Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reform in Saudi Arabia?

Arab News has an item entitled "Reform in Harmony with Islam: Princess Lolwah" which describes reforms underway in Saudi Arabia. According to the article:
A Saudi princess said reforms would continue in the context of Islamic culture and that the Saudi government had been gently pushing an expanded women’s role for decades.

Princess Lolwah Al Faisal made the comments before the World Economic Forum on the Middle East being held May 20-22 at Sharm El-Sheikh. The princess, who is co-chair of the forum, is vice-chair of the board of trustees and general supervisor of Jeddah’s Effat College.

Ever so gently, it seems. Just a few years ago, 15 schoolgirls died when their school burned. The doors were locked (to ensure proper gender separation), and when the girls tried to escape, the kingdom's mutaween, or religious police, forced the girls back inside to prevent them from appearing in public without their headscarves and abayas.

Princess Lolwah defends the kingdom, Islam and Sharia law, saying:

“It is important to understand the history and culture of Saudi Arabia before you question or blame everything on Shariah law,” the princess said. “Saudi Arabia has long existed as a religious nation. Islam is embedded in all aspects of life and among the people. It is woven throughout our society. Islam is a social religion that demands knowledge and progress for all members of the society. It is the reason for women’s progress and achievements in Saudi Arabia.[emphasis mine --ed.]

Oh, really? Tell that to the countless female victims of honor killings, stoning and female genital mutilation.

Muslim countries don't need reform "in harmony with Islam". They need loud, noisy reform bellowing in their ears.


wom said...

Reports from credible sources have been released contradicting this. King Abdullah was never quoted word for word saying that. He was referring to pictures of women wearing shorts and what not. Not pictures of women period. His quote was misinterpreted.

Eric said...

I think you're confusing this article with another one about Saudi King Abdullah's warning not to publish photographs of Saudi women, which the King now says he never did.

This post has nothing to do with that.

dizzyfatplonka said...

Its time muslims woke up to the fact that they are not going to be conquerers, but are infact already a conquered people. Shake free the shackles of Islam and take a step towards true freedom, for how can a baby from the day its born be a muslim?
What concept can it possibly have of Islam?
Enforced beliefs are a failure in their very nature, for they do not requere any step of faith.