GROWING pressure among Saudi citizens – both women and men – to have the ban on female drivers in the Islamic kingdom lifted is being viewed with grave concern by Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, who has felt compelled to issue a health warning.
Al-Luhaydan, described here as “a judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association”, declared:
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.
The learned sheikh was reacting with alarm to a campaign that is urging women to get behind the wheel on October 26.
The campaign website’s mission statement says:
The October 26th movement is a grass-root campaign by the women and men of Saudi Arabia. Its aim is to revive the demand to lift the ban on women driving. The campaign has no anti-Islamic or political agenda for neither Islam nor the official laws of Saudi prohibit women from driving. Islam and the Basic Law of Saudi Arabia both ensure that all, regardless of gender, have the right to freedom of movement. King Abdullah has also stated that the ban is only societal.
Hence this campaign was started to urge the government to issue an official decree lifting the ban.
More than 11,000 have signed the declaration that adds:
Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving, we call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass.
Sheikh al-Luhaydan urged campaigners to consider:
The mind before the heart and emotion and look at this issue with a realistic eye. The result of this is bad and they should wait and consider the negativities.
Al-Luhaydan’s statement drew immediate reaction on social media, with many Saudis ridiculing his “great scientific discoveries.” An Arabic Twitter hashtag “Women_driving_affects_ovaries_and_pelvises” was created and is going viral among Arab users.
Female twitter user @Shams_AlShmous sarcastically applauded the sheikh’s “exclusive scientific achievement.”
A female user with the name of Ms Jackson @B_B1ack tells everyone:
What’s your understanding of physiology, leave it to our Sheikh al-Luhaydan.
Another female @Mshaal80 asked whether al-Haydan:
Studied Shariah, medicine or foolishness.
And on The Muslim Issue it was suggested that driving could also have a negative effect on MALE drivers:
Completely new scientific research provided to us from Mecca tells that driving can affect the intelligence level and penis size on Muslim men. So, Saudi men should seriously consider a ban on all driving for men – and leave it up to the women.
In addition, sunshine has shown to have a severe damaging effect on Arabs, the men in particular, leading to possession of jinns. Therefore it is of the utmost sincere scientific and medical advice that Arab men must immediately cover themselves in a thick black cloak, the thicker the better, and make sure no skin can be seen at all. There should be severe punishment of Arab men who are not covered. Flogging and execution of slutty Arab men who display any skin is highly recommended.
Meanwhile, the head of the kingdom’s religious police said last week that the
Islamic sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving.
Sheikh Abdulatif al-Sheikh stressed that since he was appointed as head of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice religious police have not pursued or stopped a woman driving.
Hat tip: Angela K