Saudi Clerics: Women Will Turn Gay If They Drive

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com November 18 2011 3:35 PM ET

Religious leaders in Saudi Arabia hope to make an example of a woman recently caught driving — illegal in the Muslim nation — and she could receive 10 lashes, all because some believe women taking the wheel will become promiscuous or gay.

Lacking any other form of transportation, Shaima Jastaniya drove to the hospital earlier this year before being arrested by Saudi police. While she was initially sentenced to a brutal whipping, the Saudi king pardoned her after a global outcry. But a local court recently informed Jastaniya that her sentencing will stand. While Jastaniya appeals that verdict, many fear ultraconservative clerics within the Saudi government want to make her an example.

Some Saudi men believe that allowing women to drive will lead to prostitution, pornography, divorce, and homosexuality. The highest Saudi religious council and conservative professors at King Fahd University have stated that granting women the right to drive will mean there will be no more female virgins in the country. Saudi Arabia is the only country that doesn't allow female drivers.

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