Manal released, Shoura still a joke, and why Islamists are silent

  • Manal al-Sharif has been released on Tuesday. After her release, she released a statement in which announced that she will no longer be involved with the women’s driving campaign that is scheduled for June 17. The campaign, however, is still on track according a statement published on Facebook.
  • Meanwhile, the Shoura Council said the they are ready to discuss the issue of women’s driving if asked to. Very funny. The speaker talks as if his council actually matters, as if they have a say in what does or doesn’t happen in the country. Even funnier, some people did ask the Shoura to discuss the issue. What the Shoura did? They called them to discuss the issue then cancelled the invitation on the same day.
  • You think Saudi Arabia is a dry country? Think again. In the past six months, 243 drivers in Jeddah alone have had their driving licenses withdrawn after they were caught drunk-driving. I wonder what the numbers are like in Riyadh and also the Eastern Province, where legal access to alcohol is just a short drive across the Johnny Walker birdge King Fahad Causeway.
  • Stéphane Lacroix, who wrote extensively about Islamists in Saudi Arabia, says the reason why these have been largely silent during this season of popular uprisings in the region is because the government has effectively co-opted them. The relationship between the regime and Sahwa is mutually beneficial, and neither party is willing to lose the benefits anytime soon.

4 thoughts on “Manal released, Shoura still a joke, and why Islamists are silent

  1. Of course there will be some that flout the Alcohol ban. But the fact remains that due to the ban, numbers of drink drivers are FAR lower in Saudi Arabia than comparable countries.

    For example, Canada has a population roughly the same as Saudi Arabia (31 million I believe compared to Saudi’s 27 million).

    Every day, 190 people are INJURED per day due to Drink Driving accidents. Note that this isn’t a number of how many people were found DUI but rather full on crashes and injuries caused by drunk drivers.

  2. Right Ahmed.

    The ban will not continue forever but I wonder who will have the honor of lifting it.
    Alc. is other issue because we have our highest share of accidents without alc.

    So .. What if ?

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