RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: Saudi officials say the country’s codes against political dissent on the Internet will be applied to anyone offering online support for a planned protest by women challenging the male-only driving rules in the kingdom.
The warning comes ahead of a campaign by Saudi women to get behind the wheel on Saturday in defiance of Saudi traditions. The Internet has been a key tool in organizing the protest and reaching out to media.
Friday’s edition of the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat quotes Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Turki Al-Faisal as saying cyber-laws could apply to anyone supporting the women driving campaign. Conviction can bring up to five-year prison sentences.Not cutting off the fingers of the typists? Well, don't expect them to listen to noisy grasshoppers;
The Western approach to human rights in Saudi Arabia is based on Western values such as women’s right to drive, an aversion to our male guardianship laws, freedom of speech and popular participation in the political process. Again, however, demands for such rights show a lack of understanding of the Saudi context.
It has been said numerous times that there is nothing in Islam that would prohibit women from driving. It is, instead, all about a social consensus and there is no such consensus. Why is that an issue for the West?Because of the guys who like Sharia, and fly our airplanes into our buildings?
Local human rights in Saudi Arabia cannot be understood in isolation from their own inspiration, i.e., Islamic law and local traditions. To adopt a Western version of human rights, this country would have to diverge from its faith and the social contract it upholds.
Saudi Arabia has not attempted to impress a universal concept of human rights on its own society nor has it attempted to impose its own concept of human rights on the rest of the world. It has taken a very simple yet profound tack: “Thou shalt keep thy local human rights to thyself.”Does that mean we can take your oil without paying for it?