Thursday, May 26, 2011

Manal Gets Another 10 Days for her "Crime" of Driving

Now faced with losing custody of her son, Manal Al-Sharif has been sitting in jail since the wee hours of Sunday, May 22, when a brigade of policemen swooped down on her home to haul her off to jail. Arab News has just reported that she will be spending an additional ten days in jail for her crime - driving a car in Saudi Arabia, which is illegal because she lacks that extra appendage between her legs required for drivers in Saudi Arabia.

I have yet to figure out why this appendage is necessary for drivng in Saudi Arabia. Although I have never noticed my husband actually using it when he drives, maybe some men use it in steering or perhaps for flicking on the turn signal or the windshield wipers. Maybe some well-endowed men actually use it for gunning the gas pedal or slamming on the brakes. (Ouch.) I really haven't figured it out. What I do know is that in all my years of driving experience before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2007, I must have been very lucky that this appendage deficiency of mine didn't cause me problems when I was behind the wheel.

Another thing that I do know is that in Saudi Arabia, where only men are allowed to drive, the country is widely known for its unsafe and irresponsible drivers, and extremely high percentage of fatal traffic accidents, consistently ranking among the worst and deadliest in the world. Statistics don't lie. Apparently that little appendage seems to actually impede males' driving proficiency in Saudi Arabia instead of improving or enhancing it.

Women don't belong in jail for driving. Women shouldn't be humiliated and treated like children who can't behave or make decisions for themselves. Women just want to be treated fairly and take their places as valued members of society.

For years, the King of Saudi Arabia has said that he is not opposed to Saudi women driving. Petitions with thousands of signatures have been submitted to the government the past few years requesting that the ban on women driving be lifted. Human rights groups have been critical of the men-only driving policy. Lately women have posted videos on the internet of themselves driving in Saudi Arabia despite the threat of being arrested, losing their jobs or children, or being beaten. Every year it is reported that it is hoped that Saudi women will be allowed to drive by the end of the year, and every year, nothing happens.

The excuse, though, for continuing the country's ban on women driving is always that this change will take time for Saudi society to accept this idea first.

I must ask: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

Cartoon Artwork or this post courtesy of Aafke, artist extraordinaire and blogging author of Clouddragon and Aafke, Horses, and Art. Thank you, Aafke!


  1. so UNFAIR!!! n they should treat her like an animal n they have no right to take his son away from him. she is his MOTHER!!


  2. In the meantime, apparently there's a Facebook page advocating beating women with an iqal (igal, agal)on the big day.

    But I can't find the page. Anyone know how to find it? Or is it mythical?

  3. Haha. Amusing piece on a pressing issue.

    On a more serious note, it is more frustrating to hear that within the Saudi Aramco housing compound and places like KAUST women ARE allowed to drive. How can the same government have conflicting legislation?!

    Our prayers are with Manal. She truly is a brave woman. Allah is with the patient.

  4. HILARIOUS cartoons. Sad issue. Am watching and rooting for the Saudi women from afar. Thanks Susie for bringing this issue to the attention of the world.

  5. Hi Farsilla - Unfortunately that's the way men prefer to handle things like this here in Saudi Arabia - it's a man's world and they do whatever they want.

    Hi Veeds - The FB group has been written about quite a bit but I haven't been able to find it - the reason might be that it's in Arabic, more than likely.

    Hi H - KAUST and compounds like Aramco are allowed to make their own rules within their grounds. If you think of it in terms of that these places are like military bases on foreign soil or like foreign embassies. It's like they have diplomatic immunity.

  6. Thanks Susie for bringing this to the attention of the world. Am rooting for the Saudi women from afar and hoping for a positive outcome for Manal.

  7. This is the news article about the facebook page where they advocate beating women if they want to drive:

  8. @ veeds of arabia

    there was the page reported- i searched for it and did find only it is shut now.
    It was made by a white american non muslim taking the mick. his name was tom.
    it *was* this link:

    Whilst i think whats happening to manal is NOT fair that youtube video is a downright insult to islam
    Whoever made it may have problems with saudi CULTURE but didnt need to bring anti islamic sentiments into it

  9. It is a crime against women.

  10. Hey that little bit about the "appendage" lol.

  11. Hi Susie,
    The cartoon was great! My biggest fear right now though is with all the paranoia concerning the women driving, is that the 'spies' will or could make life extremely difficult for you, because you're supporting the 'cause'. Banning your blog is one thing, but you certainly don't need a knock on the door in the wee hours, from your friendly neighbourhood muttawa! (I hope your hubby has a bit of wasta!)

