Blinded by the enlightenment
Here's the latest from Saudi Arabia, where women have fewer rights than furniture:
The call comes a month after Saudi King ‘Abdallah Bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz announced a series of reforms in the political system that were meant to show a more moderate and liberal face of Saudi officialdom to Western powers.
Thirty-five Saudi clerics warned against what they called violations of Islamic law in the media.
They urged the minister to ban screening of women dancing, singing, presenting news items or talking, whether in Arabic or a foreign language.
“It is forbidden to show pictures of women in Saudi newspapers and magazines, whatever the reason,” they said in a statement, according to the London-based Al-Quds Al-‘Arabi.
The clerics based their statement on a document from the year 2000 issued by the prime minister, which said women should not be employed in jobs that did not suit their nature, or in jobs that would lead them to mix with men.
The call comes as women have made considerable strides in the Saudi media over the past few years.
More Saudi women are getting high-level jobs in the media industry, whether as correspondents or as editors, and women can now acquire a higher education in communications studies, with the government’s blessing.
The clerics’ call might indicate a feeling of resentment or intimidation among men in the Saudi religious establishment, who fear women are breaking out of their traditional role of housewives and are encroaching on areas that have been dominated by males, according to The Media Line analysts.