Monday, May 8, 2017

Old Video of Saudi Preacher Surfaces, Causing Outrage: Women Will Come Home Drunk if Allowed to Drive

A 2011 video of a preacher lecturing about women driving has resurfaced and is causing a kerfuffle in social media. A link to the story by Habib Toumi from al-Bawaba of May 8, 2017 is here,  and the text is below. This is not a new recording, and the fact that there is a big backlash against it shows that people are more open to the idea of women driving. This blogger takes the outrage as a good sign

Social-media users in Saudi Arabia have lashed out at a preacher who claimed that if women were allowed to drive they would come home late and drunk.
The outraged users said that the preacher, known as Abu Zaqm, should be put on trial and punished severely for his immoral allegations.
Abu Zaqm made his claims as he addressed young people in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in 2011. The video recording re-emerged on Sunday in Saudi Arabia and sparked the outcry.
“If allowed to drive, a woman will come home late while her husbands will be up, just waiting for her. She will be most probably drunk,” he said, trailing his remarks with sarcastic laughter. “If the husband asks her to prepare something to eat, she will argue with him and when she eventually does it, she will end up hosting him in their neighbour’s home,” he added in his imagined scenario.
The preacher warned that such situations would be a major feature of the freedom anticipated by liberals, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Monday.
Abu Zaqm claimed that Europe and the US started applying new laws to isolate women from men amid complaints about the increasing number of babies born out of wedlock.
The new laws were enacted after these countries found out the babies and the construction of foster homes to keep them cost them fortunes.
In their reactions, Saudis expressed anger and outrage.
“Such ridiculous remarks cannot be uttered in the privacy of a home, let alone in public and in front of a crowd,” one user posted.
Basma, another user, said that he should be held legally accountable for his remarks.
“His claims are a deep insult and what is terrifying is that he is making then in the name of Islam,” she said. “He should be punished for his filthy allegations.”
Sulaiman called for prompt action.
“Regardless of whether women are allowed to drive or not, this miasma has to be stopped.”
Abu Zaqm, a former car drifter, is no stranger to controversy. He was criticised on social media following the circulation of a video clip in which he made comments with sexual overtones during a conversation with another preacher.
He apologised about the conversation, but later launched scathing attacks on “liberals” for their criticism.
The latest incident is seen as a new indication of the formidable challenges faced by the Saudi authorities in their drive to change mindsets and attitudes towards several social issues.

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