Saudi Activist Detained For Telling Women to Drive


The Saudi Arabian woman behind a social media campaign that encourages women to defy the laws of the strict Islamic country by driving cars has been detained by authorities for her actions.

According to Al Jazeera, Manal al-Sherif was detained and released on Saturday by the country’s religious police, a law enforcement body responsible for making sure Islamic law is being upheld.

Al-Sherif is the woman behind a “mass drive” protest that encourages Saudi women to get behind the wheel on June 17 of this year. She’s also part of a group of women that started a Facebook group called “Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself.” Reports al-Jazeera,

“We want to live as complete citizens, without the humiliation that we are subjected to every day because we are tied to a driver,” (a) Facebook message reads.
“We are not here to break the law or demonstrate or challenge the authorities, we are here to claim one of our simplest rights.”

Saudi women who can’t afford to hire a full-time driver must depend on male relatives to transport them, since Saudi Arabia’s government subscribes to an interpretation of Islam that bans women from getting behind the wheel.

(I didn’t realize that the Qur’an commented so extensively on cars as they relate to women, as historians tend to believe that the religious text was written prior to 650 CE.)

Saudi Woman Detained for Driving [al Jazeera English]

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