Letting women drive in Saudi Arabia ‘does not conflict with Shariah,’ say senior scholars

King Salman with some of the Saudi Arabia's senior scholars. (SPA)
Updated 28 September 2017
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Letting women drive in Saudi Arabia ‘does not conflict with Shariah,’ say senior scholars

RIYADH: The landmark decree allowing Saudi women to drive has received the seal of approval from the Council of Senior Scholars, the Kingdom’s highest religious body that advises King Salman on religious matters.
“King Salman, granted by God the responsibility of protecting his people and the nation’s interests, and preserving Islamic values and national interests, does not waver in achieving the national interest in accordance with Shariah,” the council’s secretariat said.
“The senior scholars decided to adopt and approve the royal decree. King Salman only does what is best for his nation.
“The scholars’ advisory opinions focused on the virtues and vices, and not the act of driving itself, which is an absolute right which no one should be deprived of. King Salman should study the matter and look at it from all angles.
“King Salman studied the negative side of not letting women drive and thus, with the Council of Senior Scholars’ approval, issued the royal decree, as he did not find any reason not to. King Salman issued the royal decree preserving all women’s rights, in order to protect the national interest.”


Saudi Arabia’s new Formula E track hailed ‘beautiful’ as racing teams arrive

Updated 13 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s new Formula E track hailed ‘beautiful’ as racing teams arrive

Saudi Arabia’s new electric racing circuit, created in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah, has been hailed as one of “the best Formula E tracks.”

Amanda Stretton, a presenter of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy on worldwide television, called the track “incredibly beautiful.”

“It is amazing how history and cutting-edge technology are coming together here in Saudi. It is exemplified when you walk around the track as well. It is tremendous, it’s possibly one of the best Formula E tracks I think in my opinion,” Stretton said.

“It is very historic and very significant,” she added.

Amanda said: “We were very much looking forward to arriving here when we first heard this was on the calendar, everyone was very excited about coming as this is new for all of us, nobody had been here before.

“My first impressions are wonderful. We couldn’t have been more warmly welcomed when we landed yesterday and now seeing the city in daylight it is beautiful and far bigger than I expected. It looks an amazing place.”