Saudi Cleric Declares That Women Lack the Intelligence To Drive

screen-shot-2017-09-24-at-1-41-40-pm.pngSaudi Sheikh Saad al-Hajari has reportedly come out strongly against the movement to allow women in the Kingdom to drive.  Sheikh Saad al-Hajari said that the ban should remain because women possess a “lack of intellect” compared to men.  He explained that they have only half the brainpower of males.

We have repeatedly discussed the plight of women in Saudi Arabia who face medieval Sharia laws and state-supported sexism.  A brave cadre of women continue to defy these restrictions.  Progress has been slow and incremental. Recently, the Kingdom indicated that women might be able to go to the Opera  – a measure of the ludicrous laws imposed in the Kingdom.

If Sheikh Saad al-Hajari has his way, they will not be driving to the performance.  He noted that the intelligence of women is half that of men and that their intellect falls to a quarter when they “went to the market”.

Just in case you thought that this is just some madman with a Koran, al-Hajari is the head of the Saudi government’s religious edict authority in the southern province of Assir.  In a country imposing Sharia law on its populace, clerics like this play critical roles in explaining the religious basis for laws and traditions.

The cleric is quoted as saying that people must be understanding and sympathetic to women:  “It is not their fault, but women lack intellect do they not?  Would you give a man with half an intellect a driving license? So how would you give one to a woman when she has half an intellect?” He then added “And if they go out to the market this gets halved again! So they now have a quarter of an intellect.” If the last point was a joke, it was hardly funny.   The problem with the Saudi clerics is that it is hard to tell when something is a fatwa or a joke given their extremist views.

I have said it before but will say it again. The women fighting for basic rights in Saudi Arabia are some of the most courageous civil rights advocates in the world.  They risk whippings and arrests from the government as well as abuse from citizens in the fight for equal rights. They must advocate for these rights against ignorant figures like al-Hajari who hold key religious positions.  However, one can only hope that history and intellect will prevail in the long-run.

 

 

55 thoughts on “Saudi Cleric Declares That Women Lack the Intelligence To Drive

  1. I would inquire of this moron: How much intellect does it take to drive a car?

    His statements were pathetic on every level. It takes more intellect to answer a question than it does to drive a car. But I think he would fail on both tests.

    On another note: Why is this country an ally of the United States?

    That last one was a rhetorical question. But it shows me that when you round up a bunch of morons with no respect for over 70% of the world’s population, you end up with scary pronouncements like his.

  2. It is very difficult to overcome brainwashing from birth. What is he supposed to think, when he’s raised under Sharia Law, which treats a woman’s testimony as half that of a man’s? Women are most certainly not treated equally with men under Sharia Law. And they are not treated equally with men under the traditions of his country. Women are openly harassed for what they wear, who they talk with, whom they walk with, and whom they are in a car with. It is required for them to have a driver. They may not leave the country without a man’s permission. And in their culture, a woman must be satisfied with 1/4 of a husband, as he may have up to 4 wives. Sure, it is traditional for him to buy each woman exactly the same gift to try to deal with the constant jealousy, harping, biting, favoritism, etc one would expect in a plural relationship where the man may sleep with whomever he wants but the woman must be under constant surveillance. That would make any woman rather irritable. The only act of rebellion that is relatively safe is to wear a string bikini or even go starkers under a wool abaya. (And, yes, ex-pats especially are known to do that.) At less boiling hot times of year, the women are known to wear couture under their sack cloth. And there are even fashion shows where women desperately try to instill a little glamor into the compulsory black shapeless garment. There is a saying among expats who’ve married Sauds: “Have you hit bottom yet”? I won’t go into the whole issue of female genital mutilation, and the collusion of women in its perpetuation.

    At some point, perhaps Saudi Sheikh Saad al-Hajari was a little boy who wondered why his mother was not free to do as his father was. And this must have been what he was told. Some male figure in his life patiently explained to him, at a young and impressionable age, that his culture and his religion treat women this way because they are mentally handicapped, and thus unable to do for themselves. They must be vigilantly cared for as we would any severely mentally handicapped person, who would be vulnerable to abuse.

    He never questioned it, and it became part of his inner sense of rightness, just as we all know the sky is blue.

    This is why I especially admire and respect any born and bred Saudi who questions and criticizes this inhumane treatment of women, apostates, gays, and many others. I especially admire the men who do so. It is unusually for the privileged to identify and stand up for the minority. In our country, in order for women to get suffrage, men had to stand up and vote for it. That is a rare and beautiful thing, for a group in power to vote to give equal rights to one who has none. I sincerely doubt that a repressive regime is fertile ground for such a miracle in the Kingdom, but I would be happy to be wrong.

    This is also my issue with open borders. I feel the most basic criteria for any legal immigrant should be a lack of violent criminal history, and a willingness to accept and embrace our Western values of equality. Those people exist around the world, and in every religion or lack thereof, and those are the ones I want. Would you really want 7 million Sheikh Saad al-Hajaris to come all at once, and if they did, would you expect consequences for our mothers, sisters, daughters, and ourselves?

  3. This is a good posting to start the week with. Maybe every Monday morning we should find a jaw-droipping stupid remark, maybe by a religious nut, or a UFO nut or conspiracy nut or some other type of wack job that we can all make fun of. I know a man who seems almost sane otherwise but is convinced there have been hundreds of commuters murdered on the NY Central Railroad in the past 2 years but we never hear about it because of a a government-imposed media blackout under both Obama & Trump.

    As the week progresses the featured remarks should be progressively less crazy climaxing on Sunday where a subtle flaw in logic is spotlighted..

    Besides it’s been scientifically proven women have 99.3% the brain power of men except during the height of their menstraul cycle where it drops to 96.2% and in the days immediately following childbirth when it dips to 93.1%.

      • Good questions. I’m seeking funding to conduct randomized clinical trials. Unfortunately this is such a taboo subject most research institutes won’t touch it.

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