Release Saudi Woman Arrested for Simply Driving a Car

Published on change.org, May 27, 2011.

Petition started by Saudi Women for driving:

  • We, the people of Saudi Arabia express our deep concern over the arrest of Saudi citizen Manal al-Sharif on Saturday, May 22, 2011 for driving a car while accompanied by her brother.
  • We are all Manal al-Sharif: a call for solidarity with Saudi women’s rights
  • King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, declared in 2007 that the issue of women driving cars is a social issue, not a religious matter, and therefor subject to the rule of the state, which means that in theory if the community wanted to lift the ban on women driving there would be no obstacle.
  • Indeed, senior scholars have reported that there is no religious reason to prevent women from driving.
  • A ban on women driving cars is not even found in the text of any legal statute.  
  • We call on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to immediately release Manal Al-Sharif as she was accompanied by her brother and with his consent and license to drive, recognized in accordance with the traffic system and contained in Article II, paragraph 34.
  • We also believe that the time has come to clearly resolve the issue of women driving cars. It is unjust to say it is a social issue and that our religion does not prevent ladies from driving, while simultaneously arresting a woman driving her car. We are in need of a clear system, either to prevent women from driving, or, in case female driving is allowed, a clear indication that ladies are permitted to drive cars in Saudi Arabia.

… (full text) … and click on the links:

  • one for a petition letter in arabic;
  • one for a petition letter online in english

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