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Woman Arrested For Driving in Saudi Arabia (VIDEO)

Woman Arrested For Driving in Saudi Arabia (VIDEO)

A Saudi woman, Manil al-Sharif, was detained by Saudi Arabia’s religious police on Saturday after driving in the eastern city of Khobar. Al-Sharif had a friend videotape her driving and posted the video on YouTube and on the Facebook page, “Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself,” that she and other Saudi women started. 

Via Facebook, al-Sharif and others have called for a lifting of the driving ban on women. They have called for a “mass drive” on June 17; so far, over 12,000 are supporting their efforts. In this video, al-Sharif describes how women can participate in the June 17th movement.

Women in the ultra-conservative Wahhabi state are also not allowed to vote except for chamber of commerce elections in cities, sit on the King’s Cabinet, travel without permission from a male guardian or “mingle with males who are not their husbands or brothers,” says MSNBC.

According to human rights activist Walid Abou el-Kheir, said al-Sherif, the Saudi religious police are “charged with ensuring the kingdom’s rigid interpretation of Islamic teachings are observed.” Women, both Saudi and foreign, are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia; as MSNBC notes, women must hire a driver for $300 – $400 a month. If they are unable to afford this, they have to rely on male relatives to get to work or go anywhere.

MSNBC describes the video made by al-Sharif and her friend:

Dressed in a headscarf and the all-encompassing black abaya all women must wear in public, al-Sharif said not all Saudi women are “queens” who can afford to hire a driver. She extolled the virtues of driving for women, saying it can save lives, and time, as well as a woman’s dignity. Al-Sharif said she learned how to drive at the age of 30 in New Hampshire.

“We are humiliated sometimes because we can’t find a taxi to take us to work,” she said.

After al-Sharif was arrested, activists and others started an outcry on Twitter, using the tags #FreeManal! and #Women2Drive. The Associated Press reports that al-Sharif was released after a few hours — but then, a few hours later, it was reported on the Twitter feed of Women2Drive that, in the middle of the night,

“Manal is being arrested now from her house again by Gov police for driving in #Khobar streets.”

As reported via the Women2Drive Twitter account, the police — apparently the secret police in plainclothes — did not have an “arrest memo” and al-Sharif and her brother were refusing to let them in.

We will be updating this post as more reports about Manal al-Sharif are received.

 


 

Update, 11:00 pm EST: Via the Twitter account of Ana3rabeya: Manal al-Sharif is being detained at the Khobar Police Station – Criminal Investigation Unit.

 


 

Please sign the petition to end the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and support Manal al-Sharif’s efforts.

 

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Photo taken in a souq in Saudi Arabia by retlaw snellac.

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158 comments

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7:49AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

HOW ABOUT REVERSING THE ROLE, MEN ARE ARRESTED FOR DRIVING? HOW ABOUT THAT? I DON'T CARE WHO I OFFEND FROM THAT PART OF THE WORLD THAT'S IN AGREEMENT WITH SUCH SELFISH ACTS TOWARDS YOUR WOMEN, THEY CAN'T COMPETE IN THE OLYMPICS, THEY CAN'T DRIVE, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THEY WILL HAVE TO ASK TO PISS! IT'S OK FOR SOME OF YOUR COUNTRY MEN TO HAVE AN AFFAIR BUT LET THE WOMEN DO IT, SHE'S F*CKIN DEAD EITHER WAY. THESE RULES ARE MADE UP BY YOU, NOT YOUR ALLAH, BUT YOU. ALLAH DID NOT INTEND FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE IN BONDAGE, YES, AMERICA HAS DONE IT'S OWN PEOPLE WRONG AND THEY HAVE AND IS STILL PAYING FOR IT. I AM IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH CISSY L. SO DON'T GET DEFENSIVE BECAUSE. PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO VOICE THEIR OPINIONS.

9:29AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Being arrested for wanting to drive is ridiculous. This is a disgraceful time for all Arab men, please let your women drive. Because the only real sin is "the people of the Arab world" listening to and obeying “the man made laws invented by their religious leaders!"

1:38AM PDT on May 30, 2011

The incredibly restrictive laws and customs of Saudi Arabia are criticized even by many Muslims, who see them as burdensome and not related to Islam. Whenever extremist fundamentalists are in power, no matter what religion they promote civil rights tend to be routinely ignored.

