Saudi autorities threatened women in Saudi Arabia against their campaign planned for Saturday to protest a medieval ban on driving by women in the Arab country
Islam deals with women in a comprehensive way in the context of her relationship with Allah, her Creator and Lord, with herself as a part of humanity and the rights that other societies grant them in comparison to the rights to which Islam has entitled women.
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundeness of knowledge, fairness of judgement and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to under- stand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever has done this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
The Saudi women, who had originally planned a “drive-in” on Saturday, canceled it after Saudi authorities threatened many of them with legal action but announced an “open driving campaign.” An activist by name Najla al-Hariri on Friday mentioned that; “Out of caution and respect for the Interior Ministry’s warnings, we are asking women not to drive tomorrow and to change the initiative from an October 26 campaign to an open driving campaign." Many of the women said they had received threatening telephone calls from the Interior Ministry telling them not to drive on Saturday. Ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki also said that “it is known that women in Saudi are banned from driving and laws will be applied against violators and those who demonstrate in support” of this cause. Saudi officials also warned online activists against supporting the planned protest challenging the kingdom’s male-only driving rules. The cyber-dissident law “will be applied against violators” while other measures will be taken against “those who gather to support” the planned protest, the ministry said on Friday. On October 24, Amnesty International urged Saudi Arabia to respect the right of women to drive. “It is astonishing that in the 21st century the Saudi Arabian authorities continue to deny women the right to legally drive a car,” said Philip Luther, the Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa Program.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also thrown its weight behind the Saudi women’s campaign to take to the wheel in defiance of the ban. “It’s past time to address the country’s systemic discrimination; driving could open roads to reform,” said Rothna Begum, Middle East and North Africa women’s rights researcher at HRW. In 2011, dozens of women took part in a similar campaign, dubbed Women2Drive, challenging the ban. They posted on internet social networks pictures and videos of themselves while driving. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving.