Saudi Hypocrisy and Empowered Women

Amal Zahid is a renowned Saudi columnist and writer. I used to read her articles as a kid in Sayidaty * (my mother used to be an avid reader of that magazine during the 90’s). Currently she heads the women’s committee of Madinah Literature Club and writes regularly for Al-Watan daily, which boasts a refreshing roster of liberal leaning writers.

Two of her recent articles especially worth mentioning because they touch on some usual issues from unusual angles, namely: the Commission and women’s driving.

So while the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice can be easily criticized for many of the lunacies they commit, Amal Zahid chooses to take a bird’s eye view by asking: what’s the point of virtue if it is forcibly imposed on people? As she correctly notes, this only reinforces the hypocrisy that has become so common and even acceptable in this country. It seems that it is no longer weird or frowned upon to see many Saudis who lead a double life: religious, conservative and conformist on the outside; another one that is wild and extreme when they are away from the watchful eye of society.

The second article did not even make it to the newspaper. As I previously said here, women’s driving and mahram are off-limits to the local media now. But as you probably already know, censorship is no longer effective. Only a few hours after she was told about the ban, the article was promptly published online on several websites. Oh, the beauty of the web!

Amal Zahid believes, like I do, that it would only take a decision by the King to put this whole issue behind us. “It is only then that they will shut up and submit,” she said about the opponents. Zahid also wonders how this issue will be viewed by the many young women, including her own daughter, who currently study abroad as part of the large scholarships program launched by the government few years ago.

I think it will be interesting to see what would happen with tens of thousands of Saudi students once they come back home after years of living abroad. A friend of mine told me not to hold my breath because when those sent in the 70’s on scholarships came back they did not do much to reform their country. Nothing happened. What would you think this time will be any different, my friend asked.

The answer is women. The current foreign scholarships program include a big number of girls, and I believe they will be the engine of change. It is hard to imagine that these young women will settle for the restrictions unfairly imposed on them here after the kind of freedom and independence they enjoyed abroad.

Unlike Saudi men who are not bothered by the hypocrisy of leading two different lifestyles between abroad and at home, Saudi women will be determined more than ever to gain their rights and make the changes needed to reform this nation. Women activists have always complained that their calls don’t echo among regular women here because they are so domesticated and blinded into believing that their life is perfect and perfectly normal. Things will be different when the scholarships girls return home.

Also by Amal Zahid:

* Correction: Amal told me that it was her cousin, Ommaima, who used to write for Sayidaty. Before writing for al-Watan, Amal wrote in al-Jazirah and Asharq al-Awsat.

39 thoughts on “Saudi Hypocrisy and Empowered Women

  1. So sorry to tell u that the women returning from scholarships will not change a thing… that is just some wishful thinking and at most… a pipe dream.

    I hope and wish that I am wrong about this.

  2. I admire your courage to speak out loud with this level of honesty! you are a true Saudi patriot who wants to make a change, unlike what others might say that you’re just not satisfied with anything.

    Keep going Ahmed, God bless.

  3. the main issue of this article is freedom for women. It seems that women in Saudi has been held captive by their household and by the government.

    I would always support freedom for women to drive and to work and to express themselves. But I stop here.

    May I ask, what is it that you Saudi want to gain from the freedom of women.

    I would like to highlight a few thing that had happened in Malaysia due to freedom and empowerment to women, and I hope you guys in Saudi had had a good preparation to prevent this catastrophe from happening in your country:
    1. It is recorded from 2000-2007 that nearly 300 000 babies were born without father, out of wedlock, or simply put as the aftermaths of zina. 70% of this babies were born by Muslims women. Their birth registration had no name of a father. Is this good or is this bad? So I believe that forcing virtue on human is a must. Waqmur bil makruf wanhau anil munkar! What is worse was we had seen here in Malaysia many babies thrown into the rubbish bin, abandoned by their mothers. Nauzubillah…

    2. About 1 million of drug addicts in Malaysia rehabilitation centers. 70% of this is Muslims. Research conducted had shown that one of the main reason for this people to start their addiction was because they feel that they were abandoned by their parents. Further research had shown that they came from middle income families that both their parents, father and mother works to earn a living. Do you guys want this to happen in Saudi? The report suggest that one of the parents should stay at home. So brother, would you want to stay at home at take care of your child, or you rather let your wife do the nursing and bringing up of your children?
    3. Recently recorded number of hooker/whores in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia = 15000. That number is for Kuala Lumpur, a small metropolitan in my country. Innalillahiwainna ilaihirojiuuun.

    By the way, here in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Saudi women observed dual life too. When they first came here, all of them wear decent clothing. Now most had abandoned their jilbab/hijab, showing their hair to public in public places. And I saw them taking of their jilbab on the plane to Kuala Lumpur. I am not proud to see all this happening in front of my eyes.

    Freedom come at a very high price. Be prepare to see your child came home pregnant without a father. Be prepared to received news of overdosed nephew died on your neighbors lawn.

  4. “Things will be different when the scholarships girls return home.”

    you mean advocating for pre-marital sex, to dress like whores, making homosexuality legal, just to name a few.

  5. Khair, you wrote:

    “So I believe that forcing virtue on human is a must.”

    S.., you wrote:

    “you mean advocating for pre-marital sex, to dress like whores, making homosexuality legal, just to name a few.”

    A woman has to answer to God for herself, and if she respects herself, her God and her family and her faith, she will dress modestly and obey the teachings of her God. She does not need the “help” of oppressive men. She answers to God. He is fully capable of taking care of His own and He does NOT need religious police keeping women in bondage. Each of us needs to make sure of ourselves.

    Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet worth something so let’s follow what he had to say: Stop trying to get the speck of sawdust out of your brother’s eye when you have a log in your own (see Matthew 7).

    Women can respect God, obey the teachings of their faith and bring honor to their families withOUT doing what YOU think is necessary for that. Why not let women be accountable to God instead of making them accountable to you? Give them enough credit that they will fear God and obey Him without YOU having to force them to obey.

    In other words, respect women. They are smart enough to make good choices. Let God be God and you just worry about your own standing before Him.

  6. Women activists have always complained that their calls don’t echo among regular women here because they are so domesticated and blinded into believing that their life is perfect and perfectly normal.


    When Women Activists look down on “regular” woman like this and treat them as sheep is insulting to “regular” women, who apparently might as well be retarded.

  7. This is an interesting idea- that returning women will be the catalyst for change. I don’t know, but I do know that freedoms such as driving and working are basic freedoms in contemporary society- even Arab society -not to be denied to anyone because of gender.

    That said, I hasten to add that children and households thrive better when a homemaker is in residence. This is a documented fact.

    However, a small percentage of women will always be unable or unwilling to bear children. Some will have an extraverted personality, or be civic minded, or intellectually gifted, and have a genuine need of expressing their talents within the greater society.

    These women should not be thwared, as their contributions could enhance the lives of everyone.

  8. The fear of Khair on the virtues of the general society is exactly the fear that stops many Saudi men from granting women any control over their own lives. I would say that both men and women share the responsibilities on making a value-oriented household and on raising healthy & drugs-free children. It’s not fair to hold women accountable for such failures if she drives a car or pursue an education or a career. Saudi teen drug-addicts are outnumbered in rural areas where women are locked at homes, and for the records Khair, there will be always in every society women and men who wouldn’t follow Islamic teaching fully, and that is their choice, statistics will be the only difference in making this obvious or not in any given society. It’s not only Saudi women who may not follow imposed code of conduct once outside the country, Saudi men are known of abandoning their Islamic codes of conduct as well, with a disastrous outcome of children born from quick marriages and abandoned before the father is ever located, we have a volunteer organization to locate those children and take care of their paperwork and reconnect them with their presumed fathers. To use your example of increased out of wedlock births in Malaysia, I would like to hint to the fact that it’s not only women who caused this, some men must have been involved as well. It’s a deterioration of values from both sexes. Please remember that no matter what you do, people will not follow anything they don’t fully believe in. Virtues should be encouraged and promoted but not enforced, even in the Quran (call for your God’s path with wisdom and maw3za hasana) and not by forcing it. Having a freedom of commuting or choice of work or education is irrelevant to lack of virtues or promotion of vice. Seeing women publicly will not cause by itself vice and evil. Educated and society-involved women are more likely to observe their reputation and cherish their achievements more, beside the fact that the financial income will be a security factor than those women who depends on someone to fulfill their needs.

  9. First of all, i am one of those saudi women studying abroad and when i finally do go back to Saudi i plan to apply what i’ve learned and help Saudi society come into the 21st century and grant women thier BASIC and inherent rights.

    My second point is that granting women their rights such as driving and having women in the workplace does not mean that women are going to transform into drug addict prostitutes. This idea of women’s rights leading to moral corruption is RIDICULOUS and insulting. With all the freedoms i’ve experienced abroad NEVER have i partaken in any of those things people have mentioned in the above comments.
    It all comes down to the environment people have been raised in. If a person, MAN OR WOMAN, is raised in a hypocritical, corrupt or morally bankrupt environment then they will act accordingly. If they are taught and grow up with morality, honesty, fairness, etc, then they will posses those qualities. People act the way they do based on what their families teach them, their socioeconomic status, and the opportunities they have in their lives. Granting women freedom is not related to people doing things that are Haram. furthermore, men in Saudi should not preach/condone sex after marraige on women if they do not follow that rule themselves. It is an islamic rule that applies to BOTH men and women so enough with the double standard.

  10. I never said that the responsibility of raising children be put on the women shoulders alone. I am saying that, the task of raising children suited the women better. Women are better at raising children. As for the men, it our responsibility to help our women/wives/daughter to pursue their ambition.

    All I am asking here is to have a proper plan. To follow the Quran in order to avoid the catastrophe that had befallen women and children without father in my country.

    Is it shameful to stay home and raise your kids?

    If the teenagers in rural areas are taking drugs, then it is not the fault of the mother alone. The father must take resposibility too. And of course the society surrounding th teens. And ultimately the government/leader must be responsible too.

    Of course “The hand that rock the cradle could rule the world” if given the same opportunity as given to men.

    Back to my original question – what do you want to gain by giving freedom to women? And of course, the need for a good plan in place.

    If Matthew had said that we must paddle our own boat, paddle wy own boat it is that I am doing. I am just giving warning to my fellow human to not damage their beautiful boat. I am crying wolf when I saw one. I am giving warning before things start to get out of hand.

  11. I think Hala and Sara said everything I wanted to say, but I feel that I need to let some steam off.

    What is happening to women in KSA is by no means supported by our religion. the argument Khair made about women turning into whores once they are granted freedom kinda gives the idea that women are simple minded creatures who are constantly in need of being watched. the sin of (zinah) falls on both males and females. if there were no males who supported the spread of this vice, women wouldn’t have turned into whores.
    second of all, we are asking for freedom yes, but not absolute freedom. what we’re asking for is to seek some mid grounds. so far, the Saudi society is sitting on the extreme end. it’s chaining women!
    I had some problems with the wording and the phrasing of some comments here. I’ll quote a few:
    ” So brother, would you want to stay at home at take care of your child, or you rather let your wife do the nursing and bringing up of your children?”
    please don’t take this the wrong way.
    what I got from this comment is the same old argument I’ve been hearing repeatedly for years in our so called heavenly society. A woman’s place is at home, in the kitchen, with her kids. if that woman wanted to pursue a career, then it would be hard because her selfish husband does not want to help with the upbringing of the kids, which is by the way his duty as much as it it’s hers.
    Then, we’ll find the very same guy, years later, roaming the whole country in search of a female employee to see to the needs of his family whether medical, educational, or financial.
    also, reading this very same line kinda gave me the impression that women must be the ones always compromising and making sacrifices. she would have to give up her dreams, her goals, her ambitions just because some guy happened to have a problem sharing the responsibility of bringing up his kids.
    A woman is human, just like you!
    2- “I believe that forcing virtue on human is a must.”
    and this human can only be a woman because men are righteous by nature!

    3- ” you mean advocating for pre-marital sex, to dress like whores, making homosexuality legal, just to name a few”
    unfortunately, whenever someone mentions freedom, these are the first ideas that come to your minds.
    people tend to think that just because a person studied abroad, their ideas would be corrupt, and not suited for an Islamic society. and by the way, judging something, in this case a person whom you have never met your entire life without any proof to support your claims is un-Islamic.
    Western societies enjoy almost the extreme form of freedom. our society forces the extreme opposite. and as I stated before, what we want is at least a try to execute the Islamic laws as they are. we want some mid grounds.
    no more extremes!

  12. don’t hold your breath for the people that have been sent abroad.. if they act or think anyway different that the way Saudis around them abroad they fight you.. they live two faced one for the people of the country they are in and one is still where every thing is very tabooed for the Saudi community that is there.. a lot of people go and come back worse than the way they went.. even if they acted differently there when they come back people are always at a watch at them of how different they become and if they start talking with any new ideas they are attacked vigourasly because they think if they do that then these changed people would get back to reality of Saudi life again and submitted to the way of life here and that is cocooned.

  13. I was in a conference recently and I am very independent and lived half of my life abroad.. because I was a woman alone every move I made was watched by the colleagues around me including if I sat in the lobby drinking tea alone.. if I was standing to take a taxi to go some where they were asking if I felt safe enough to take a taxi alone.. they wanted to chaperoned me around.. I lived in NY city taken taxies in midnight.. when I refused there offers they looked at me in resentment and one of the men was sending me dirty looks.. I don’t need a man to take my hand and put me in a taxi.. I have taken care of my self for a very long time alone.. one older woman wanted to take me to my room because it was 10 pm from the restaurant the group was having dinner.. when I said no thank you she asked me is it because I want to stay out late and hang around in the bar or lobby.. why assume that? I do not understand.. people look scared if a woman acts totally independent because to them it means that they will lose the controlling power over her and the horror of horror oh my god! what if women are going to run lose in the streets what are they going to do run wild without common sense?

  14. I love Al Watan newspaper, I find it daring and objective at some points but they really twist my knickers when they censor my comments!! damn you comment editors!

    I do believe Saudi have changed a lot in the last years. Taboos are being broken, gigantic elephants in rooms being shaken down one by one… i will take a while.. but as long as there is a will to change.

    Recently I saw on TV a Sheikh explaining how women can travel inside their local city without a mahram.. and that they only need them when Traveling for outside of town.. etc. The topic and the Language struck me as a bolt.. I was really interested because it seems though subtle.. its an attempt to loosen up the Mahram issue.. which in effect would open up a lot of room to debate women driving.

    I personally hope women get their car keys and we get over this already..Just make sure that Everybody.. man or women can drive decently instead of morons driving like irresponsible baboons.

  15. This country is suffering from a major identity crisis, so don’t expect change anytime soon. If you have people correlating women’s rights to the gateways of immoral decadence, it kind of feels we’re in the shitter.

  16. I would offer a few observations.

    1) Women returning may well bring with them a sense of dissatisfaction with the strictures of Saudi society. However, such discontent, by itself, will be insufficient to cause real change, although it is necessary that discontentment exist if change is to occur.
    2) Men and women will need to also develop a clear and convincing set of arguments why the ulemaa are wrong. So long as the ulemaa claim that their views are based on religion then many will be unwilling to challenge those views, even if they dislike the views. A theological basis for why the ulemaa in the Kingdom is wrong must be developed; this should not be hard as the Quran provides no basis for their obscurantist views, but it must be done and disseminated.
    3) The ulemaa should never be underestimated. They are strongly wedded to the power and privileges they hold, and will use any device at their disposal to retain those privileges and power.
    4) Their must continue to be, and at an increased rate, interest in civil society for this to occur. The Kingdom has so little apparent interest in the public display of the arts, music, literature, etc. and this lack of interest in any public activity, save for religion, means that the path to social enlightenment will be much harder. A Saudi symphony orchestra playing works by Beethoven is currently unthinkable, and that lack of public alternatives impoverishes the cultural debate in the Kingdom.

  17. Saudi men mostly believe that women are beneath notice, and conferring them
    their rights will only make THEM feel intimidated and less-superior than they truly are.

