Rebellion brewing in Saudi city
January 28, 2004 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Rebellion brewing in Saudi city The tiny city of Sakaka in the remote al-Jouf province that borders Iraq may seem an unlikely setting for the beginning of a revolution against the ruling al-Saud family. But one does not have to spend too long here to realise that this is what is happening.
posted by Postroad (44 comments total)

 
Sir, the peasants are revolting!

Yes, I know, god, that awful smell.

In all seriousness, though, does anyone have any idea who is on the other side of this rebellion? If it is such? One side, the house of Saud, the other side?
posted by swerdloff at 11:42 AM on January 28, 2004


First question in my mind was: How much will the Bush family and their allies do to ensure the continued reign of the House of Saud?
posted by billsaysthis at 11:52 AM on January 28, 2004


Well, assuming there was a revolution the PNAC kiddies would have the perfect pretext (the revolutionaries are terrorists!) for grabbing the ripest plum in OPEC.

Which means we'd hold the two biggest sources for oil.
posted by Ryvar at 11:59 AM on January 28, 2004


The comment that hundreds, perhaps thousands of Saudi's have crossed into Iraq to join the "Jihad" is interesting, as is the suspicion that Saudi's are suspected of being prominent among suicide bombers in Iraq.

What is it with this state that so many of its citizens are involved in terrorism and why is there so little comment upon it from the likes of Bush and Blair?
posted by Fat Buddha at 12:04 PM on January 28, 2004


That's a rhetorical question, right?
posted by Cyrano at 12:18 PM on January 28, 2004


One side, the house of Saud, the other side?

The house of Hussein, no? (no, not the Saddam Husseins, the other ones from down the block)
posted by Pollomacho at 12:21 PM on January 28, 2004


Richard Perle was on the Daily Show last night and Jon Stewart did grill him on why the administration ignores the Saudi menace. He kind of agreed they're bad and dodged the question why the Bush admin does nothing about them.

It's funny that lots of conservatives and liberals can agree that Saudi Arabia is kinda evil, it's where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, it's most certainly responsible for bankrolling most all the terror efforts in the region, but we haven't done shit to get them to change their ways.

It's like the big white elephant in the room no one in the Bush Admin wants to acknowledge. Hopefully whoever goes up against Bush brings this up.
posted by mathowie at 12:25 PM on January 28, 2004


Also, I never understood why they didn't make the "axis of evil" lists.
posted by mathowie at 12:25 PM on January 28, 2004


What is it with this state that so many of its citizens are involved in terrorism

Because it's the single most repressive state in the entire region--and that's saying a hell of a lot. Despair, victimhood, and lack of freedom breeds terrorism, and Saudi Arabia's got all that in spades.

Because there isn't even a fig leaf of democracy there, no pretense of equality. *Especially* if you're a woman. Don't even get me started on the state of women in Saudi society. They are literally chattel, actually the property of their husband or father, unable to own an ID card or passport on their own. It's sickening. Ten times worse that the Taliban, believe it or not.

Because a few hundred royals got insanely, ridiculously rich off the country's oil reserves, but don't bother to put those profits into even the most basic infrastructure upgrades or social services for their people. The people are instead forcefed wahabbist Islam in state-sponsored madrassas, the most fundamentalist of the main branches of Islam. Schools often don't teach even basic science and technology training, rendering most of the people unable to compete in the modern job market. Many Saudis must go to the US, Europe, or even Egypt to get their education. The vast majority of Saudi Arabia's infrastructure, such as actually running the petroleum industry, is done by foreigners. If they left, the country would completely fall apart.

why is there so little comment upon it from the likes of Bush and Blair?

Because Bush and his father and James Baker have been in bed with the Saudi's for years, and there is supsicion that the Saudi's have been buying off higher-ups in the US gov't for years now. Also, from a purely mercenary point of view, the US and UK *need* Saudi oil. There's no way around that at this moment. If we anatagonized them and they stopped selling to us, or jacked prices, our economies would be royally screwed.

But it would be *so* worth it.

on preview: What Matt said, totally.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:45 PM on January 28, 2004


It's like the big white elephant in the room no one in the Bush Admin wants to acknowledge.

