Monday, May 24, 2010

Saudi Humour at its Best: "...sports are corrupting and satanic for women"

A senior cleric on Sunday urged the Saudi government to uphold a ban on women's sports in the kingdom in the face of increasing demand to ease the restrictions.

Sheik Abdul Karim al-Khudhair, member of the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement that sports are "corrupting" and "satanic" for women. Instead, he urged women to stay at home.

In its neighbouring country (aka UAE), local women are graduating as cadet pilots, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and embarking on Mount Everest amongst other things, and here in Saudi Arabia women are being discouraged, not to mention being asked to stay at home!!!

And, what a revelation - sports are devilish!!!

Seriously what will become of this nation? 


  1. " Seriously what will become of this nation? "

    As usual Sam, as usual :
    * Less crime rate than (what ever) your hometown !
    * More conservative people and lifestyle's witch is important to grow up kids and families.

    Sam we do have sports clubs for ladies, all over the country + specially in Riyadh there's tons of gym's & spas.

    Sam we're glad to have you and your family here in Saudi Arabia, if you become more neutral and closer the culture here you'll know for sure that sports are NOT devilish at all , and we're open-minded cool people :D.

    Be safe.

  2. Tameem,

    I think you've got me all wrong here - I DO NOT think that sports are devilish at all.

    And, I can assure you I love this place already, however what I cannot come to terms with is the silent discrimination against women, which rather unfortunately I'm sure you agree exists in almost all Muslim countries in one form of the other, but in Saudi things are taken to another extreme sometimes.

    I've been to the gyms and spas here and its amazing to see both local and expat girls/ladies having open innocent fun. I just wish there weren't sooooooo many restrictions.

  3. A young saudi woman :)January 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Although i have read but a couple of your blogs but I find it typical foreigner observations of a society they haven't really experienced. I mean you comment on news and stuff but you don't really know what is the public opinion about it. I always find it a bit insulting when someone judges a culture they don't really know that much about. True you may live here but how many Saudi friends you have? how many parties or social gatherings you attended so far that gave you a glimpse of how we think? I don't agree with a lot of thing said by this said "cleric" or whoever he is but still I find your words "Seriously what will become of this nation?" implies somethings as if we young Saudis women and men can't really form an intelligent thought by ourselves as if we take his words as facts, he can share his views with the world doesn't mean we agree!! Just because some Saudi said something outrageously stupid doesn't mean I or most people here believe his words to be law. It is true there are a lot of contradictions in my society because I feel very much free to do what I wish to do as a women but at the same time you have laws such as that women can't drive that hinder my freedom but it doesn't make me feel oppressed we have the alternative to get drivers for the time being. But I am frustrated because everyone I know wants women to drive car whether the men or the women of my family however the issue is so complicated and has a lot of conflicting an complex Dimension that I know it is going to happen just the when is the problem. Although with any issues here or any where in the world the loudest voices you will hear are usually the most shocking. I mean when it comes to Saudi society nobody wants to hear about Dr. Faten Khorsheed a Saudi engineer genetic structure.
    who discovered a new
    medication on recovering lungs
    cancer or Dr.Howaiyda Al-Qethami First female Professor of Cardiac-
    Surgery in Middle East...etc. It is just more interesting to hear about women who suffered from say domestic violence -which shockingly enough actually happens everywhere in the world: Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds. (UN Study On The Status of Women, Year 2000)- what I dont get is why we are labeled backward in our treatment to women when unfortunate crimes happen everywhere in the world. Also when it comes to Saudi Arabia you have to put in my mind that men in power are corrupt people more often than not. They don't really care about changing the laws because they don't really care about the people of this country. They hide behind religion sometimes so that their actions are not questioned or to get support from people who are really religious. All they care about is how to get more power more money..etc.I know my comment is way out of the subject of the blog but I guess reading some of your comments about us Saudis and our way of life and thinking was way off base with me that I had to share my thoughts.

  4. Saudi Woman, thanks much for your detailed opinion not to mention your expansive insight regarding your culture and norms. I agree I have not myself experienced or interacted on a personal level with any Saudis. That said I have not formed ANY opinion or passed ANY JUDGEMENT about any of the learned, religious, conservative yet objective-loving Saudis like yourself. We all know that all the fingers of the hand are not the same! When I say What will become of this nation, I mean to criticize all these seemingly-literate-yet-dumb people who formulate policies without the slightest idea of what is acceptable or even logical. The same implies to the country Pakistan where I come from. We are being ruled by a bunch of illiterate corrupt bastards but that doesn't mean that all Pakistanis are cut from the same cloth.

    I completely agree that talking about domestic violence, or a terror plot in our Muslim societies is always given an extra spin by the Western world, when infact in their countries this happens more frequently. But when it comes to the achievements of any Muslim scholars, no mention is ever made nor any credit ever given.

    Once again thanks for reading my posts and giving your honest feedback. I am at the end of the day as you rightly said a Foreigner NOT a local, so these are just my observations and opinions as an outsider :)