Why was the woman teacher's car burned down in Taif?

Abdullah Al-Jamili


A FEW days back, a Saudi man deliberately set the car of a woman schoolteacher in Taif ablaze. He had been closely watching the car until he completed his heinous crime. The car was peacefully parked outside the woman's house when the man poured benzene on it before setting it alight.

This was captured in a video footage that went viral on social media.

The man was subsequently arrested in Jeddah where he fled after the crime. The car owner said the man had been known to her and that he had threatened her before. She denied that it was her own brother who had committed the crime.

Until this very moment the intentions of the criminal were not known but he was being investigated and would be produced in court.

Did the criminal have a personal grudge against the woman teacher or was he just registering his opposition to women driving in the country? This was not immediately known but might be revealed when the investigations were completed.

No matter what his reasons were, what the man did was totally outrageous and must be rejected outright. There is law enforcement and a fair judicial system in this country.

After the investigations being carried out by the Public Prosecution are completed, the criminal should be punished and defamed so as to deter others from following suit.

What had the innocent car done to him? Why did he break the heart of its owner who had spent her hard-earned money to buy it and had been using it for her daily commute?

It was regrettable that a number of comments on social media, especially by women, used this incident to criticize all Saudi men who they say are against women empowerment.

Some women bloggers have even claimed all Saudi men are cruel, brutal and hold grudges against women.

They said Saudi men were being repressive and were against women's progress and success in life.

The tragedy is that this flawed view is based on an individual act and that it is copied by a section of the foreign media including satellite channels to prove that women in Saudi Arabia still have to travel a long away to gain their rights.

A number of foreign tweets and hashtags were also made to stab Saudi society in the back and tarnish the reputation of the Kingdom.

Isolated individual actions cannot be generalized to judge a country. They should not be considered enough justifications to undermine the entire Saudi society or a large chunk of it.

Our past and our present stand witness to the fact that Saudi men, except in extremely rare cases, show great respect to women and always help them realize their dreams.

Saudi men consider women to be precious jewels that should be strongly guarded and protected.

Saudi men are proud to be at the service of their women who they consider to be crowns on their heads. Of course, there are some exceptions to the general rule.

A year had almost passed since Saudi women were allowed to drive in the country. Ever since they have been driving in Saudi cities, towns and villages without any problem.

No woman driver had ever complained of harassment and they are unanimous that they found respect and all kinds of help from their male counterparts on the roads.

Even Saudi men who are against women driving have become silent and consider the issue to be a matter of personal freedom, which should be respected at all costs.

While I am a strong advocate of women empowerment, I ask from Saudi women to be fair to their male counterparts with their positive attitude and good ethics. The negative behavior of some men should not be exaggerated but should be kept within its limited space as isolated individual acts.