Here's one theory on why...
posted by jonmc at 12:47 PM on January 28, 2004


Although I do have concerns that whoevers rebelling against them may be even worse than the Royals. Given the history of the Middle East that's not an unreasonable concern. Remember the Shah and the Ayatollah?
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on January 28, 2004


The Middle East is so unstable, socially and economically, we prop up anyone who can bring stability no matter what means. Otherwise our geopolitical "partners" (France, Germany, Russia, China, etc..) will fill the power vacuum and do it for us.
posted by stbalbach at 12:52 PM on January 28, 2004


On a more personal note, my husband and I are seriously considering buying a hybrid car in the next year or two (we're looking at the Honda Prius), in large part because we don't want to buy Saudi oil and give money to those fucks.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:54 PM on January 28, 2004


because they got awholelottaoil in that thar ground. would not want to go paying no 5 doller a gallon fer gas, nor 4 bucks fer a loaf of bread.

the Ford administration had some plan to seize the oil fields in case someone tries to play 160$ a barrel.

hmmm, same people are running the show today
and what have we done in the last 29 years to help rid ourselves of the need for so much oil or even needing it at all. (for cars) always gonna need a little oil to make the other stuff that does not propel autos and jets and such like.

we haven't done shit to get them to change their ways.

hard question.
The Devil is not the people, but the need for so much oil IMO
posted by clavdivs at 1:01 PM on January 28, 2004


because they got awholelottaoil in that thar ground. would not want to go paying no 5 doller a gallon fer gas, nor 4 bucks fer a loaf of bread.

iirc, that was one of the rationales SDB had for attacking iraq; like the road to riyadh lies through baghdad or somesuch :D

toyota!
posted by kliuless at 1:14 PM on January 28, 2004


[Women] are literally chattel, actually the property of their husband or father, unable to own an ID card or passport on their own.
Very true. My parents and I lived out there for up to (it varied by member of family) 16 years.

One of the documents you have to get when you live in the country is the 'igama,' which is referred to as a residence permit, but is used as a form of internal passport. Only men can receive them IIRC, and it must be carried at all times.

Any travel outside your province of residence requires a letter to go with the igama, saying what your business is travelling around the country. This was all a few years ago (1983 - 1999), so things may have changed, but given the trends that we experienced over that time, any change would only be in the negative.

Saudi Arabia has a huge level of unemployment amongst its natives, because Saudis generally (I'm sure not all) consider themselves above menial jobs, and many of the jobs are filled by the huge foreign population that live in overpopulated 'camps' of tin shelters. The "TCNs" (Third-world Country Nationals) do pretty much all the heavy lifting in the country, get paid very little for it (though a great deal more than they would get at home). It's an environment ripe for unrest, and unrest is what they now have.
posted by lowlife at 1:16 PM on January 28, 2004


One side, the house of Saud, the other side?

I believe (someone more knowledgeable correct me) that many people living in this part of Saudi Arabia are Shia Muslims. Saudi Arabia has a poor human rights record with its Shia minority (including torture and disappearances), as documented by Amnesty International and others over many years (and friends and colleagues of mine who have worked in Saudi have also given anecdotal evidence of harassment of Shia colleagues even in places like Riyadh - Shias seem to receive more than their fair share of harassment by the religious police, for not observing the Sunni prayer times when apparently Shia prayer times are different, etc.).

My guess is that maybe at least some Shias feel they have more in common with their co-religionists over the border than with their current rulers.
posted by plep at 1:20 PM on January 28, 2004


but don't bother to put those profits into even the most basic infrastructure upgrades

Hmm, I guess that fantastic highway system is a figment of the imagination, as well as the fact that they are the only nation in the Middle East that can boast 24/7 continuous electricity and running water. The Saudis are certainly oppressive but infrastructure is not one of the areas in which they are lacking.

Women in most of the United States could not own property for most of our existence. It is interesting that while women in Western society were literally traded as chattel, veiled and oppressed for centuries, writers at the time wrote about the loose sexuality of the Middle East. The concept of the harem still conjures up some orgiastic image in the Western mind. Now the tables are turned, we've had our sexual revolution and we think everyone who hasn't is archaic and backwards and sexually repressive when actually they might just not be quite as obsessed with fucking as we Westerners are. I'm not saying that the Saudi's aren't schmucks and that women should be kept in black sacks and escorted in public, but I do think we have a completely screwed up and ignorant view of the Middle East in general that is completely biased by our own sexual obsessions, 30 years of gender liberation and couple centuries of chewing on concepts that they were digesting millennia before our "messiah" was begotten (in the Middle East, I might add).
posted by Pollomacho at 1:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Saudi Arabia is evil, and also fundamentally doomed, for almost the exact same reason that Colombia is a hellhole and Bolivia might be next.

