Saudi academic claims women drive because ‘they don’t care if they are raped’

Saudi academic claims women drive because ‘they don’t care if they are raped’ February 10, 2015

In a feeble attempt to justify Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against female drivers a Saudi academic claims Western women who drive “don’t care if they are raped on the roadside” because “sexual violence is no big deal to them.”

In a recent TV interview Saleh al-Saadoon, a prominent Saudi Arabian historian, claimed that women can be raped when a car breaks down, but Saudi Arabia protects its women from that risk by not allowing them to drive in the first place.

The bizarre remarks were made during an interview on the Saudi news show Rotana Khalijiyya airing on January 11, 2015.

The following is a translation of the interview via Raw Story:

“If a woman drives from one city to another and her car breaks down, what will become of her?” Al-Saadoon asked.

“Well, women drive in America, in Europe, and in the Arab world,” the host noted.

“They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do,” Al-Saadoon insisted.

“Hold on,” the host interrupted. “Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?”

“It’s not a big deal for them beyond the damage to their morale,” Al-Saadoon opined. “In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.”

“What is rape if not a blow to the morale of a woman?” the host pressed. “That goes deeper than the social damage.”

“But in our case it affects the family,” Al-Saadoon said.

However, the Rotana Khalijiyya host refused to accept that answer.

“What, society and the family are more important that the woman’s morale?” she shot back.

Al-Saadoon argued that morale was only “part of the problem.”

“Saudi women are driven around by their husbands, sons and brothers,” he said. “Everybody is at their service. They are like queens. A queen without a chauffeur has the honor of being driven around by her husband, brother, son and nephews. They are at the ready when she gestures with her hands.”

“You are afraid that a woman might be raped by the roadside by soldiers, but you are not afraid that she might be raped by her chauffeur?” the host pointed out.

“Of course, I am,” the historian remarked. “There is a solution but the government officials and clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.”

At this point, the host was forced to place her hand over her mouth to contain her laughter.

“Why not?” Al-Saadoon wondered. “Are you with me on this? There might be some considerable opposition to this, but…”

“Female foreign chauffeurs? Seriously?” the host said, finally losing her composure.

It is no secret that in Saudi Arabia women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In Saudi Arabia women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to work and/or marry.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Legal scholar and blogger Jonathan Turley notes the ridiculous comments made by Al-Saadoon are particularly offensive coming from a Saudi academic in a country long accused of having a culture that excuses rape.

Saudi women caught driving in the country face serious penalties, including lashing and imprisonment. Two women who defied the ban on driving last year, Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysa al-Amoudi, are being treated as terrorists, and being tried in a court that handles terror cases.

http://youtu.be/KQEeXmcWOxI
YouTube screengrab from interview

 

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