Thanks, Sheikh, But My Pelvis Is Fine

Editor’s note: I would like to welcome Nicole Hunter Mostafa, a past MMW guest contributor, on board as our newest regular writer!

Currently in Saudi Arabia, sisters are attempting to do things for themselves. There is a movement afoot. Saudi women are being encouraged to drive on October 26, in defiance of the de facto ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.*

Last week, as the movement ramped up, a Saudi sheikh, Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, told the Saudi online newspaper Sabq that driving

“could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees.”

Um…what?

When word started going around that a sheikh in Saudi Arabia had made this proclamation, the first thing I thought of was the “babies in burqas” incident from last year, in which a nobody “cleric” (who is in no way affiliated with the Saudi government, but you wouldn’t know that by reading the English media coverage of it) was handed international infamy because of statements he made on YouTube months prior to the burst of media coverage…and which almost no one had seen or otherwise given any attention to until then.

I wondered if the “rolled-up pelvises” statement might be along the same lines: an insignificant nobody making a ridiculous YouTube fatwa (and as we all know, if there’s one word that causes Western media to fly into chickens-with-their-heads-cut-off mode, it’s “fatwa”…well, okay, that comes in second only to “jihad”). But as it turns out, this guy actually does have some kind of “credibility.” According to Al Arabiya news, he’s a “judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association.” [Read more...]