A traditionalist historian from Saudi Arabia has defended his country’s ban on female drivers, saying that foreign governments which allow women to get behind the wheel don’t care if they are r*ped.
“Women used to ride camels so one might ask what prevents them from driving cars,” Saleh Al-Saadoon said in a debate on Rotana Khalijiyya TV.
“In Saudi Arabia we have special circumstances. If a woman drives from one city to another and her car breaks down, what will become of her?”
When the show’s female presenter pointed out that women drive in America, Europe and the Arab world, he replied: “They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do.”
“It’s no big deal to them beyond the damage to their morale, in our case though, the problem is of a social and religious nature,” he continued.
The presenter pointed out that the show’s other guests appeared “to be in shock,” but Mr Al-Saadoon seemed unperturbed.
“Well, they should listen to me and get used to what society thinks, if they are really so out of touch with it,” he said.
Mr Al-Saadoon later conceded that he was concerned by the idea that some women may be raped by their male chauffeurs, but proposed a solution to that potential problem.
“The solution is to bring in female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives,” he suggested, at which point the presenter collapsed in a fit of giggles.