  18. Ahmed, are you the far left that is trying to balance out the far right?
    I don’t really know where you get your information from, but in Manchester a lot of Saudi women on scholership can’t wait to finish their studies and go back to what they call a ‘conservative and safe enviroment’ where not everyone judges them based on their level of looks and make-up-build-up
    Quite frankly, I would love it for women to drive and men not to be allowed to drive, that way I can have my own personal driver and sit back and relax.

  19. I sat discussing with my 15 year old niece in-law about her choices for college and career. She having lost her father several years ago needs to be more independent as she has even less choices of Saudi girls with fathers. her mother spoke of the scholarships over seas and than I asked “Who will go with her?”

    Even attending college with a saudi scholarship in another land a woman must adhere to some scewed view of male dominance over a woman. One must go to protect her, guide her, and be a guardian as she has a womb afterall. She isn’t viewed as a capable student living abroad like men are.

    considering that do you really think these women are that delusional to think they will return home to some massive change in Saudi society? Unlike men they have a constant reminder that even globally they are controlled in some way and limited in movement and freedom.

    On another issue, I am absolutely astounded that people in our ummah actually equate the freedom of women to sexual looseness and downfall of society. Women are assumed the downfall of all of society simply because they call upon their rights as Muslim to some freedom? And where are the men in all of this? How strong are these protectors of society that they come to a downfall as well?

    Just to note, zina happens every day in Saudi. Babies are aborted or abandoned from unwanted pregnancies all the time in Saudi. Drug use and alcohol use is very high and on the increase. children are abused every single day. Women are abused every single day. And both are sexually abused on a daily basis from their stronger guardian men. To assume our freedoms as women is some how going to be the downfall of Saudi society is to ignore the evils that already exist here.

  20. I see you are all under different assumptions of what freedom is, what it entails at both the societal and individual levels. Also at some level some of you adhere to the Christian and Jewish scriptures that state Eve is solely responsible for bringing the house down and poor Adam was hog tied and a submissive bystander that said, “yes, dear”… And I see reaffirmed that your societies’ views are colored darkly on sex, as if the only thing a human brain is capable of is to think, seek and satisfy sexual desire. And for those who say a woman’s place is not just the home, you still state that only the childless by either choice or physical defect should be allowed to do more- a dangerous argument if the declining birth rates in Japan and Spain are any indication. And what will the future generations of Saudis be like if they are educated at home by women not taught and allowed to use her mental skills to think out of the box- a box currently encrusted with a host of contradictory notions of what a functioning society should hold. All extremes are dangerous; the prison mentality only accentuates it more.

    So Saudis- decide, define, and plan based on what is true- not what you pick up from others, not on assumptions- because we all know what happens when you make an assumption…you make an ass out of you and me.

  21. I would note that the discussion may be falling into a debating fallacy often employed by the ulemaa.
    The choices before the Kingdom are not binary — NOT between either (1) unlimited and total zina in any and every venue regardless of decorum, or (2) a governmentally-empowered Committee that proscribes individual freedom and liberty in the name of the ulemaa.

    Moreover, inasmuch as the ulemaa effectively prohibits any and all serious inquiry into the level of: alcohol use, physical abuse of women, psychological abuse of women, sexual activity, etc. it is impossible to draw any firm opinions regarding whether the incidence of these phenomena are rising or not.

    It remains a serious problem for the Kingdom, however, that knowledge itself is an enemy of the ulemaa, and that the ulemaa have such power — knowledge of the personal anguish in Saudis’ lives due to abuse, knowledge of the authentic history of the Arabian peninsula, and knowledge of the diversity of thought within the Kingdom. All this knowledge is currently off-limits for discussion, and such ignorance is demanded by the ulemaa in the name of religion.
    We might all ask ourselves whether ignorance is a worthy goal to have Saudi society espouse, even if we personally can find ways to evade these limits on knowledge through the internet.

  22. There is a hadith of the Holy Prophet (SAW) that a day would come when the Ulema would be the worst creatures under the canopy of the heavens. The Holy Qur’an describes the Jews as only having an outward appearance of religiousness while inside they would be filled with deceit and evil thoughts, just like the Ulema of today. What these Ulema are doing are denying everything and making Islam repugnant to women, the same women under whose feet paradise resides–provided that they raise their children in a righteous way.

