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Saudi woman’s car set on fire in Makkah village

Owner posts video accusing male villagers opposed to women driving

Gulf News

Cairo: A car owned by a Saudi woman was set on fire in a Makkah village allegedly by men opposed to women driving, Saudi media reported on Tuesday, more than a week after women were allowed to drive for the first time in the kingdom’s history.

A spokesman for the Makkah Police said that they had received a complaint that the car was the target of a dawn arson attempt in the village of Al Samd, Saudi news portal Sabq reported.

“The fire was put out and the incident is being investigated by security agencies,” the official added without giving details.

The owner posted a video of the burning vehicle and accused local men of being behind the incident, but did not name anyone. “The village youth torched my car because they oppose female driving,” a crying woman says in the video.

The woman, who gave her name as Salma Al Sharif, appealed to King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad for help.

The decision to allow women to drive is part of wide social and economic reforms championed by Saudi Arabia’s young heir apparent.

On June 24, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to drive for the first time, months after the Saudi monarch decreed lifting the ban on female driving.

Conservatives frown upon women’s driving as immoral and un-Islamic.

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