Saudi "morality police" chief says ban on women driving not part of sharia
Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving is not mandated by any text in Sharia, the Islamic legal code which forms the basis for most Saudi law, the head of its morality police told Reuters on Thursday.No kidding. Then how come there are texts in the Koran that condone enslavement of women, and declare that men are a "degree above them" (Sura 2:228)? This is exactly why the ban on women driving in the House of Saud, among other countries where Islam reigns supreme. They impose it as their way of ensuring women will remain subservient to men.
Sheikh Abdulatif Al al-Sheikh stressed that he has no authority to change Saudi policy on women driving, but his comment may feed into a national discussion in Saudi Arabia, where women have in the past been arrested for defying the ban.
Even without any specific law against women driving, women who defied the prohibition have been arrested by the country's regular police department and put on trial on charges that include causing public disturbance.
"Islamic sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving," said Al al-Sheikh, who was appointed by King Abdullah last year to head the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the formal name of the religious police.
The head of the Saudi mutawa's arguments just fall flat on the ground.