Because Americans can't get enough of that force-grown oil-derived fertilizer-fed beefy goodness. Because Americans want to drive enormous vehicles large enough to crush entire villages in a single bound. Because Americans have the god-given right to burn everything they can get their hands on in exchange for a few extra moments of amusement, and anyone that says otherwise is a filthy filthy traitor.
posted by aramaic at 1:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Now the tables are turned, we've had our sexual revolution and we think everyone who hasn't is archaic and backwards and sexually repressive when actually they might just not be quite as obsessed with fucking as we Westerners are.
And a large segment of the American population, including the incumbent at the White House, would rather put the "Sexual Revolution Genie" back in it's phallus-shaped bottle.
posted by lowlife at 1:32 PM on January 28, 2004


Richard Perle was on the Daily Show last night and Jon Stewart did grill him on why the administration ignores the Saudi menace. He kind of agreed they're bad and dodged the question why the Bush admin does nothing about them.

It's funny that lots of conservatives and liberals can agree that Saudi Arabia is kinda evil, it's where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, it's most certainly responsible for bankrolling most all the terror efforts in the region, but we haven't done shit to get them to change their ways.

It's like the big white elephant in the room no one in the Bush Admin wants to acknowledge. Hopefully whoever goes up against Bush brings this up.
posted by mathowie at 2:25 PM CST on January 28


Also, I never understood why they didn't make the "axis of evil" lists.
posted by mathowie at 2:25 PM CST on January 28


Oil, access. The US has a relationship with the Saudi tyrants. If they fall, which is likely, then Saudi Arabia would be a supreme terror state. We had bases in SA for a long time, but finally "officially" pulled out because of the cival unrest that was brewed from hatred of the American bases, which is the exact animosity the bin laden exploited to further his own gains. So, without the Royal Family, there is no oil, and SA suddenly makes Iran look like Panama. The same is with Pakistan. Musharraf is a mother fucker, but we pay him off to allow special forces into Pakistan, etc. Similar to Saddam Hussein in the 80s.
posted by the fire you left me at 1:41 PM on January 28, 2004


Americans can't get enough of that force-grown oil-derived fertilizer-fed beefy goodness.

It's not only America that depends on oil, Europe uses a lot too. This is a global problem. Plus Americas economy is the global engine and if it sputters the rest of the world goes down with it. This is not about luxery SUVs, it is about affordable housing, available jobs, affordable food, affordable utilities to maintain the lifestyle you grew up with.
posted by stbalbach at 1:41 PM on January 28, 2004


While Saudi oil itself is important to the US and other western economies, its greatest value is as a buffer to serious price swings, as they're the only folks with enough production capacity to significantly tweak supply and demand issues.

Sadly, this means we'd still depend on Saudi Arabia even if we replaced every drop of oil we got from them.

I also imagine that if (when) there was (is) any significant action against the ruling elite, you will see a US military response that will make both gulf wars look like a weekend National Guard gathering...
posted by jalexei at 2:04 PM on January 28, 2004


On a more personal note, my husband and I are seriously considering buying a hybrid car in the next year or two (we're looking at the Honda Prius), in large part because we don't want to buy Saudi oil and give money to those fucks.

That's why I bought a diesel powered Jetta. I can operate it on 100% home grown fuel made from soybeans, not a single drip of oil necessary. You'd think the govt would want to give tax breaks on 50mpg non-fossil fuel needing cars like that, but only for hybrids and those are drying up fast.
posted by mathowie at 2:10 PM on January 28, 2004


The 'other side' right now is Bin Laden. To most Saudis he represents an authentic voice against the people ruining their country (the House of Saud and their loyal American Masters). As has been well-written in this thread (esp. by Asparagirl) Saudi Arabia is a place of extreme repression by a papmered, ultra-rich elite who for all inents and purposes do nothing for the country which has brought them such wealth. Instead of actually improving the country in any meaningful way, they try to follow the Israeli model and pour hundreds of millions into PR campaigns and political slush funds.