11:51AM PDT on May 29, 2011

Further continued:
If a man accuses his wife of unchastity, her testimony will not be considered at all according to the Bible. The accused wife has to be subjected to a trial by ordeal. In this trial, the wife faces a complex and humiliating ritual which was supposed to prove her guilt or innocence (Num. 5:11-31). If she is found guilty after this ordeal, she will be sentenced to death. If she is found not guilty, her husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing.
Besides, if a man takes a woman as a wife and then accuses her of not being a virgin, her own testimony will not count. Her parents had to bring evidence of her virginity before the elders of the town. If the parents could not prove the innocence of their daughter, she would be stoned to death on her father's doorsteps. If the parents were able to prove her innocence, the husband would only be fined one hundred shekels of silver and he could not divorce his wife as long as he lived. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

additionally women are blamed eternally for the original sin, deemed twice unclean for having a girl born rather than a male child, cursed by the Bible to bear the pain of childbirth forever as a punishment etc etc.

And you are out to accuse Islam as being primitive and rigid?

11:46AM PDT on May 29, 2011

Drivin Russell: So does christianity give women more rights or respect? Lets see:

"likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works." 1 Timothy 2:9-10. See also 1 Pet 3:3; Isa 3:18-23.

"For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered." 1 Corinthians 11:6

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?" (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV).

Islam at least lets them speak, christianity shuts them up altogether.

3:53AM PDT on May 29, 2011

I am sure it is easy to ignire a lot of things and distort further others if you are a country in power today, dictating what others what they should believe or not, do or not or risk the fact that uncle sam will be there with their battery of arsenal to blow you contry back to the stone ages, bomb your house and kill you children and women.

Islam has not iniated war on several countries and killed thousands and millios to search for some phantom organisation or people. the current war / crusade was started by peaceful christians who were trained to turn the other cheek.

And the irony of it all as well as the stupidity is that while you peace lovers are killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, it is actually the victims of your war that are racist, biased, hate filled, barbarians and a threat to some notion of freedom. freedom that is only a right of the Americans it seems and not of the rest of the world it chooses to wage war against.

Your attempts to having understood Islam and portray it as some death-cult are totally out of sync as well as out of context. even the quotation adn the commentary do not match.

and for God's sake read all of my comments on the article. If you dont have time to do so dont pretend to be informed enough to make comments.

11:23PM PDT on May 26, 2011

It's EASY to IGNORE the BRAYING LIES of Ameer T, our own "Tila Taquiyya", who thinx we in 'The World' know NOTHING about HIS favorite RACIST, HATE-BASED deathcult, Islam!

Koran 33: 32-33 “O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire to you, but utter customary speech And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the time of ignorance. Be regular in prayer, & pay the poor due, & obey Allah & His Messenger...”

"She should stay at home & get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbors & only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband & respect him in his presence & his absence & seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission & if gives his permission she must leave surreptitiously. " - al-Gazali (2nd after Mo-Mo in status!)

Just 2 of DOZENS that proscribe women's activities!

I remember how WE on the US Left in 1990 resisted Bush 41's call to INVADE Kuwait & instead argued AGAINST it, 'cos Muslims OPPRESS WOMEN & the Saudis WON'T LET 'EM DRIVE!

You DO remember, DON'T YOU, America?!?!

2:34PM PDT on May 24, 2011

I believe that no one is the owner or master of any human being , man or woman child or animal, I believe in evolution and my place is the world and humanity my tribe , the ones that need to have power on any body or anything are the weakest and insane, the only power to control is your own .....dont´be afraid....ok everything is within you .... and you know that.....bless you

1:36PM PDT on May 24, 2011

As much as i hate men who drink and drive i hate women who drink and COMMENT on care2.

I agree that money doesn't give anybody brains but being white also doesn't give you the right to determine what other cultures can't practice.

1:28PM PDT on May 24, 2011

As much as i hate men who drink and drive i hate women who drink and COMMENT on care2.

No one is against the fact that women should not be allowed to drive and i certainly am not one of those who want to put women in a cage. But fix things at home first before you begin pointing fingers at others.

i am sure that this is issue enough for America to attack Saudi Arabia on the pretext of restoring women the liberty of being able to drive. In fact, some Americans have begun fighting here already.

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