It’s often said that the world changes one person at a time, and thanks to investment banker Mustafa al-Aqrab, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is just a bit more egalitarian today than it was yesterday. How did al-Aqrab become a difference maker? By encouraging his wife Mirza to become one of the first female Saudis to obtain a driver’s license and pilot her vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians. Now that’s what we call a win for equal rights!
“The truth is that the prohibition against women driving is cultural, not scriptural,” explained al-Aqrab. “In my view, this actually causes more problems than it solves, by obliging them to take taxis or even, Allah protect us, public transportation. These environments are quite unsafe for women, due to the risk of their interacting with unfamiliar men and bringing unspeakable dishonor upon their families. My wife will enjoy privacy while driving her own car, and once she has become a sword striking at the heart of the infidel, the angels will sing her name forever.”
Whoa! So let’s get this straight: Behind door #1 is a shame so deep that it can only be cleansed by an honor killing, whereas door #2 leads to the everlasting glory of martyrdom? Choices don’t get much clearer than that!
According to al-Aqrab, Mirza is not only a devoted wife, but she has excellent reaction time and is highly perceptive of her surroundings, as evidenced by her alacrity in fleeing to the rear of the house whenever al-Aqrab brings male colleagues home after work. Sounds like Mirza will make an excellent driver until the day she shows reckless disregard for her own safety and that of the terrified pedestrians trying to escape her unexpected onslaught.
So it turns out that even a conservative theocracy like Saudi Arabia can change with the times. It all starts with one person willing to take a stand.
Eric Stassen does everything possible to avoid driving, riding in taxis or on public transport, and walking.