In a place that is so corrupt, where billions are literally stolen from the people every day, a figure like Bin Laden is a hero-- he is an authentic Saudi who is not afraid to stand up and say that the House of Saud is corrupt, evil, and anti-Islam. He then, quite correctly, points out to the people that the best friends of the House of Saud in the entire world is the USA. People everywhere can be confused when it comes to looking at the evil of their own government, but when you externalize it, and point the finger at the Saud's principal benefactor, ally, and personal friend, it is easier to mobilize people against that enemy.

It is of paramount importance for world peace that something is done about Saudi Arabia, because if the choices are between Bin Ladin and the House of Saud, everyone ends up losing big time. I agree with Matthowie that whoever runs against Bush should make this a major part of their campaign-- Bush more than any other president besides his father, is neck-deep in Saudis.
posted by cell divide at 2:42 PM on January 28, 2004


Women in most of the United States could not own property for most of our existence.

True, but our status in the US was never as bad as what the women in Saudi Arabia and much of the rest of the Middle East have to contend with (women who were slaves in the South excepted, natch). We could buy and sell items without needing a man's permission; Saudi women can't. Starting in Western states in the 1800's, we could vote for our leaders and/or run for office; Saudi women can't. (But then again, neither can Saudi men.) We have always been able to drive cars and hold drivers' licenses; Saudi women can't. We have always been legally allowed to simply walk somewhere we wanted to go; Saudi women can't, not unless they have a "mahram", an approved male chaperone with them at all times. We have always been allowed to sing; Saudi women (and until recently, Afghan women) can't. We have always been able to change our religion if we wanted to, or to marry someone from another religion; Saudi women can't. We could always decide that America just wasn't right for us and leave the country if we wanted to; Saudi women can't.

I'm fairly sure that if there was ever a fire in an American girls' school, that the fire department would try to rescue the girls, rather than beating them and locking them inside and forcing the girls to burn to death because they weren't wearing abayas and their kneecaps and foreheads were being exposed.

I do think we have a completely screwed up and ignorant view of the Middle East in general that is completely biased by our own sexual obsessions

It is not a sexual obsession nor is it ignorance to insist that women should be able to wear something other than a sweltering tent, if they so choose. Saudi women can't. Or that women should have the right to divorce their husbands. Saudi women can't. Or that women shouldn't be able to be arbitrarily decreed that they are now divorced via a cellphone text message from their husband and have it be okay in court. Saudi women can't. If a divorce occurs, women should have the right to some sort of settlement, especially if they have no means to support themselves. Saudi women don't. If they get divorced they should have the possibility of keeping custody, even partial, of their children. Saudi women can't keep custody of their daugters past age 7 or their sons past age 9; the children are property of the husband.

we've had our sexual revolution and we think everyone who hasn't is archaic and backwards and sexually repressive when actually they might just not be quite as obsessed with fucking as we Westerners are

Or sometimes they just are archaic and backwards and sexually repressive, y'know?
posted by Asparagirl at 4:17 PM on January 28, 2004


Thanks, cell divide, and I agree with you 100%. I can only hope that a democratic Iraq, prospering and free, smack in the middle of the Middle East will prove to be a third option (besides the House of Saud and Bin Laden) for Saudis to want to emulate in the coming years. To see their northern neighbors governing themselves and doing alright might give hope and self-esteem to a place that sorely needs some.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:27 PM on January 28, 2004


Well...

Iraq was a much easier target. The people were already modernized, women actualy had equal rights under saddam (which they are in danger of losing now), so it would be easy to build a 'modern democracy' there.

SA on the other hand, I dunno. I don't see how you could totaly change the culture like that unless a pretty large part of the population desired it. The only way to change it, IMO, would be to kill or imprison a huge part of the population.
posted by delmoi at 5:01 PM on January 28, 2004


In a place that is so corrupt, where billions are literally stolen from the people every day, a figure like Bin Laden is a hero-- he is an authentic Saudi who is not afraid to stand up and say that the House of Saud is corrupt, evil, and anti-Islam.

Figures like Bin Laden are the ones who "stole". Alot of that "stolen money" is from the BinLaden Co. rebuilding of Mecca, Medina and the building of royal palaces amongst other things. He is not an authentic (what ever that means) Saudi. He is of yemeni and syrian heritage. The Saudis have revoked his citizenship and tried to kill him on several occasions. His own elder brothers referred to Osama as "the son of the slave".

