Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saudi Arabia - Bra burning in the Kingdom?

Not exactly. But this article illustrates how far behind the Western world the Muslim world is.

It is hailed as a major step forward for women's emancipation in Saudi Arabia: in the coming weeks they will enjoy the right to buy lingerie from female shop assistants.

But they've a long long way to go.

Women were denied the vote in last year's local elections. But they are being elected to professional guilds.

"We thought men would never vote for us and that it would be mission impossible," said one of the women elected, Madani Al-Hassoun. Like many pioneering women in Saudi Arabia, she emphasised the need to move cautiously. "We have to go steadily and respect the tradition," she said.

King Abdallah has publicly floated the idea of abolishing the ban on women driving cars but the roads remain an all-male preserve.

In Saudi Arabia, women can't drive or vote, gays are persecuted, Christians are persecuted and Bibles are banned. Tell me again how Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance.


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