There are times when I feel that Saudi Arabia has made great strides - especially with regard to women's issues - in the past five years that I have lived here. And then there are other times when I can only shake my head in disbelief when I see that Saudi Arabia is still a very misogynistic society and with each step forward, the country seems to take two steps back.
The latest headline coming out of Saudi Arabia that is quite troubling and disturbing concerns a Saudi author named Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, who unfortunately has 97,000 followers on Twitter. He recently tweeted a call to action for Saudi men to sexually assault working women in Saudi Arabia, especially those working in supermarkets. His “logical” explanation is so the women will stop working and stay home where they belong and thus “protect their chastity.” Al Dawood writes self-help books (God help us!) and has also been called a Saudi cleric in the past. In fact this is the very same guy who popularized the term “Burqas for Babies” when he made the ridiculous suggestion a while back that baby girls here should be veiled so perverted men won't be tempted to molest them. He is obsessed with sex - He sees baby girls as sexual objects.
|Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood (Twitter photo)|
So now, on the one hand, he's supposedly "protecting" little girls from perverts, and on the other hand he's calling for their mothers and older sisters to be sexually assaulted. What kind of world is this guy living in? Or better yet, as Waleed Al-Khawaji, another Saudi tweeter responded, “What kind of person urges the youth to commit debauchery?” It seems that Al Dawood’s objections to women working are based on his belief that men and women mixing in the workplace will lead to western-influenced immorality and corruption.
Another disturbing part of this story is that Al Dawood tried to use Islam as the basis for his wicked idea. He cited an old obscure story about Al Zubair, a famed warrior, who wanted to stop his wife from her habit of leaving home to go pray in the mosque. Apparently Al Zubair chose to teach his wife a lesson by hiding and attacking her as she walked by on her way to the mosque. Unaware that her own husband was the attacker, she ran home frightened and swore she would never leave the safety of her own home again.
|Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood (YouTube/approach channel photo)|
By the way, allow me to interject here that this story that Al Dawood cited projects what is to me a very confusing contradiction of Islam. Clearly Islam forbids anyone from trying to prevent someone else from going to pray in the mosque, while at the same time, saying that it is better for women to pray at home. I have read texts that say that women should ask their husbands for permission to go pray in the mosque. Yet if the husband says no, isn’t that actually preventing her from going? So to me, this is a murky Catch-22 situation, with no clear meaning one way or the other, and one part contradicting the other. And dear readers, please don't bombard me with your explanations of this and how it makes sense to you. It will never make sense to me.
But encouraging men to sexually assault working women? Right - Let’s molest these women to protect their chastity! Makes perfect sense to everyone. Is this really a “religious tactic” that Saudi Arabia wants to use and promote? Many of the women working in Saudi Arabia are working because they have to work, to help support their families. Many are divorced, or widowed, or deserted by their husbands and need the income to feed their children. Many working Saudi women are married and are working to ease the stress on their family’s financial situation. What do their husbands have to say about this loony bird’s call for men to attack working women? I honestly can’t recall the last time (if ever) that I heard of a woman being sexually assaulted in a supermarket, yet here is this pervert in Saudi Arabia promoting that very idea.
Men like Al Dawood are doing absolutely nothing for Saudi Arabia's image to the rest of the world and are giving Islam a black eye by spouting absurdities like this. Sexually assaulting women is a crime. Inciting men to violate women is a crime. Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood should be promptly arrested for promoting violence against women. And in my opinion, he should be castrated too. Maybe neutering him will calm him down and he won’t be so obsessed with sex all the time...