    Take care & all the best :-)

  12. Aafke-Art you have done a magnificant job!!!!

  13. i got into a huge fight with my saudi boyfriend over this. it ended up being incredibly symbolic. Me, a catholic hispanic-america, arguing against the fatwa using qur'anic references. He says that she deserves to be jailed for inciting anti-government sentiment. I hope that this will end soon, but I don't think thats realistic. Then again I've never been to KSA.

  14. in a way i compare this to the niqab ban in France.

    Just like a lot of people were saying it was Frances choice to have their own rules, in this same way, although im all for women driving, it is interesting that those who supported France for their choice no matter how oppressive, sing a different tune now.

    The Saudi government were clever in keeping Manal-she was arrested not for driving per se, but driving without a license.

  15. Susie thanks for your great coverage on Manals situation!
    I loved the cartoons!!!Aafke you got pretty much everything there is to say about driving issues in Ksa into that one picture :D

  16. That was very funny, Susie.

    Still, how sad it is that we all have a hearty laugh at something so terrible and unjust.

    Will the Haia now come after you? What does your husband say to all of this?

    Why are the decent men of Saudi not working toward gender equality? Are there not enough of them?

    sweetlikechocolate said... ”Whilst i think whats happening to manal is NOT fair that youtube video is a downright insult to islam
Whoever made it may have problems with saudi CULTURE but didnt need to bring anti islamic sentiments into it”

    So, you are admitting that Islam does discriminate and treat women poorly, as depicted in the cartoons. How can the truth be insulting? It should make certain people ashamed!

    Evidently, some women like to be treated like retarded-children, mere sex objects and slaves. It is their right in Islam, but not in the West where all of the above are against the law. ;)

  17. Typical of you Marianne, to read without seeing.

    Did you not see me mention Saudi CULTURE is the reason for the ban????????????????????

  18. I heard that Facebook has removed the facebook page advocating beating of women with an igal (sp?).

  19. sweetlikechocolate said...
    Typical of you Marianne, to read without seeing.

Did you not see me mention Saudi CULTURE is the reason for the ban????????????????????

    I really have to laugh, every time I see your posts, which are typical of a Muslim projecting what they do unto others. Islamic taqiyye—lying to cover their misanthropic, misogynistic culture, ideology, faith.

    The point was not so much the driving but the whole Saudi religious way of life, as the cartoons clearly show. It is about the subjugation of women. Since you claimed that the cartoons are an “insult to Islam” then surely can can explain to the public exactly how the truth can be an insult given that the Saudis are not the only Muslims who discriminate against women?

    Do explain why it is that Saudi and countless other Muslim clerics invoke Islam for their misanthropy.

    Efirefly said... ”I heard that Facebook has removed the facebook page advocating beating of women with an igal (sp?).”

    That is a shame! They should leave up calls to misogynism and violence against women—to show the real face of Muslims.

  20. Marianne

    you probably made the cartoon so ofcourse you mix up culture and religion :p

  21. Susie I hope you dont mind I linked your posts on Manal and womens driving issues to my blog heres the link:

  22. sweetlikechocolate said...

you probably made the cartoon so ofcourse you mix up culture and religion :p

    No, I did not make the cartoons, while I am talented in art, I do not have talent in drawing cartoons, but, I wish that I had. They are funny, truthful and very much to the point.

    You are a classic Muslim. All you do is denigrate, insult, dissimulate and NEVER answer the questions.

    AGAIN I ask you: What, SPECIFICALLY about those cartoons is an “insult to Islam”? And if they are such an insult, then why are you not screeching at dear Susie for posting them or the artist for drawing them?

    Perhaps when they become well known, there will be yet more death fatwas for mere cartoons, then Muslims will riot again and murder their brothers in protest?

    Speaking of culture and religion. I seem to recall that it was you, along with millions of other Muslims, who claim that no one can learn about Islam or read the Qur’an unless they know Arabic—classical Arabic at that. Despite the fact that there are excellent, scholarly translations and the fact that the original language of the Qur’an was Aramaic.

    Since the great majority of Muslims (82% or less) are not Arab speakers, is this not an issue of culture vs. religion? Don’t most Muslims, especially the Western “reverts,” have or take Arab names? Do many of them, especially the illiterates, not memorize the Qur’an in Arabic, when they do not comprehend a word of it? How about Islamic dress: Hijab, niqab, burqa, abayas/robes, salwar kameez, the kufi/taqiyah/topi caps, prayer beads, etc, are those not all based on Arab culture?

    Sharia is based on Arab tribal cultural laws.

    Be honest, Islam is the export of 7th century Arab culture that has been modified slightly around the world.

    Back-ward to the future with Jahiliyya. The other 4.5 billion nonMuslims on the planet cannot wait for that! ;)

  23. Marianne

    i understand because you accept that you originated from an ape-those of us who originated from pure human race (adam and eve) may have to explain things for you.

