After watching for so many years, I have more than enough reasons to be more than slightly suspicious of anything that appears in the Arab News.
And with that disclaimer, I present the latest evidence of social change in Saudi Arabia, as an Arab News writer reveals that women are human beings! Just like him, almost: Closing the Doors on Saudi Women.
Just a few hours after two Saudi women employees left a restaurant in the Eastern Province city of Sehat through the rear door, police and municipal officials came and locked the restaurant for three days and expelled the women on the ground that they violated the regulations.
The official reason given by the authorities was that the two women employees did not possess a health certificate as the law stipulates. But the real reason, which everyone knows, is that women are not allowed to work in a commercial establishment like this restaurant.
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Fifty years ago, a black woman in the state of Alabama boarded a bus. She sat in the first seat that was available, which was in the front of the bus. The driver asked her to sit in the back, which was reserved for black people because the front seats were for only white people according to the state law. She refused to give up her seat and to get off the bus. A dispute erupted over the issue and it ended with the judge issuing a rule to ban racial discrimination.
Here, we see two women trying to work in a public place according to the law and away from mixing up with men. Despite that, they were thrown out under a frivolous reason, which everyone knows is just an excuse to restrict women. This is a clear discrimination and is against the Islamic principle, which says everything is permissible unless there is a clear statement in the Qur’an or Sunnah banning it. It is also against one thousand years of Saudi women’s tradition of working in public market.
The extremism we witness around us now is what we have been accustomed to for the past several years, especially in social matters. This extremism is quite in keeping with intellectual terrorism, which leads to political and security terrorism as we see now.
keep in mind that Arab News is one of Saudi Arabia’s main conduits to the English-speaking world, and it’s undoubtedly tightly controlled by the Saudi Authority.