It’s always good to see people standing up to this sort of repressive idiocy.
Good for them! I hope there isn’t a backlash against this.
But was she able to drive to her protest? I keep hearing back and forth about that issue in KSA
Almost certainly there will be, both official and unofficial. Mohammed bin Salman won’t want anyone getting ahead of his token gestures towards liberalization. These are brave women.
Well, according to the article, the women in question have been doing this for several months with being arrested, and the religious police have been put on a tighter leash more generally. I suspect that the real problem would come if he falls from grace and is replaced as the crown prince.
a favoured tactic of the religious police.
I’m aware. They also execute people in public by beheading them.
[ETA] I’d say it’s pretty clear that MBS is trying to modernize Saudi Arabia in such matters. Right now, in that, he seems to be winning the power struggle that must surely be going on behind the scenes between the crown and the religious establishment. Even then, he’s inching towards change on these issues, because I’m sure he’s aware that he can be eliminated by competing factions within the family itself, especially if they align with the religious establishment.
True, which is why I said that MbS won’t want anyone getting out ahead of him, especially on such a high-visibility issue. He may have decided that this is something he is ready to support, or he may be waiting to see what the reaction is. If his rivals start screaming about slippery slopes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him clamp down.
Yet at this point, he hasn’t cracked down on the ladies in question… I think he’s also concerned with his public image vis-a-vis the west, and knows that allowing greater freedom for woman is one means of doing so, without actually giving up any real world power in the process. Letting women dress in western clothing and letting them drive are really just some surface level cosmetic changes. Not that freedom of movement isn’t important, but some of this is practical on his part, too, because women make up a large percentage of the educated workforce in Saudi Arabia. Not letting them work will only stymie his attempts to broaden the economy generally speaking. [ETA] He is well aware that they can’t rely on oil forever, economically. They have to expand into other fields if they’re going to survive the transition to new kinds of fuel sources. Women are key to that economic change.
Sure, but he could just as easily clamp down on his rivals as well, as long as he has the power to do so. If he can get liberal support by loosening social restrictions, and garners more western support as a result, I think he’d see that as a win.
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