Skip to comments.Arabs Condemn Women Who Attended Forum on Admitting Women to Forums
Posted on 02/29/2004 11:00:21 AM PST by pabianice
The Jeddah Economic Forum, held January 17-19, 2004, was attended by top Saudi officials and businessmen, as well as international leaders such as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, and former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
For the first time, Saudi businesswomen participated in the forum in the same room with men - some of them even without the veil (Hijab). In past forums, women were only allowed to participate via closed-circuit television. Media reports on the conference featured photos of unveiled women participants, which enraged the Saudi religious establishment.(1)
During the conference, Saudi businesswoman Lubna Al-'Alian, who delivered a speech before all participants on 'The Saudi Perception Regarding Growth,' attracted special attention. In her speech, she said: "Without genuine change, it will be impossible to attain any genuine progress. If we want progress in Saudi Arabia, there is no substitute for reform."(2)
In response to Al-'Alian's speech, Nahed Taher, an economist who works for the Al-Ahli Bank in Saudi Arabia, told the French news agency AFP: "As a Saudi woman, I think we have accomplished an historic deed, thanks to you, Lubna... We women have been isolated within our homes because of discrimination, but today there is the political will to accept us in daily life... Constitutional change is necessary to strengthen the role of the women [in society], which complements the role of the men."(3)
The following are reactions to the events:
The Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh, condemned the mixing of the sexes at the forum, and the media's release of photos of the unveiled Saudi businesswomen. In an official communiqué, he stated: "In recent days we have followed what took place at the economic forum that demanded condemnation on our part..."
"The mingling of men and women together is clearly forbidden. Allah said about the wives of the Prophet, the most modest and pure wives in both worlds: 'And when you ask of them something, [do so] from behind a screen. It is purer for your hearts and for their hearts' [Qur'an 33:53]. Allah required that speaking between the Prophet's wives and the Prophet's companions take place from behind a screen that separates the woman from the man. This clearly emanates from the prohibition against mingling [of the sexes], the requirement that the woman wear the veil, and the prohibition on showing her face...
"I order all those present at this forum to fear Allah and fear His wrath and His punishment toward anyone who transgresses His commandment, deviates from the path of righteousness, and causes the doors of evil to open... I unequivocally condemn this matter, clarify that this is forbidden according to Islam, and warn against its catastrophic results. My pain increases at the sight of such perverse behavior in Saudi Arabia, whose leaders strive to implement [the commandments] of Shari'a..."(4)
(Excerpt) Read more at memri.org ...
She didn't speak English and never went out anywhere. Ever.
He did the shopping, he did the laundry.
Sometimes, when he was out, she would go and sit behind the wheel of their Lincoln and pretend to be driving the car.
a guy walks into a bar with a midget on his shoulder and tells a story about a guy who walks into a bar with a midget on his shoulder....
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