Rough ride

Top Saudi Arabian cleric proclaims women drivers “a dangerous matter”

(MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

The preeminent cleric of Saudi Arabia has publicly supported the country’s ban against female drivers, claiming that driving is “a dangerous matter that exposes women to evil.” According to the Independent, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin-Abdullah al-Sheikh told the Saudi Arabian channel Almajd that men who are “obsessed with women” could bring harm to female drivers. He also contested that if women were permitted to drive, their families would not be able to keep track of their whereabouts.

Though it is not technically illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, the country does not issue licenses to females. Last year, women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for driving from the United Arab Emirates to the Saudi border.

The Grand Mufti has publicly taken a hardline stance on a number of matters pertaining to men and women alike. In March, he forbid Muslims in Saudi Arabia from playing chess, on the basis that the game shows “enmity and hatred.” He has also spoken out about Twitter, lambasting it as the “source of all devastation.”

Read the full story at The Independent.

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