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Friday, July 8, 2011     GET REAL

Saudi Arabia's religion police step up crackdown on women drivers

ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has again turned to its controversial religion police force to quell unrest.


Opposition sources said Saudi Arabia has used its religious police to arrest women drivers. They said the religious police marked the lead agency in the crackdown against women who violated a ban on driving in the Wahabi kingdom.

"If Saudi police think arresting women drivers is going to stop what has already become the largest women's rights movement in Saudi history, they are sorely mistaken," Saudi Women for Driving said.

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The women's right coalition said the religious police, comprised of Wahabi seminary students, were arresting women drivers in Jedda, the kingdom's second largest city, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the police were checking cars and forcing women drivers and passengers to sign a pledge that they would not drive.

"On the contrary, these arrests will encourage more women to get behind the wheel in direct defiance of this ridiculous abuse of our most basic human rights," the coalition said.

The sources said the religious police have formed a network of informers to monitor women drivers. They said at least five women drivers were arrested in Jedda and later released.

On June 17, Saudi women launched their campaign to shatter the driving ban. In all, 42 women drove vehicles around the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom in a move endorsed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union leaders.

The Saudi government has pledged to increase supervision on the religious police, accused of accosting and arresting married couples. But over the last two years, officials said the Interior Ministry was doubling the size of the religious police to 10,000 officers.

"This will not scare us," Saudi women's rights activist Eman Al Nafjan said.


The religious police is only a tool for the men who hire, pay for, instruct and use them to terrorize society in general,but women in particular. The only power they have is the one assigned to them by their masters and handlers, especially Interior Minister, Prince Naif. See below. “The Kingdom is an Islamic country. Therefore, the Commission of Virtue Promotion and Vice Prevention will be present as long as Islam is present on the earth. The promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah, is a major pillar of any Islamic country.” - Prince Naif

Ali Alyami      2:10 p.m. / Monday, July 11, 2011

It is about time the women of Saudi Arabia stood up for their rights. Saudi Arabia is so far behind in times of equality in the world that it is almost to a point of being ridiculous. Too many women have been out of the country to know what life in the world is really all about. Not just religion.

Penny Furman      1:28 a.m. / Saturday, July 9, 2011

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