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August 22, 2005

Those Drunken, Whoring Saudis: Desert Islam's problem with women

Posted by William G. Ridgeway

Desert Islam - the type of Wahhabi ideology practised in, and exported by, Saudi Arabia - has a problem with women. William G. Ridgeway explores how oil has enabled Saudi Arabia to export its anti-Western, autocratic, intolerant, and misogynistic Wahhabi ideology - and in the process transform the position of women in much of the Arab world, for the worse. During the Golden Age of the Arab cinema from the 1950s to the mid-1970s the coquettish, slightly tipsy Arab woman was a beloved figure of Arab film comedies. Then she was laughed at. Now she would be stoned to death.

Bahrain is currently debating whether to bring back sex segregation in its national University. This has caused disbelief in the West, and has led to student and journalistic lobbying on both sides of the argument, unveiling for a fleeting moment a tectonic schism, running the length of Arabia – that between urban modernity and Desert Islam. One of the main problems is sex. Desert Islam is neurotic about men and women mixing together, convinced – with some justification given the circumstances – that if men and women are allowed to mingle freely, they will end up having sexual intercourse. Strict segregation is thus practiced in Universities in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and, of course, Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, arguably the most evil and repressive regime on earth, men and women attend different institutions – you can't be too careful. As a strange quirk in this, male teachers are allowed to interact with female students, but must do so in front of a video camera in a separate room. If a woman student wishes to ask a question, well . . . they all have telephones on their desks. They simply phone up the teacher in the next room and ask something like "Teacher, what is dating?"

The Saudi obsession with women's bits reached a grim low in 2002 when the thought police – the mutaween – barred female students from fleeing a burning school because they were not appropriately dressed. Fifteen young women died. Last month, the lunacy continued when the Saudi Education Ministry banned all schools from teaching ballet, concerned that if one looked hard enough, one could discern female bits. Actually, they're right. I remember sitting mesmerised by Darcey Bussell's bits one cold November evening at the Royal Opera House, and would now fight for women's rights to arabesque.

Encroaching modernity has resulted in an increase in the place and power of Desert Islam in everyday society. Contrary to widespread Western beliefs about the trajectory of the Middle East as a hesitant but inevitable climb to liberal democracy, the region is actually going the other way – fast. Academics call this "Islamicisation", the spread of radical Shi'a and Wahhabi beliefs and practices throughout the region. Because of this trend, the Middle East one sees nowadays is nothing like it was, say, fifty years ago. Around the 1950s, about the time oil was being discovered in the Gulf, many Muslim nations were relatively liberal by today's standards. Alcohol flowed freely, women went uncovered and there was lively public debate about "Ataturk's way", the separation of Islam and state, modernisation, and dialogue with the West. The Middle East seemed to be going in the right direction.

Saudi oil changed all that. Why oh why, critics ask, was oil found there? Why not somewhere more conducive to global progress, like Taiwan or Holland? But no, Saudi it was – the home of Wahhabi Islam, the most fiercely anti-Western, autocratic, intolerant and warlike of all Islamic cults. The combined possession of oil and Mecca quickly gave Saudis, previously an insignificant mob of goat-herders and woman-beaters, delusions of grandeur. Having no education other than what the mullahs told them, they didn't understand the world beyond the campfire, and they didn't like it.

Oil meant that the Saudis now had the means to change the world to more resemble them. The mountain would come to Mohammed. Their mission, their warped religion told them, was to change the world to be like them, except that they had Mecca and would thus be the most important women-beating goat-herders in the world. Many educated Arabs secretly bemoan the fact that Mecca is situated in a place of such ignorance and extremism. Why not Oman? ask some. Neighbouring Oman, has a much more gentle brand of indigenous Islam known as Ibadhism, which preaches tolerance as a key Muslim virtue. Why not Oman, indeed.

But Saudi it was. God had willed it, as the Saudis still claim today. Saudi Arabia soon started flexing its economic and theological muscle – vastly expanding the number of mosques and madrases in its mainland, and exporting its perverted brand of puritanism abroad. It did this by funding mosques, madrases and "payments for conversion" throughout the region and beyond, to North Africa, Central Asia and South East Asia, notably Indonesia. Many of these countries were poor and welcomed the "grants" and status projects afforded by the Saudis. The great "Islamic revival" had started.

