Sydney, Sep 30: A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric said that women who drive can risk damaging their ovaries and was promptly taken as a subject of mockery and angst on social media site Twitter.
Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, a judicial adviser to an association of Gulf psychologists said that women driving a car can have negative physiological impacts as driving automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards.
Al-Lohaidan’s comments were quickly ridiculed by the social media, where one Twitter user posted that if the cleric doesn’t want women to drive, he should at least find a reasonable excuse.
Another Twitter user Shamel Al- Sharikh wrote, ‘when idiocy marries dogma in the chapel of medieval traditions, this is their prodigal child’ and another questioned if the religious nationalist narrative has gone embarrassingly wrong with the pelvic and ovaries fatwa.
Lohaidan’s remarks counter activists who have launched a campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on October 26.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the campaign, which has garnered online support over the past week from women activists, got its website blocked on Sunday inside the kingdom.
The report said that ban on women driving in the UAE isn’t backed by any specific law, but only men are granted driving licences, while women can be fined for driving without a licence and also be detained and put on trial on charges of political protest.
Head of the morality police, Sheikh Abdulatif Al al-Sheikh said that there was no text in the documents making up sharia, or Islamic law that barred women from driving. (ANI)