Saudi cleric suspended for saying women should not drive because they are ‘quarter brained’

A Saudi cleric who said women should not be allowed to drive because they have a “quarter” of the brainpower of men has been banned from preaching, the government said on Friday.Saudi cleric suspended for saying women should not drive because they are 'quarter brained'

Saad al-Hijri was suspended from leading prayers and all other religious activity in the southern province of Asir after he was widely pilloried on social media for his comment.

“It is not their fault, but women lack intellect do they not?” Hijri asked an audience at a lecture on “the evils of allowing women to drive”.

“Their lack of intellect does not harm their piousness because they are made that way,” he said, explaining that in Islam a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s.

“Would you give a man with half an intellect a driving licence? So how would you give one to a woman when she has half an intellect,” he said.

“And if they go out to the market this gets halved again! So they now have a quarter of an intellect,” Hijri said without giving an explanation for his reasoning.

He then argues that because women pray less than men – during menstruation women are prohibited from prayers – they also have less “faith” of men.

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive, despite ambitious government reforms aimed at boosting female employment.

Under the country’s guardianship system, a male family member – normally the father, husband or brother – must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.

Hijri’s comment sparked a storm on social media, with women’s rights activists calling for his suspension, but he also had pockets of support from conservative followers.

“The ban sends a message that preaching platforms will not be used to undercut the values of equality, justice and respect for women that are inherent in Islam,” an official statement said, citing a spokesman for Asir’s governor.

“Anyone using preaching platforms to undermine those values will be banned in future.”

Following his suspension, Hijri said that his comment was a “slip of the tongue”, according to Sabq online newspaper.

Categories: Saudi Arabia

3 replies

  1. This cleric is right, according to Al Quran as ancient Islamic law, men treat women as slave, men are allowed to mary many wives and have many slaves . Women are allowed to sit side by side with man, if a man tauch woman’s skin, he have to seek water to clean his skin, girls do not need to get good education as boy, etc etc

    I would like to ask Ahmadiyyah Women; do you agree with the ancient Islamic laws or do you want to reject it and then reform it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.