In recent years, Saudi-funded Islamicisation has had some notable triumphs – particularly when it comes to alcohol, which has always been near the top of the Wahhabi hit list, in spite of the fact that Saudis themselves often succumb to drunkenness, alcoholism, and, more recently, massive and widespread drug abuse. Alcohol was actually permitted in Saudi Arabia up until 1952. Two things happened that stopped the party. Firstly, one of King Abdullaziz's sons - Nasir - made an extended trip to America, and learnt to appreciate wine, women and song. Upon his return, the carousing continued with a series of orgies, famously involving men and women. The partying stopped abruptly one night, when the spirits consumed in vast amounts ended up killing seven, including women.

For this Nasir was beaten and imprisoned, but alcohol remained legal - the reveling Saudi elite really didn't want a dry state. The last straw was placed in the camel's back in 1952 when Nasir's brother Mishari – also a dissolute libertine – got himself so drunk that he went out and shot the British consul dead, also wounding his wife. The long-suffering King had had enough, and alcohol was banned. From that date onwards, the Saudi authorities made a virtue out of necessity and preached the evils of alcohol, gaining renewed support from the Wahhabi mullahs, whom the Saudi royal family used thenceforth as a highly effective thought police. Just as the later Talibans found, Desert Islam is not only a highly effective method of social and political control, but it legitimates exploitative and despotic administrative practices. Of course, the ruling elite carried on just as before with their ongoing alcohol-fueled orgies, rapes and paedophilia, but the official line was that alcohol was an evil. Saudi was on the wagon.

One of the first countries to be hit by Saudi double standards was Kuwait, which was severely strapped for cash in the 1960s. Their Saudi cousins offered to help, on condition that this small country – once a drinker's paradise – banned alcohol outright. The Kuwaitis accepted the money, shut down the bars and watched as mosque after mosque popped up, spouting jihad. This development was ironic considering that, barring the Saudis, the Kuwaitis were the most notorious drunks in the Arab world. Time magazine vividly captured the chaotic aftermath of the introduction of the ban:

A month ago the oil-rich sheikdom of Kuwait banned all liquor within its borders, and since then many of its thirsty citizens have been drinking everything in sight from perfume and eau de cologne to rubbing alcohol and Sterno — with predictably disastrous results. By last week, an estimated 150 Kuwaiti had died from alcohol poisoning, several hundred more had been blinded, and Kuwait's hospitals were filled to overflowing. Bathtub gin is flourishing, and bootlegging the real thing has become Kuwait's fastest growing business.

Moving on to the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of one of the Emirates was allegedly an alcoholic who eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver. Being quite the playboy, as most Arab leaders are, he gambled – a lot. So much, in fact, that he bankrupted the whole of his Emirate. Sheik Zayed, the founder and president of the United Arab Emirates, was a just and religious man who had paid off his neighbour's gambling debts one too many times. So, the incoming Emir of this particular Emirate, the son of the alcoholic, had one last resort – the Saudis. In 1985, Saudi money was handed over, again with strings. The Emirate became dry overnight and, again, the ferocious Imams turned up the heat from new, stark, mosques. The long-suffering inhabitants of the statelet now had to watch as their neighbour, Dubai, developed as a magnet for beer swilling, whoring tourists - particularly those from Saudi Arabia.

Women are also high up on the Desert Islam hit list, and the region has seen an increase in restrictive dress codes for women, and in segregation as a whole. If one looks at films during the Golden Age of Arab film making from the 1950s through to the mid 1970s, one sees women dressing flamboyantly in Western dress. They are also invariably uncovered – and not just their hair. Some were beautiful. Some were sexy and even lewd. Strangely, perhaps, drunk women were often used as a comic foil in these movies. They giggled. They flirted. They fell over. All very Carry On...

Look at Arab media now, however, and it is very different. Women are increasingly covered. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen. And I defy anyone to find a drunk Arab woman anywhere. There is no Arab version of Barbara Windsor, who should be recognised and celebrated as an icon of women's progress.

One of the features of life that hits tourists and expatriates hard when they come to the Middle East is the sight of "women in black" dressed like nuns, with the shayla (veil) and abaya (black tent-like dress). Most assume that this is a vestige of Arab Muslim culture, but they couldn't be further from the truth. The "lady in black" is a very modern Saudi export, and the imperative to wear it is sustained and intensified by the Saudi funded Imams throughout and beyond the region. For this reason, there is often conflict within modern Arab families between the generations. A female colleague of mine proudly told me of the heated arguments between herself and her mother on this issue. Her mother – a modern urban woman who had never worn the hijab (scarf) and rightly saw it as a sign of rural ignorance – watched in horror as her daughter adopted it. She exclaimed:

I don't want my daughter looking like a bloody nun!.
Her daughter smiled assuredly and said that her mother should be ashamed of herself, particularly when going out in public.

