Of course, ignorance knows no bounds when it comes to religious clerics of Saudi Arabia. One of the conservative clerics and well known academic of the country, Kamal Subhi, has prepared a report for Saudi Arabia’s legislative assembly, the Shura Council, says in the report that if the country allows women to drive, they (women) will lose virginity. It is simply madness and nonsense. According to this report, all girls and women who drive in other countries lose their virginity by getting behind the wheel. It is a joking logic by a so-called religious cleric. The authorities should not pay heed to the report and go ahead with reviewing the ban.
In order to detail the report, graphic warnings have been used to elaborate the so-called logic and authenticity of the report. The cleric says in the report that letting women drive would increase homosexuality, pornography and prostitution in the sacred land. The report also says that the ratio of divorce will also increase by a significant extent if the government lifts the ban.
Human rights activists and especially women who have been campaigning against the ban have rejected the report and vowed to continue pressing the government to lift the ban. The ban is not only against basic human rights but also a sheer violation of international law.
A woman campaigner told the BBC News that the head of the Shura had assured the activists to review the ban despite having opposite recommendations by the cleric. It is encouraging, indeed, that some sane voices are also there in Saudi Arabia. The activists should continue to raise the issue on all available platforms. The issue has already received deserved coverage in the international media as well. A few months back, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also called on Saudi monarchy to lift the ban as it is tantamount to suppressing female strata of the community. However, there appears to be no imminent change in the ban.
After uprising engulfed a couple of Arab countries at the start of last year, Saudi King Abdullah announced a careful reforms plan to subdue anger of the pro-democracy people. He remained successful in the move and uprising in Saudi Arabia against the monarchy has just reduced to sporadic demonstrations and that too have failed to attract large gathering. In a bid to introduce reforms in the country, the king also allowed to surface suggestions demanding review on the ban. He gave his nod for the review that angered conservative elite of the country. Religious clerics serve as a strong power base for any Saudi ruler; therefore, nobody dares to challenge them.
It is unlikely at this stage the ban would be lifted, but the activists should continue pressing the government for the review.