Women Can Vote in Saudi Arabia – So What?

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Hatoon al-Fassi, a history professor and suffragette in Saudi Arabia, observes that “the fact that the issue of women has turned Saudi Arabia into an international joke is another thing that brought the decision now.” That is undeniably true, but Saudi Arabia is and will remain not just an international blot, but an international rebuke. Saudi Arabia, in its day-to-day existence, constitutes a rebuke to the pretensions of the United Nations to care anything about human rights at all. In his speech to the UN on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated that “it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East. Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd.”

Indeed it is, and not solely because of its ongoing demonization of Israel and submission to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Islamic supremacist propaganda campaign, although that is certainly an enduring blot on its record. The UN is also the theater of the absurd because it directs no condemnation of any kind to Saudi Arabia for its institutionalized discrimination against women, and indeed, never says a single, solitary word about how Islamic law makes life for women subject to oppression that would be excoriated as intolerable were it perpetrated in any context other than an Islamic one.

And life for women in Saudi Arabia will continue to be intolerable even if they have the right to vote in the utterly meaningless Saudi elections. Hatoon al-Fassi and other women like her deserve the respect of every free person for trying to improve a difficult situation, but they have a very, very long way to go and their prospects for success are quite dim. Sunday, King Abdullah raised their hopes in a way he is unlikely to do again as long as Islamic law continues to hold sway in his kingdom. At this point, the international human rights community should not be congratulating or thanking him, but raining down condemnations upon his head.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    One wonders how many women will be voted ONTO the consultative Shura? Why do I suspect the number will be 0? Is it because I'm jaded?

    Absolutely! I'm Jaded in the extreme when it comes to all things Islam. This is the inevitable fate of any and every freedom-loving infidel with even the most rudimentary understanding of the 'Religion of Peace'.

    • Coupal

      I don't think they are allowed to run as candidates in elections, are they?

      • Chezwick_mac

        I heard they can in local elections…but maybe not in the national Shura. If they CAN in local elections, it'll be interesting to see how many actually win.

  • Anamah

    This kind of regime are a disgrace for the world not only for them. Islam is here in America. Little by little they are gaining space and pushing our doors and windows. They are committed to entry and beginning to rule and make the war against our Constitution. We need to keep out of our country the Sharia law, we must stop the Islamization in America.

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    • johnnywoods

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  • Marty

    The saudi regime cannot "give" a right that human beings of both genders already possess. All the saudi lowlifes are doing is denying basic human dignity, something they excel at and have been pursuing for generations. This is the eiptome of arrogance on the part of the saudis. This is only one more reason saudi arabia is a fake state and should be dissolved. The United States should encourage and support separatist movements, particularly in the eastern part of the country (where much of the oil is), freeze all saudi assests, and use them to reduce the national debt.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    It was a dark time indeed when the United States of America careened off the rails, passed the 19th Amendment, and extended the franchise to women. The men were already doing a marvelous job of mucking things up, and all we did was double our trouble.

    It is only fitting that those pesky, jolly musselmen suffer a similar fate as us benighted Americanos.

    • tanstaafl

      The 19th Amendment didn't go far enough. Sure, women got the vote, but why did men get to keep it?

      • Supreme_Galooty

        Because it was men, already mucking things up as previously mentioned, who passed the thing? Just guessing. I'm in favor of Robert Heinlein's proposition: ANYONE can vote. You enter the voting booth, the curtains close behind you. A quadratic equation is presented on the screen and you have sixty seconds to solve it. If you do so correctly, you vote. If not, the curtains open on an empty voting booth.

  • waterwillows

    Supreme_Galooty,

    Oh come on now, don't you enjoy having someone to share in your mucking up? Why go it alone?

  • Supreme_Galooty

    My Dear WW,

    The Supreme Galooty ALWAYS "goes it alone," and does not engage in petty Tom-Foolery such as you suggest, although I do appreciate your earnest solicitude.

  • Gerald

    Nothing is going to change for the women of Sowdia Barbaria as long as they continue to live under sharia law. How can it change when in the memorable words of Churchill "In Islamic law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine.(The River War ) or in the words of Qurtubi’s Tafsir (vol.15, p.172), "A Woman may be likened to a sheep—even a cow or a camel—for all are ridden.”

  • StephenD

    How long before they get to keep their genitals intact? If the Saudi's keep this up, women in the M.E. will begin to think they're actually real people!

  • mrbean

    Master Chens says: "Women should stay home and make babies. Preferably, manchild." Never marry an AMerican woman. American woman are basically worthless wives. They want a 'dual career' marriage. They are very materialistic. Once you stop buying them things, they are off to the next john. They can't make it on their own and end up leeches. They are always btchy 90% of the time. Some are bi-polar nutcases. Don't lest looks fool you. Women turn ugly at 30-32 yrs old. They get fat and smell. That is when they want you back. No one wants them.

  • Andreas Moser

    This is nothing more than a publicity stunt and an empty promise. What's the point of elections if there is NO parliament in Saudi Arabia? => http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/wome