In true puritanical style, Desert Islam has taken the spice and colour out of Arab life, and it looks like doing so for a long time yet. The joys of flirtation or provocative self-expression through dress, or lack or it, are gone – all replaced by black. Black for women. White for men. Whole countries now wear school uniform.

Totalitarian systems are not sustained at the top, but at the bottom, where a system of mutual surveillance prevails. The influence of Desert Islam on the region has engendered just such a totalitarian system, whereby a woman who refuses to wear the hijab is stigmatised, and possibly threatened with violence. Even in liberal Lebanon, where women have historically been highly expressive in their dress, the present generation is increasingly adopting the hijab and shaming those who don't. Some people see this trend as a reaction to the West and modernity. It is anything but. It is merely a succumbing to the encroaching influence of Saudi-funded Desert Islam, a totalitarian system expounded by highly rational modern means.

As far as segregation in Bahrain is concerned. It may come. It may not. It will not however be the last instance of an attack on liberal urban Islam by a desert sect that was peripheral in the golden age of Arab culture or, indeed, filmmaking. Perhaps the best symbol of all that has been lost is the coquettish, slightly tipsy Arab woman so beloved of old Arab comedies. Then she was laughed at. Now she would be stoned to death.
© retained by author 2005

To read William G. Ridgeway's previous articles, see his Letters from Arabia.

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Even Secular Turkey is not safe from this evil. The current crop of Religous political leaders have mostly been educated in religious schools originally set up with help from the Saudis.

Posted by: EU Serf at August 23, 2005 10:43 AM

That was a very well written piece, thank you.

Having lived in Kuwait for some years I understand some of what you said. But, while there, I noticed only one or two women wearing the full black garb, and this was the 70's and 80's. (My parents wisely decided to educate me in England though). Alcohol was not a problem, parties (admittedly mostly at Westerners' homes) were common, even with Kuwaiti guests.

Posted by: the english guy at August 23, 2005 08:30 PM

I always thought that the Sharia (Islamic law in general and not the Saudi Wahabbite interpretation of same) tended to presume a lack of self-control whereas modern Western law presumes too much. For example, Islam presumes that a man and a woman alone will tend towards sex, while the West, presumes men to be in complete control of their libidos drunk or sober -- viz date-rape laws in America.

These two legal systems seem, each in its way, prone to exaggeration -- Islam by giving people too little credit for control and the West for giving too much.

Mr Ridgeway -- am I largely correct or is what I have described a unique characteristic of what you call Desert Islam?

Posted by: s masty at August 24, 2005 05:10 AM

The form (rather than the substance) of this article will no doubt be offensive to Middle Eastern people. I’ve tested it! But here are my own reactions . . .

. . . In Saudi, arguably the most evil and repressive regime on earth . . .

What about North Korea?

In true puritanical style, Desert Islam has taken the spice and colour out of Arab life . . .

Is this puritanism or totalitarianism? The uniform masses of black or white make me think of Fascism, and the “new, stark, mosques” make me think of Communism, rather. From what the author writes about “Darcey Bussell's bits” I would classify him as bit of an “impuritan” — though not a serious one like so many of today’s “media-ocrities”. Our Western society appears even to modern and moderate Arab eyes as decidedly impuritan. Take Theo van Gogh: if he really wanted to communicate to the Muslim world at large how their sacred text is being used in the suppression of women, the semi-pornographic display in the film ‘Submission’ is hardly the way to go about it. It looks, not like an attempt at cross-cultural intercourse en el viejo sentido de la palabra, but rather an incestuous display among people of his own kind.

. . . Barbara Windsor, who should be recognised and celebrated as an icon of women's progress . . .

Alas, one can no longer say “Try telling that to Andrea Dworkin”.

. . . the Saudis, previously an insignificant mob of goat-herders and woman-beaters . . .

This sounds like the voice of a traditional Arab-hater. The ‘goat-herders’ may be true of the ancestors of the house of Sa‘ud, but as for ‘woman-beaters’, I wonder how they compare with the Brits when it comes to domestic violence? And it’s certainly not true of the Sa‘udis as a whole. And seriously, how much effort has the author taken to get to know them, or Arabs in general? How much of the language has he learnt?