    What specifically?

    @ 00.13
    what does it say?

    About 1400 years ago..

    What happened then?

    That was the time Muhammed peace and blessings be upon him was spreading the message of Islam. So this ape person is putting abuse on The Prophet peace and blessings be upon hims message of Islam. THAT is an insult
    May Allah guide her curse her in this world and the hereafter.

    Sure there are some mutawaeen that are wrong and take their power far. Are you saying the US has no corrupt policemen/politicians etc?
    The Mutawaeen have helped SO many women, but blind ape like people such as yourself do not see that!


    “One young man tried to hold a woman and force her to enter their car. This led the women to cry for help,” a Haia source said. Haia officials then tried to catch the young men but they ran away. The commission has passed the car’s plate number to police to track them down.




    Aside from the news/people saying so, has anyone here who has ever been to Saudi Arabia or lived there ever had any trouble from them? Have they seen them chasing people with sticks? (definitely beats guns)

  24. @chocolate i wasn't aware that some human beeing didn't evolve from the same anchestor of the apes....i don't have the time to explain evolution 101 to you but every living being in this world evolved from a uncellular took eons but here we are. Apes and human has a common great great......great parents but ages ago took a different path., some of them took the ground some others remained on the trees.

  25. Countrygirl

    Again if you want to believe you evolved from apes, suit yourself.
    I believe humans come from humans, just because apes may have some 'human similarities' doesnt prove anything.

  26. @choco so the humans popped up suddently on earth... :-P or maybe some aliens put them on. You still don't get the point i said that humans and apes SHARE a common ancestor and took two different evolutions road

  27. @ country girl

    As a muslim yes thats EXACTLY what i believe :p Adam and Eve were put on earth-the first humans created by God and put on earth by God and through them human race has 'evolved' :D

  28. @ countrygirl, Muslims believe that they are superior because the Qur’an tells them that they are:
    “Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors”. [Qur’an 3:110]
    “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious)”. Tafsir, Ibn Kathir
    While the nonMuslims and especially the Jews are apes and pigs as choco has claimed. It’s in the Qur’an:
    7:166 But when even after this they disdainfully persisted in that from which they were forbidden, We said to them, "Become apes—despised and disgraced!" (Maududi)
    2:65 And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: "Be apes—despised and hated by all." 66 Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God-fearing people. (Maududi)
    5:60 Then say: "Should I inform you [People of the Book] of those, who will have even worse recompense from Allah than the transgressors? They are those whom Allah has cursed; who have been under His wrath; some of whom were turned into apes and swine; who worshipped taghut [the devil or idols]; those are the people who are in a far worse plight and who have turned farthest away from the Right Way.
    . (Maududi)
    “Modern” influential clerics like Sheikh Muhammad Al-Saleh Al-‘Athimein stated in a sermon at the Great Mosque in Al-‘Unayza, Arabia: O Muslims, the Jews are treacherous and deceitful people over whom lies the curse and anger of Allah. They permitted what Allah forbade, with the lamest of excuses; therefore, He cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs. Allah sentenced them to humiliation anywhere they might be ...
    ... "Allah sentenced them to humiliation anywhere they might be."

    Let’s talk about economic superiority, since money is so terribly important to believers: “If we consider those top nineteen Islamic countries that not only fill the bottom places in the Gender Equity Survey, but also represent the cream of the Islamic economic powerhouses, we notice from 2008 statistics that their combined GDP is $3,413,938 million USD, and with a total population of over one billion people, yields a GDP per capita of $3,390. Compare this to only one western nation, Germany, which has a greater GDP than the nineteen Islamic countries combined at $3,637,105 million USD and a per capita GDP of $44,859, or over thirteen times that for the Islamic countries. Meanwhile, the USA has a GDP of $14,204,322 million USD, and with a population of 309 million, has a per capita GDP of $45,994. Compare this to the top performing Islamic country, Turkey, with a GDP of $729,983 million USD, and a per capita GDP of $9,504. Israel with only 7.5 million people has a GDP of $202,101 million USD and a per capita GDP of $27,071, or 8 times the combined figure for the Islamic countries.”
    Of course there is the intellectual superiority of Muslims:
    With a population of over 1.5 billion people, Muslims have managed to win only 6 Nobel Prizes, of which one was for Literature (Najib Mahfooz ), one for Chemistry (Ahmed Zewail ), One for Physics (Abdus Salam) and three for Peace (Abdus Salam, Yasser Arafat, Shirin Ebadi.
    The “pigs,” those Jews have amassed 165 Nobel Prizes.
    Now, once the “apes” and “pigs” revert to Islam they ascend to being “pure humans” but, not nearly as good as Saudi-Arabs, because Saudis and Arab Sunis are superior to all other Muslims.

