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Saudi Arabia: Sure, women can do sport, as long as they don’t

August 11, 2012

Dr. Mohammad al-Arifi, an influential cleric who preaches at Al-Bawardi Mosque in Riyadh, is on faculty at King Saud University, warned Prince Nawaf against sending Saudi women to the Olympics: 

“Women practicing sports … is fundamentally allowed … but if this leads to mixing with men … or revealing private parts … or men watching her sometimes run, sometimes fall down … sometimes laugh and sometimes cry or quarrel with another female athlete … or mount a horse … or practice gymnastics … or wrestling … or other sports … while the cameras film and the [television] channels broadcast … then there can be no doubt that it is forbidden.”


Because, hey, Saudi Arabia is on the UN Women’s Rights Agency committee… it’s not as if they could be viciously bigoted and misogynistic, is it?



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