It’s a pity that such defects mar an article which highlights a genuinely serious situation. Because the substance, rather than the frills of the article, are only too true, as one can see from Aljazeera.Net - Makka's historic sites under threat.

Posted by: Robert H. Olley at August 27, 2005 03:23 PM

Dear Mr. Ridgeway You really dont know what your talking about. Islam treats women with utmost respect unlike western civilization, where men rape women, strip them nkaed and where having sex is like breathing. while you make fun of the middle east not drinking, hundreds of peole are dying because of drunk drivers. Drinking is a big reason of violence and abusive realtionships. Men are beating wives and daughters just because their intoxicated. There are so many drinking caused arrests in the west maybe it would be better if they outlawed alcohol.

Posted by: Aaqib Ahmed at August 28, 2005 05:59 PM

In part, it's an interesting article and indeed there will always be tyrants in the world who want to weild their power but it's a shame the writer hasn't at least had the curtesy to read the Holy Qor'an before he wrote the article. He might have been guided to realise that Allah's word is absolute and there is a wisdom in everything that we are guided to do. Rather, he has listened to people who are not practicing their religion but still call themselves Muslims and has therefore seen them as being more sensible than people who do! We should pray for these people, and the author, that Allah gives them guidence. Ameen.

Posted by: Jannah Khan at September 2, 2005 10:07 AM

Asalam o Alai kom,

Absolutely Islam has given full right to a women in society, the right which is given by Allah (sobhana ho watala) is enough for a woman at home or in the society, just The real Muslim knows what is the right of a woman in this world because he or she must have studied form Quranic verses Ahadiths of Holly Prophet Mohammad ( May peace and blessing of Allah be up on him) In Islam we don’t force a woman to be bread winner for a family no never it’s a man’s responsibility to be beard winner for his family not a woman because a woman needs to maintain and manage the house work, take care of her children and husband, I don’t say that a woman should not work any time or not go to school for education never. I say and Islamic religious law or (sharia) says that woman should study with woman, woman should work with women not with men.

But in western society, in capitalist society woman is like a doll or game she doesn’t have one husband she is the hunt or (shkar) of every individual some times by rape some times by love game.

But look at Islamic society and see what is right of a women Islam I’m sure you will be satisfied and you will raise up against the dirty civilization of west.

So Allah says look however bad a woman your wife is, treat her with nice manner - don’t beat her. Be flexable with her because she is your wife she is your life partner. This is concise statement of women's right in Islam, if you ask many scholars they may give you very detailed information about it.
Jaza komollah khair.

Asalam o Alai kom.


Posted by: Liberator at September 3, 2005 08:55 AM

Let's see if this post will be censored....

I am trying to do what you are supposedly claiming to encourage: personal obligation towards progress.

Obviously, we should expect the social affair units to use the web url:, instead it uses

So this means that instead of just claiming to propose a fair criticism of a subject, your organisation prefers to own the url

Are you pretending that you own knowledge of what islam is above anybody else ? is it not arrogant ?

everybody knows that islam channel is a tv channel in english accessible for free by satellite. is it not clear you are just interested in phishing people who want to learn more from them? yes phishing, just like malicious hackers do when they pretend they are your bank...

try to post this in full and feel free to answer it. If you remove one single word from this post before publishing, you are witness to yourself that your behaviour is hypocritical.

Posted by: expose_unfair_people at September 3, 2005 10:04 AM

While the umbrage Mr. Ahmed and some others take at some of the language in the article is perhaps understandable, I think it's wrong to call it "anti-Arab" or "anti-Islamic". The core point is a sound one and the comparison drawn is not between Islam and the West, but between a very reactionary form of Islam and other forms. It's about the essentially accidental empowerment and gross exaggeration of influence of a very small portion of the Arab world that did not enjoy all the benefits that Islamic civilization had to offer over the centuries. I also saw nothing in the article that made me think that the author "hadn't bothered to read the holy Qo'ran". And even if he hasn't read it cover-to-cover in Arabic, BFD, he's obviously versed in what he's discussing-- he's making a cultural, not a theological argument.

And please, let's not make every conversation about the Arab or the Muslim world a "whose civilization is more decadant" competition.

Posted by: Matt W at September 3, 2005 06:56 PM

To answer "expose_unfair_people", the Social Affairs Unit does not - and has never - owned or used the url

What must have happened is that someone - we have no idea who - has set a dns redirect from the url to the web page you are reading:

This was done without our knowledge, permission or acquiescence. Indeed, when we discovered this had happened it came as a total surprise to us - and we have no idea as to who is responsible.

