Saudi society is not special


Al-Jazirah newspaper

There are no cultural peculiarities in Saudi society. The entire thing has been one huge lie that Saudis have believed for the past four decades. Activists influenced by the religious “Awakening Movement” conjured this concept up and used it as a pretext to ban and permit things. They could ban anything and blame the cultural peculiarities of Saudi society.

Over time, these peculiarities turned into shackles that have hindered development and undermined official efforts to keep up with modernity. On Friday 13 January, one so-called peculiarity was put to the test. Women were finally allowed to enter stadiums and watch football matches. This was a first in the Kingdom’s history. Everything went smoothly and not a single woman was harassed or complained. All of the fears promoted by activists were found to be baseless. We have become sick and tired of these so-called peculiarities. We are not special human beings; we are like other ordinary people. These activists should know that.

People today are aware that these peculiarities are a figment of our imagination that exists only in the minds of activists. Many of the myths associated with women and their rights will soon be dispelled. Personally, I believe that the religious activists of the “Awakening Movement” have been unjust to Saudi women.

This is especially true when we look at the history of human development, especially for Saudi women. In the early 1960s, open-minded people and intellectuals exerted efforts to educate women and end female illiteracy so that women could take part in the general development of the country.

The first thing they did was to open girls’ schools. However, the “Islamic Awakening” appeared and destroyed all efforts to develop women. In fact, many social and cultural shackles were imposed on women as they were deprived of their rights as human beings. The activists proclaimed men to be guardians of women and worked hard to promote the guardian system in the name of Shariah.

All of these shackles have been destroyed today thanks to our brave King and Crown Prince, who fear no one but Allah Almighty and treat everyone equally. They have taken calculated steps to liberate women and open our society up to the world. They have ended the control of these activists.