William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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A DEBATE IN SAUDI? – AT 11:01 A.M. ET:  Human rights conditions in most Arab countries are awful, although you'd never know it from the "scholarship" on some Western college campuses, which focuses on "colonialism, racism, Islamophobia..."  You know the drill.

But the internet is providing a forum in some Arab countries for limited dissent.  In Saudi Arabia, where women aren't even allowed to drive cars, some women, and, yes, some men, are resisting, especially when a Saudi cleric makes even more of a fool of himself than usual.  From the Arab news service Al Arabiya:

A Twitter post ignited a battle of arguments over a post tweeted by a Saudi cleric describing the newly-introduced waitress at a fast-food restaurant in Saudi Arabia as “prostitutes”.

The debated topic sparked when Saudi Sheikh Ali Al Mutairi reacted to a number of Saudi tweets calling for the boycott of popular American fast-food restaurant, Hardee’s.

Those infidel hamburgers!

The reason?

The burger chain had recently allowed women – for the first time – to work as waitresses at their branches across the coastal city of Jeddah.

“At the beginning of her shift she’s a waitress. When her shift ends she becomes a prostitute. The more she’s around men the easier it becomes to get closer to her”, tweeted Al-Mutairi, whose twitter account (@4aalmutairi (boasts more than 5,000 followers.)

Despite this cleric’s views reflecting an existing frustration amongst some conservative segments in Saudi Arabia which oppose women’s right to work and fear that allowing females to mix with men may lead to unwanted social behaviours, Mutari’s rather controversial tweet was deemed too extreme to many Saudis on Twitter.

“Prostitution is not in working trying to survive but it is in corrupted minds that use religion to distort other’s reputation,” posted one male in response to Mutar’s tweet.

“Prostitute? So any female employee in my country is a whore now?” wrote a female tweep by the handle of @Sulafa_97.

Many commented by telling Sheikh Al Mutairi that through doubting the morality of ‘chaste’ women and describing them in the way he did, the cleric would be committing a serious vice, according to well-known Islamic teachings.

Another tweep posted pictures of some Hardee’s waitresses posted over social media by saying “These women are all covered up that I wouldn’t look at them, plus if your sister goes to that restaurant would you prefer a man or a woman taking her order?”

COMMENT:  Okay, it isn't exactly the kind of debate we'd have here.  The waitresses at Hardee's in Jeddah do have to cover up, but at least some dissent is allowed.  It's a start...if you're willing to start in the 10th century.

Oh, by the way, notice the deep interest of Western "feminist" groups in the condition of Muslim women.  These groups, which often betray women, are nothing more than branch offices of the Western left.  Who cares about Muslim women when you can spend your days charging that the American Republican Party is waging a "war on women"?

December 1,  2012