Posted by: Social Affairs Unit administration at September 5, 2005 12:43 PM

I think it is a good article but will upset lots of people. The Sauds are a big problem in the middle east who are embararissing the rest of the Muslim world. They have too much money and they are very arrogant, even to people who go there on haj or umra. It is right that they don't treat their women well, and they treat foreigners very badly. Many maids are raped there, and it gives a very bad reputation to other lawful Muslims. People in the ME are obsessed with America/ Israel as the big enemy but ignore their problems at home. It's crazy the way some places in the ME are run - and we should all be honest about it. Salaaam.

Posted by: Mohammed Issa at September 5, 2005 03:17 PM

"Absolutely Islam has given full right to a women in society"

Oh please, and that would explain why women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive cars? And is a woman free to not wear 'Islamic' dress if they wish? Of course I realise the answer that Islam's apologists will give is that by requiring women to wrap themselves up, it is a mark of "respect". Yet the missing ingredient there is CHOICE.

Islamic claims to "respect" women clearly do not extend to giving *them* the choice of how they live their lives and of course we have not even touched on the issue of divorce and mandatory segregation. In true Orwellian style, "Freedom is slavery and slavery is freedom".

Oh, and the detounement is hilarious! Either someone has set up the URL themselves to do this or if it is indeed owned by the real Islam Channel, I guess their domain control panel password was a bit too easy for someone to guess. As their real URL seems to be my guess is that it is a spoof URL set up by one of Islam' detractors.

Posted by: Perry de Havilland at September 5, 2005 03:48 PM

As an American soldier currently in Iraq, I would have to agree to a certain degree with the author. I have read the Koran cover to cover, and have found it to be a document that can legitimize animalistic behavior if properly misinterpreted. Nowhere in the Koran did I find any information that specifically forbids alcohol. No where in the Koran did I find any instructions on just how one should limit civil liberties. It seems that the Islamic culture oppresses women for the sheer enjoyment of it. It also seems that Wahhabism is a cancer that is consuming the Arab society as a whole. That is good news for me, and mine. The more that the Arab nations spew out hate, and terrorism, the more countries we can invade. That means more positive control of the oil fields. So keep up the good work! By all means continue to misbehave, and justify it with your interpretation of Islam. All it means to me, and the rest of the western world is you will justify our invasions by your own primitive behavior. So please go out and deny women civil liberties, blow up some infidels, continue to finance terrorist activities in western cities, all the while justifying your sick behavior by conducting such crimes under the label of Jihad. Because if you do, it may be your door I kick in next.

Posted by: Larry Young at October 21, 2005 02:31 PM

Dear Larry Young,

We have the Qu'ran which is the direct word of God and the Hadeth (where researched as a verifiable and valid report) which is the teachings of the Prophet, determined as authorised by God. Please note that "wine" is read as all alcohol:

"Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?" [The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ma'idah 5:91]

"They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit." And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: "That which is beyond your needs." Thus Allâh makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought." [The Noble Qur'an - al-Baqarah 2:219]

"...don't drink wine for it is the key to every evil."[Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #580, Narrated AbudDarda']

"Allah's Messenger cursed ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought." [Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #2776, Narrated Anas ibn Malik]

"Allah's Messenger said: Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is forbidden. He who drinks wine in this world and dies while he is addicted to it, not having repented, will not be given a drink in the Hereafter" [Hadith - Muslim #4963, Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar]

"Wa'il said: Tariq ibn Suwayd or Suwayd ibn Tariq asked the Prophet about wine, but he forbade it. He again asked him, but he forbade him. He said to him: Prophet of Allah, it is a medicine. The Prophet said: No it is a disease" [Hadith - Abu Dawood, narrated Tariq ibn Suwayd or Suwayd ibn Tariq]

I hope this helps.

Islam is not the enemy, nor are the Muslims. If you look at the history of the world, it is the so-called Christian west who has been spreading misinformation; the early Popes such as Pope Urban even stated that the Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was the antichrist (na'uzubillah).


In the Bible, in the Gospel of St Matthew ch7 15-26, you will see that Jesus clearly mentions that you will recognise the fruit of the good tree from its good fruit and the fruit of the bad tree from its bad fruit.