It is of paramount importance for world peace that something is done about Saudi Arabia, because if the choices are between Bin Ladin and the House of Saud, everyone ends up losing big time

one or the either huh, no middle ground there in your eyes. What is paramount is getting off the oil addiction we have had for over 60 years.
posted by clavdivs at 5:34 PM on January 28, 2004


I believe (someone more knowledgeable correct me) that many people living in this part of Saudi Arabia are Shia Muslims

No, that's the Eastern Province (read about the Shia here). Sakaka and the nearby town Jauf ("Jouf" in the linked story) are at the southern end of the Wadi Sirhan, which readers of Seven Pillars of Wisdom will remember as the path Lawrence and his Arab allies took on their way to attack the Turks at Akaba:
[Nuri's] favour would open to us the Sirhan, a famous roadway, camping ground, and chain of water-holes, which in a series of linked depressions extended from Jauf, Nuri's capital, in the south-east, northwards to Azrak, near Jebel Druse, in Syria. It was the freedom of the Sirhan we needed to reach the tents of the Eastern Howeitat, those famous Abu Tayi, of whom Auda, the greatest fighting man in northern Arabia, was chief.
It was historically not part of what we think of as "Saudi Arabia" at all, being a caravan way-station contested by various tribes (Ruwalla &c) and until Ibn Saud consolidated his power it was under the control of Ibn Rashid of Ha'il, a bitter enemy of the Al Saud. It is simplistic to think of "the other side" in this context; Arabian history and politics are extremely complex, and I'll be very surprised if this has anything to do with Bin Laden (whose family is Yemeni) or the house of Hussein (if by that Pollomacho means the former Sharifs of Mecca, who haven't been players for a long time now). We'll just have to wait and see what's going on here; it could as easily be a local squabble as the beginning of the end of the House of Saud.

Oh, and we definitely need to wean ourselves from our oil addiction.
posted by languagehat at 5:43 PM on January 28, 2004


OT, but, Matt, where in hell are you getting bio-diesel? I thought it was still home hobbyist stuff. Are there bio-diesel stations up in your neck of the woods? Or have you gotten into soybean farming?
posted by RakDaddy at 6:01 PM on January 28, 2004


And Matt, don't forget the oil that goes into the fertilizer to grow the soybeans, to run the equipment that harvests it, the equipment that ships it, etc. etc. Not to mention the oil needed to manufacture and ship many parts of the car itself.

It's actually pretty scary just how married we are to oil.
posted by jalexei at 6:41 PM on January 28, 2004


If only someone would invent cold fusion or ultra-efficient solar power, or something like that; so much of the world's problems, from the third world to our world, would be soooo much better.

Science fiction promises of yesteryear, where are you when we need you? :-(
posted by Asparagirl at 7:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Science fiction promises of yesteryear, where are you when we need you
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 PM on January 28, 2004


clavdivs bin laden group made money by actually producing something... whereas members of the royal family skim off the top... it's a big difference.
posted by chaz at 9:30 PM on January 28, 2004


It's not just revolts around Sakaka in Saudi Arabia, but also around Najran in Southern Saudi Arabia, where recently 4,000 "Islamic extremists" were arrested. Najran has a population of 116,000, so that translates into about 3.5% of the local population.

Round up the usual suspects!
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:46 AM on January 29, 2004


This map will give you an idea of where this unrest is taking place.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:47 AM on January 29, 2004


clavdivs bin laden group made money by actually producing something... whereas members of the royal family skim off the top... it's a big difference.

really? The Kingdom controls the purse strings hence they pay the Bin ladens.

is this a peter to paul thing?
posted by clavdivs at 9:08 AM on January 29, 2004


It is not a sexual obsession nor is it ignorance to insist that women should be able to wear something other than a sweltering tent...

