Friday, November 19, 2004

Women's rights in Saudi Arabia

In June I commented on the lack of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

Steven Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam, has more on the topic:
Most people, both inside the Saudi kingdom and outside it, would agree that it will be a cold, cold day before the rulers of Riyadh grant rights to women. Nevertheless, on a crisp, cold, and clear Saturday, November 13, a protest materialized in front of the fortress-like Saudi embassy in Washington, demanding freedom for women as well as the liberation of anti-extremist dissidents locked up by the world's most rigid Islamist regime.
The article is discouraging. Apparently would-be government reformers are treated more harshly than, say, al Qaeda members and supporters.

And the plight of women in Saudi Arabia is bleak. The article points to a glimmer of hope--a visible increase in "anti-extremist discontent with the Wahhabi dictatorship." It's a glimmer which does not seem very bright to me.