  29. Thanks Marianne for the explanation...nd now i will retrun to my ape family.a

    It's amazing their logic one moment one person is considered pig or ape then one second after he or she convert to islam is magical a "pure human"

    And now i will retrun to my ape family...maybe for someone i'm less than a human but here i have the freedom of chose whatever i want to do, i can go around with skimpy dress (if i could fit in them), i can drive, marry whoever i want, i dont' have to ask permission from my mahram to study or to travel i stop here i don't want to take space in susie's blog

  30. Indeed, countrygirl, religion is magic. Let choco tell you all about jinn (genies). A certain modern, progressive kingdom teaches their religious police how to recognize witchcraft and sentences witches and sorcerers to death (often because they have made men impotent):

    Pleas for condemned Saudi 'witch'

    sweetlikechocolate said...
    “As a muslim yes thats EXACTLY what i believe :p Adam and Eve were put on earth-the first humans created by God and put on earth by God and through them human race has 'evolved' :D”

    Of course, and the earth is only 4,000 years old, despite scientific evidence of billions of years to the contrary. Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise for eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, because God is really, selfish and mean. He wants his children to remain ignorant, indolent, nihilistic believers; slaves, who have no free will and merely wait for paradise, in order to enjoy for eternity all that is forbidden in this life, including 72 virgins (for men only), rivers of wine, servant boys like pearls and all sorts of infidel-like decadence.

    Apparently only “some” humans have evolved, others are still far behind the caveman in their superior thinking capacity. ;)

    A majority, hundreds of millions of people, who are illiterate and a mere 7 Nobel Prizes for 1.5 billion people appears to be the pinnacle of evolving for believers. Yet, they continue to live off the evolved infidel world, that provides them everything they themselves cannot.

    Here’s an organization right up that blind alley:

    Still, just in case anyone else is seeking to evolve:
    • Genetic distance. ...The genetic difference between humans and chimps is less than 2%, or 20 times larger than the variation among modern humans.

    • Temporal remoteness of the most recent common ancestor. ...The mitochondrial most recent common ancestor of modern humans lived roughly 200,000 years ago, latest common ancestors of humans and chimps between four and seven million years ago.

    Kriegs, J.O.; Churakov, G.; Kiefmann, M.; Jordan, U.; Brosius, J. & Schmitz, J. (2006). "Retroposed elements as archives for the evolutionary history of placental mammals". PLoS Biol 4 (4): e91. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040091. PMC 1395351. PMID 16515367.


    ”Work on discovering the entire genome of common chimpanzees was completed in 2005.  A comparison between this and the human genome (completed in 2001) shows that 98.77% of DNA base pairs of humans and chimpanzees are the same.  However, there are an additional 2.7% differences between the two species in duplicated non-protein coding segments of DNA.  Where we differ appears to be largely in the genes that control speech, smelling, hearing, digesting proteins, and susceptibility to certain diseases.  These minor differences are to be expected given that we have been on essentially separate evolutionary tracks for 6-7 million years.  During that time, we have been subject to somewhat different natural selection pressures.  These differences led to bipedalism for our ancestors along with a much larger brain and, ultimately, speech...”

    Comparing the human and chimp genome video lecture (7 mins 27 secs): ttp://

     Richard Dawkins Foundation Primate Family Tree Video lecture (1 mins 47 secs) :

  31. country girl

    the apes and pigs thing is totally marianne twisting

    jews are not apes or pigs. some jews were punished, just like near to the hour people who say they are muslims will be punished. But marianne with her hatred forgot to mention that :p

  32. hope this doesn't post twice, the little box thingie didn't work??

    allah approved misogyny is one of many severe problems with islam which is dangerous no matter how it is packaged...

    the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    see the links in the pdf version below for more accurate info about islam

    islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

    5 key things about islam

    1. mythical beliefs - all religions have these (faith) because its part of being a religion: having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything.

    2. totalitarianism - islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law.

    3. violence - islam leads the pack of all religions in violent tenets for their ideology & history: having eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs and calling for violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals.

    4. dishonesty - only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo's peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later.

    5. misogyny - present day islam is still rooted in 8th century social ethics: treating females as property of men good only for children, severely limiting their activities, dressing them in shower curtains and worse.

    conclusions ??

    there really are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda.

    islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    graphics version

    1 page pdf version - do file/download 6kb viewer doesn't show fonts well, has better fonts header footer links, great for emailing printing etc

  33. Incredibly educating blog, bookmarked the web page in interest to see extra!