Similar descriptions could be used for corseted Victorian Britain and America, and Britain was even lead by a woman! I'm not going to try and sit here and defend the practices of Wahabists but I'm certainly not going to pronounce that our three decades of gender "equality" makes us some sort of experts on sexual relations. Aren't we the people that parade our women around in next to nothing on the cover of every magazine in the supermarket and force girls to feel ugly and inadequate if they don't have the figure of a silicone injected anorexic? Who's repressive and archaic exactly?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:20 PM on January 29, 2004


Something tells me you're not a woman, Pollomacho.

insomnia: Nice map.
posted by languagehat at 1:14 PM on January 29, 2004


Similar descriptions could be used for corseted Victorian Britain and America

Really? Because I don't recall any southern belles being stoned to death for not wearing a corset. Sure, there was some (mainly upper and middle-class) portion of a (mainly white and Christian and non-rural) population who wore uncomfortable garments like corsets. But it was their choice to follow the fashion. That is a very, very, very different thing from all Saudi women being forced to wear such things because that is the law and if they don't they will be executed.

certainly not going to pronounce that our three decades of gender "equality" makes us some sort of experts on sexual relations

Legal equality in citizenship before the law (de jure, if not yet always de facto) does make us better able to criticize societies like the Saudis'. If not a society that has gotten a bit closer to the ideal of gender parity, then who?

And why are you so hung up on "sexual relations" (and, you mentioned in an earlier post, "fucking")? We're not talking about screwing, dammit, we're talking about basic human rights! The right to walk! Sing! Have a passport! Not wear clothing X if you'd rather wear clothing Y!

Aren't we the people that parade our women...

Why are you putting women in the objective tense? Why are you not phrasing this "in our country, women can be highly paid supermodels and get filthy rich off showing off our bodies, rather than being murdered for it"?

and force girls to feel ugly and inadequate if they don't have the figure of a silicone injected anorexic

Who's forcing? I weigh 165 lbs. and wear a size 12 and rather like my big round ass. Again, why are you putting women in the objective tense here--poor creatures which have things done to them, rather than autonomous humans making choices on their own? And do you realize that anorexia and other eating disorders often have surprisingly little to do with body image and more to do with control, or lack of it, in a girl or woman's life, especially her home life? You know--the kind of control that is total and legally sanctioned over a every aspect of a woman's life in Saudi Arabia?

It's a red herring to talk about some of the more silly ideals of Western beauty--ideals that are rarely followed, given our overwhelming obesity rates--when the issue is the basic inalienable rights of women--humans--everywhere. I think what you're really saying is "well, who are we to judge their culture". I say damn right, I'm going to judge their culture. Fuck the Saudis. Their culture and legal system is wrong. Not just different, but wrong, and I do not feel some burning need to add a "yes, but..." caveat about my own culture either. There are absolutes in human behavior that transcend cultures, nationalities, and religions, and "Don't treat half your population like shit" tops the list. You go back to bitching about the cover of "Cosmo" while the rest of us go advocate for actual social justice, deal?
posted by Asparagirl at 2:02 PM on January 29, 2004


I said and I'll repeat, I am not going to defend the god damn wahabbists, but I am still going to say that we are a bunch of arrogant ass holes when we consider ourselves capable of judging other cultures based on our own concepts of morality.

I use the objective tense to talk about women because I am describing an objective practice. I'm glad that you are quite comfortable with your body, that's great, that does not mean that girls and women (as well as men and boys) are not crammed full of media that presents a normal human body type negatively. Many women are driven to death by these negative body images, only their deaths come through years of self imposed starvation. Very few women ever reach the status of "highly paid" model.

My problem is not with judging the wahabbists as cruel or as oppressive, my problem is the transference that comes from pointing the finger at Arabs or Muslims in general. Incidentally many wahabbist codes were learned from observation of Western practices. Islam in general teaches that sexuality is just something you should not have to be concerned with on a day to day basis. Women have traditionally chosen in most of the Muslim world to wear the chador to eliminate any sexual tension they might face, to de-objectify themselves. The wahabbists are extremists, fundamentalists. They feel that our system of turning women into "whores" is just as distasteful, are they wrong, for the most part, sure, are they wrong for oppressing women, sure, I'm not going to fucking defend them. Are we wrong for feeling smug superiority? You betcha.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:37 PM on January 29, 2004


Women have traditionally chosen in most of the Muslim world to wear the chador

That's dumb on two different counts: women don't wear chadors in most of the Muslim world, and to say those who do "choose" to do so is true only in the sense that a prisoner chooses to do what the guard says. Opposing ignorant views of the Muslim world is a good thing, but you might want to 1) learn more about it, and 2) ask women in both worlds what they think rather than presuming you can speak for them.

Asparagirl, you're my new MeFi hero.
posted by languagehat at 6:40 PM on January 29, 2004


[blushes]

Thanks, languagehat.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:17 PM on January 29, 2004


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