Starting at 1AD DO THE BODY COUNT. It is the west that has invaded, committed genocide - whether the native americans (who were living peacefully with Muslims 500 years before Columbus arrived with his crusade), the Muslims of Spain, the natives of Australia, Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan.. you name it. YOU have invaded and killed innocent peoples. The women are not oppressed - even so - would it justify the killing of millions.

Who is doing the job of the right hand of Satan?

Just for the record... Jesus was an Arab - he had brown skin and a long beard. He prayed prostrated on his knees. He fasted for one month a year. In his mother tongue of Aramaic, he called God 'Allaha'. He was a revolutionary who preached the validity of the scriptures that came before him and he prophesised the coming of the final Prophet. He outlawed the flesh of the pig; he outlawed alcohol; he outlawed gambling, usury and adultery. Do you act like he acted? Does the US?

Does he sound like a Christian or a Muslim?

Posted by: Avenger at April 17, 2006 03:56 AM

Dear Avenger,
To the best of my recollection, Jesus was a Jew. Christianity and Islam hadn't been invented yet. Please don't try and hijack his identity.

Posted by: David Henry at September 19, 2006 05:38 PM

I congradulate Mr Ridgeway on his discovery that Muslims dont have the highest rates of rape, alchohol induced violence, domestic violence and prostitution of their women like it happens in his homeland.

I'm sorry if perverted whims are not satisfied by women who choose to dress modestly. It seems emancipation of women means lets have them take of their clothes for the pleasure of men's eyes...ofcourse in the name of freedom.

Posted by: Marshall at November 21, 2006 10:13 PM

Dear Dave Henry,

According to the Holy Quran Jesus Christ or Prophet Issa (Peace be upon him) is a Muslim, as the Muslim is the one who submits himself (to the one God). Of course, everyone knows that he was a Jew. Christianity was just an extension or sect of Judaism. It's a historically proven fact that the term Christianity was coined long after Jesus (PBUH).

All the Prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) have been mentioned in Holy Qur'an as Muslims. Muslim means a believer who submitted himself to the One and only God. All the Prophets including, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad(Peace be upon them) came to this world to confirm the revelations before them and to remind us about submitting to the One and only god.

Thank you and may Allah guide you.

Posted by: Shuvo Rahman at June 3, 2007 12:02 PM

As a Muslim, I just have to say May Allah bless those innocent fifteen young women who died in the blaze as you earlier mentioned. I was absolutely disgusted that they were not allowed out simply because of their innappropriate dress.

If my wife wasn't wearing her hijaab and our house was burning down I wouldn't think twice about her head not being covered or part of her body showing, Subhaanullah, I very much value her life dearly, she is definitely my other half and I couldn't imagine losing anyone for such a reason.

Posted by: Mustafa Al-Naseri at September 14, 2007 05:09 PM

i would like to ask for your advise.
i am a student studing in one of the school's in dubai. As im doing my A'Level ,i wear my abaya in class , as there is a system of mix students(boys) as well as out side. but for some months now, i hv been ask to remove my abaya and some of the teachers have forced some student to take off their abaya in school.
At first they said to change our shayla from black to white n we did so. but now they are saying to only wear the shayla and remove the abaya tht im it is their school rules,which is not informed to us when applying n is not written in our diaries.
i have checked with other schools n in one of them it is allowed to wear abaya.
please advise me on how to slove this problem.

Posted by: sarah at March 19, 2008 12:29 AM

Hey Larry Young,
If you're going to plagerize Thomas Friedman, you ought to at least cite him. Much of that was taken directly from "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," especially paragraph 4 where you copy his writings word for word and don't even bother to change it around a little. Friedman is a good writer and fighter for a green economy. It's a shame you'd disrespect him like that.

Posted by: joe at July 18, 2010 01:42 AM

Mr. Ridgeway,
If you're going to plagerize Thomas Friedman, you ought to at least cite him. Much of that was taken directly from "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," especially paragraph 4 where you copy his writings word for word and don't even bother to change it around a little. Friedman is a good writer and fighter for a green economy.

Posted by: joe at July 18, 2010 01:44 AM

I'd like to take the time to extend my sincerest apologies for the last comment I had tried to post. I accused Mr. Ridgeway of plagerizing Thomas Friedman. When I looked in his book, I realized that Friedman was actually quoting Mr. Ridgeway, and included an entire section of this most thoughtful and articulate essay. I apologize once again for my foolish remarks, and hope that not too much offense was taken. Thank you for this essay, it was very inciteful.

Posted by: joe at July 18, 2010 01:58 AM
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