The wheel of development will never roll back

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Al-Jazirah

I AM surprised that some people are making desperate moves to sabotage the royal order allowing women in Saudi Arabia to drive. They either spread lies about the royal decree on WhatsApp or create hashtags using suspicious accounts from abroad and tweet messages aimed at sowing dissent in society.

For more than half a century, we knew very well how to handle modernization in our country. The opponents of any move at social change have always accepted at a later stage what they had vehemently opposed earlier. A day will come when the opponents of women driving today will compete with each other to teach their wives and daughters how to drive. They will do this after discovering that their ground for opposition was null and void and was rather caused by traditions and customs and not by any religious teaching.

We are looking forward to the government to stop exaggerations by some citizens who spread rumors that the royal decree will soon be revoked. They even posted a video clip to substantiate the claim.

This is a shear lie and a crime of forgery that should be punished. The government should stand firmly against such lies. The royal decree will no doubt be executed whether the opponents of women driving like it or not.

The wheel of development, which has started rolling vehemently, will never turn to the rear. The government institutions are getting ready for the implementation of the royal decision next June.

The Traffic Department is making arrangements to open driving schools for women and to recruit qualified female trainers for them. The universities are preparing to build special parking lots for women students and faculty members on the campuses.

Society as a whole is getting ready for this historic moment. The government is undertaking all steps for the day women will sit behind the wheel. It is working to control traffic flow and create the necessary infrastructure.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has instructed that a law against harassment of women drivers should be drafted within two months. This law will come into effect before women take to the streets with their own cars.

For many decades we have been suffering because of attempts by a certain section of people to impose their hegemony on us. These people believe that they are always right and integral while we are wrong and incapable of thinking, so they think on our behalf.

They fear change so they try to inflict their fears and inhibitions on others. They hope change will never take place so others will not benefit from it when they cannot.

Why don't these people understand that women driving is not obligatory and those who do not want their wives and daughters to drive can keep their own private drivers?

I have no doubt that after some years these people who now oppose women driving will look at it as normal behavior and more comfortable and safer for their families. They will join society and their rejection of the women driving will be something of the past. A time will come when they will look at their opposition to women driving as primitive or rather a tradition of the past for coming generations to learn from.

I request the opponents to calm down and to be part of the society which has been overjoyed by the decision to allow women drive.


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