Top Saudi cleric reiterates support for ban on women driving

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric has reiterated his support for the kingdom’s ban on women driving, arguing it is “a dangerous matter that exposes women to evil.”

The kingdom adheres to an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. Though no laws ban women from driving in Saudi Arabia, authorities do not issue them licenses.

Women’s rights activists have faced detention for trying to defy the ban.

Speaking on the religious satellite channel al-Majd, Mufti Sheikh Abulaziz Al Sheikh said men with “weak spirits” who are “obsessed with women” could cause female drivers harm and that family members would not know the whereabouts of women. His comments were published Sunday on the state-linked Sabq news website.

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