    The best way to prevent Zina is by having real fear of God, not of any false idols like ulema or some earthly law. And that fear shouldn’t be like a person who fears a dictator, but the fear a lover has that he should upset the lovee. When the Holy Prophet (SAW) pointed to his chest three times and said that Taqwa is in the heart, then who can regulate Taqwa into the hearts of people? If people could not imagine even the thought of Zina because of how their relationship with God would be affected, then there is no doubt that worries about Zina would finish. Of course, prevention is the best cure which is why the Holy Qur’an prescribes Ghadde Basir and that women should cover their beauty.

    I want to quote Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (AS), founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, regarding the rights of women:

    The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the perfect example for us in every aspect of life. Study his life and see how he conducted himself in relation to women. In my esteem, a man who stands up against a woman is a coward and not a man. If you study
    the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) you will find that he was so gracious that,despite his station of dignity, he would stop even for an old woman and would not move on until she permitted him to do so.
    [Malfuzat, vol. 4, p. 44]

  23. Today, after 19 years of being part of a segregated country, i got an oppurtunity to visit a hospital administration. I’ve always thoughts hospitals in ksa to be one place where there is a considerable mingling of opposite sex, perhaps my thoughts are limited to the clinic floors and not to the administartion.
    The lift that elevated us to the administration was full of men & black clad women but as it ascended &paused at several floors the number of women decreased until i was the only one in black surrounded by men in white. For a seconded, I as well as my father thought the admin didnt allow women but were relieved to see a female receptinist at our destination nonetheless she was the only lady there besides myself! I wonder why she was ever recruited in the 1st place, where there wasnt much need of her and the hospital could be pretty much functional without her presence on that particular floor. Withal, might just call it crawling towards empowering women :)

  24. i just want to say something to “khair”
    il sha59 by5rab law inshalla bain arba3 jdran!!…no rule is gonna change that and i think women and men are equal!!do not discriminate against us!!…aren’t we equal in the eyes of god in islam!! u think that ur SO CALLED “rules” ARE BETTER THAN THE SHARIA’S!!….so plz…do NOT insult us women and say if u gave us rights that we’d be drunkin druggy whores..we don’t need men to tell us wrong from right!!thank u but i am sure most of the women here are highly educated women who know the diffrence between right and wrong..DONT disrepect women pls…because don’t forget ur mother,sister, and wife are all women!!

    thank you!!

  25. I have issue with any country or government that treats women like property. And if any man were to walk up to a woman and punch her in the face…most people would be appalled. If any man were to snatch her purse out of her arms and run off, most would run after him to retrieve what was stolen. What men are doing to women in essence is punching them in the face and robbing them of their identity. There is a such thing as “identity theft” and that is exactly what is done in Saudi but in a different way. Identity theft is a crime…

    I define myself and create my own identity and how dare someone steal it and use it?

    Nobody can wipe my slate; nobody can rob my identity;

    For I, intend to write it with bold colors. Woe to he or she who stands in my way. Yawaylik

  26. Men’s and women’s rights are defined by Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu alayhi wa salam), and explained to us by the scholars.

    I’m an American revert to Islaam. I fear for all of you who live in KSA, because I’ve seen you scholarship men and women. I see how you scholarship students behave here in America. I see what you hope remains hidden from your parents and government. Most of you who claim to want “reform” in the KSA just want to imitate the disbelievers and their evil ways you’ve adopted. I’ve seen most of you lose your Islaam here in America. I rarely see you brothers in the Masjid because so many of you have abandoned the Salaat. I see you brothers running around america with kuffar girlfriends who you are fornicating with. I’ve been in college classrooms with you sisters, and witnessed you absorb western kuffar ideas, and witnessed you abandon Allaah’s command that you wear proper hijab; and then become activists who call to kufr.

    You have become pawns in what Shaykh bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said is part of the “Ideological Attack” on Islaam. When asked about the means the kuffar employ in the ideological attach, the shaykh said,

    “They attempt to conquer the minds of the Muslims youth. They do this by infusing in them Western values and concepts so that they believe that the best way to adopt in any matter is that of the west…”

    Western values and ideas are good only in managing dunyawiyy affairs; NEVER in matters of the Deen or governing the affairs of the people in Muslims societies.

