Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The clash of religion and politics in the Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabia, a state strictly adhered to following Islamic law and practices is currently faced with a hard situation. The state faces outrage due to the Islamic fatwa, religious ruling by Saudi clerics that make cashier jobs for women not permissible. Challenging the government initiative to create jobs for women as the state is faced with 60,000 women graduates looking for jobs, the ruling came in terming it not permissible due to allowing the opportunity of mixing with unrelated men and the chances to attract them or get attracted towards them. The ruling caused outrage and confusion by Saudi women activists. It is surprising though that the ruling has come in months after supermarkets and clothing stores have began hiring women under the authorization of the labour ministry.

The Saudi women are naturally to be outraged as the opportunity and possibility of getting a job for themselves in a state where there aren’t really any has faced a strong attack on it. Religion in the Saudi state has strong political weight and the clash is between political and religious society putting the government in a difficult situation over an important issues.

There are many debates that religion should be kept separate from politics as it is rather misused and being a sensitive issue causes problems of all sorts. The hurdle it has created in this situation is preventing the economic well-being and independence of Saudi women who are unable to find a job and work just because of religious fatwas. Religion is surely important and should be considered in policies to not anger or arouse the sentiments of the masses. However, its role should be rather limited to influencing decisions that are important issues in the society and call for urgent measures. Women’s rights shouldn’t be suppressed and their struggles ended with hopelessness and deadlock due to situations as these. Solutions should be discussed to find out possibilities through discussions at dialogues considering all stake holders upon implementation rather than regretting efforts later due to a certain stakeholder’s stance or action, as that too hurts and arouses the sentiments of the masses who then feel their problems are not paid heed to and it’s injustice to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment