correct.
Please consider sending them an email of support and letting them know they are not alone.
Thank you and God bless.