  27. I am an Atheist, I am not evil, and I do care about humanity in general. A good term for this is Humanism. I will never be a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim. All religions are full of lies, hypocracies, and is often used as a tool for oppression.

    Add to this, there are many fundamentalist Jews, Christians, and Muslims who believe not only the end of days will come within their lifetime, but they also welcome it. This is a threat to humanity itself. Religion must be destroyed and replaced with something more humane and suitable for this century.

  28. I am totally appalled by Khair’s post. I am a Muslim Malaysian girl and to see that he uses my country as a bench mark to argue about not giving the equal rights and freedom for women in Saudi has put quite a notching knot in my stomach.
    My mother is one example. She is an extraordinary woman and has raised 6 kids on her own and she retired as one of the top official here in Malaysia.
    Having a father who has taken a second wife, I cant imagine how my life would be like if my mother was not financially independent enough to provide us with proper education. Needless to say, our father, a Muslim man who argued that he married another to follow the sunnah coudlnt support his first family due to having to feed too many mouths.
    I am thankful and grateful to be born a Muslim and having a mother who is able to provide all of us with proper education and all us – the children managed to graduate and work to support ourselves and the family.
    I for once was sent to a private institution and able to study abroad in Australia. and I have been able to work in a great job that allows me to globe trot and see the different cultures and have an open mind. ( I travel around 6-7 times/year).

    If we, the women were not given the equal rights as men here in Malaysia, i dont know what will happen to me and my family because my father abandoned us at one point in his life.

    What i am trying to say here is, there is pros and cons to everything. I am an example of a Muslim Malaysian woman who has been given the freedom all my life but I am still on the right track,Even with the freedow bestowed on me, I have been able to limit myself.
    True enough, there were some bad judgement calls in the past but it has shaped me to be a much better person, stronger believer to my religion.

    at the end of the day, you are given the choices whetehr you want to be a slut, a drug addict or whatever. it is not a matter of having parents who are not around to guide you. (FYI, my mom wasnt around that much as she was constantly busy working and traveling. And please dont ask about my dad as he was busy with his other ‘family’). I managed to grow up and become a very responsible human being.

    And how do you explain those Saudis who were brought up in a very conservative way and to lead a double life when they were not in KSA? They drink, have tattoos, sleep around etc. Saudi men have very bad reputation here and most locals girls were warned against having any relationship to Saudi men, let alone marrying them!
    I was doing my research online to see how it is to marry a Saudi men and im sorry to say that all of the articles/forum i found advises us against it.
    and the irony is, i am engaged to a Saudi man and I am scared out of my wits as what will happen when we finally marries and move back to Saudi. Im sure I am going to have a very difficult time if everyone over there has the same mindset as our dear friend Khair.

  29. Your behaviour as an adult is dependent on your upbringing. The absent fathers and the shopping-mall mothers are to blame for the lack of morals and the rampant hypocrisy in Saudi society. When children are looked after by detached housemaids, and the children are allowed if not encouraged to hurl abuse at their maids, it’s little surprise they grow up to be the b******* they are.

    I teach at an expat school, and we have around 100 saudi students; With the exception of 1 boy, all of the Saudi students are rude and indifferent to the feelings of others. They litter the room and laugh when the Bengali worker complains. They chatter all day in class, and are deaf to criticism and threats of ‘i’ll phone your father.’ The usual response is ‘I don’t care – because they know nothing will happen.”

    The cause of this is the lack of training in basic Islamic morals. If students were to learn basic axioms which encapsulated Islamic morals, and if their parents behaved more responsibly, they might not turn out to be brats. Most Saudi kids swoon the moment they see some female flesh, and when they’re out of parental and social supervision, they facade is really destroyed.

    God help the Najdis, for they have done more harm to the Muslims than anyone else.

  30. iwas have chance to study abroad my parents order me to go and my father promise to help me and go with me there as mehram but i refuse to go …

    i hope when they back bring useful change and freedon but not in our religioun

    Khair i agree with you in many things

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