Saudi Arabia has a political history that links to Quran’s use as the main constitution that creates good morals in the society and governance standards. There are no laws that are stipulated clearly or specific statutes that are used in governing the society as well as the people in Saudi Arabia. Any time a person is presented before the Saudi courts, judges establish a connection with the Quran in order to conservatively interpret the case brought before the court. There are no laws that are written clearly for most cases that are presented before the Saudi Arabian courts. Interpretation of the cases through Quran’s application is sometimes limiting because there are cases whose legality does not feature anywhere in the Quran.
There are different statements in Saudi Arabia which are outlined in the Quran and these are applicable in the common encounters in most cases (Twining & William 201). The statements that are outlined in the Quran prominently restrict women in terms of interactions and relationships with the people of the opposite sex. The extent to which such rules are applied also called the bans, surrounds the beliefs of the Saudi Arabian society and the social practices of the people. Regarding action’s legality, the basis of general bans is the idea that if an action is suspected by the society to be forbidden or clashing with the society’s interest, that is “haram”, then that action should be banned on the basis of the suspicion alone since suspicion is a sufficient proof. The focus of this paper is on examining some components of the Saudi law that are commonly used. These will be described in this paper.
People are prohibited by the law from selling red flowers or anything that has a heart’s shape or red color after Valentine’s Day celebrations which occur on February 14th every year. Therefore, the entire population in Saudi Arabia is supervised by the Virtue Promotion and Vice Prevention Committee which ensures that these standards and norms are followed by individuals during and after such occasions. People who ignore these rules face consequences. For instance, a person who violates this rule can be penalized by having their shop or store closed for selling prohibited items (Twining & William 211).
Additionally, schoolgirls are prohibited from wearing anything that has a red color during the Valentine’s Day. As such, a girl who tries to attend school with anything that is or resembles red color is not allowed entry into the school. The girl is sent home immediately to change or to remove the red outfit. The idea of banning red outfits and items that resembles the heart is to discourage Valentine’s Day celebrations because they are not part of the Islam religion. According to the Islam society, celebrating this day may lead the people to doing things that are not in line with their faith. It also prevents people from engaging in romance and sexual pleasures before marriage because such acts are associated with the Valentine’s Day.
Mostly, only families and the married people get a chance to interact in different restaurants and malls. During such instances, married women visit the malls or restaurants alone or with their men accompanying them. Single men are prohibited from entering these places without women companions. The security officers are given these directives and they restrict both non-Saudi and Saudi men from entering such places. Non-Saudi men do not have a problem with this and the application of this rule is not limited by their actions. To ensure that the rule is obeyed completely, most restaurants in Saudi Arabia have two sections (Twining & William 224). There is a section for single persons and a section for families and married couples. This rule is connected to the essence of protecting the married individuals from the single vultures. Sometimes, single people may be attracted to married people. Engaging intimately with a woman or man who is already married is immoral and it attracts a heavy penalty as stipulated by the law.
Movie theaters are also banned by the law of Saudi Arabia. People who are interested in watching or getting formal entertainments should do so from strategic locations which include private compounds. These provide entertainment that has formal supervision and this is important for the entire society. Movie theaters are banned in Saudi Arabia because men and women get mingling opportunities from such places without supervision. People who get a chance to mingle without being supervised are likely to engage in immoral actions before marriage. Thus, they fail to comply with their Islamic faith. Similarly, the country does not allow the entry of alcoholic drinks because they cause immorality among young people. The aim of the law is to regulate activities that can lead to immoral actions or behaviors.
The Muslim law prohibits non-Muslims from worshiping openly within Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is entirely an Islamic nation. There are no buildings that cater for the worship of non-Muslims. Other religions are banned in the country because having opposing religions within a country is seen as blasphemous (Vogel & Frank 365). According to this rule, people who convert to a different religion from Islam or abandons their Islam faith should face a death penalty. This ban ranges from worship places to religious items of individuals that include symbols and sacred books that are used for worship purposes. This provision is entirely aimed at preventing sharing of ideas between Muslims and non-Muslims which can lead to converting of Muslims to outlawed faith.
Women are not eligible to move around alone without an electronic or a specific form that authorizes their movement in Saudi Arabia. Such bans are imposed on women and they are recognized by the society in Saudi Arabia. The ban on movement is lifted only when women near 50 years old. Women who aged less than 50 years are allowed to travel with husbands, fathers, or with permission from relevant authorities which grant them a traveling form or certificate. This form should be guaranteed. Thus, a father, husband or a guardian must sign it (Ahdab, Abd & Jalal 232). Women are allowed to travel the way they wish in the country. However, they must have this travel document.
This form serves the role of ensuring accountability and safety in case of mischief. The husband should be aware that the woman is not in their home and the time when she will come back. Closely connected, the reason for moving should be known to the responsible person. Traveling freedom among women is viewed at as the major cause of sexual immorality by a large part of the society in Saudi Arabia. As such, women are strictly forbidden from leaving their homes leave alone their country.
Driving is perhaps the worst ban that is imposed on women in Saudi Arabia. It is an interesting fact that women in Saudi Arabia cannot get a chance to drive. They can do that only in a dessert or a private compound. As such, families in Saudi Arabia are compelled to employ private drivers who take girls and women to schools and workplaces as well as other places if household men have other commitments. Women are prohibited from driving because driving can allow women a chance to get out of their homes more often than it is necessary (Ahdab, abd & Jalal 239). There are also predictions that if women are allowed to drive, they are likely to get chances of interacting with males.
In a nut shell, most regulations and rules in Saudi Arabia surround women’s lives and their interactions with different environments outside marriage. It seems that doctrines, cultures and the law in Saudi Arabia impose more restrictions on women than men. The presented restrictions are more inconveniencing in regards to integration and social interaction (Vogel & Frank 359). It is apparent that the country should establish regulations that offer equal opportunities to women and men with an aim of maintaining social mobility and cohesion.
Aḥdab, ʻAbd -H, and Jalal El-Ahdab. Arbitration with the Arab Countries. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International, 2011. Print.
Twining, William. General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.
Vogel, Frank E. Islamic Law and Legal System: Studies of Saudi Arabia. Leiden: Brill, 2000. Internet resource. Print.
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