Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saudi Arabia, Lawyers and Women: Edging Toward the 17th Century

It looks like Saudi Arabia is edging toward the 17th century in at least one sector of its culture.

America's first lawyer who was a woman was Margaret Brent, who came to the American colonies in 1638. (She asked for, but was denied, a vote in the Maryland Assembly: but that's another story.) (ABANow)

Saudi Arabia? Women may be allowed to be lawyers:
"Saudi Arabia's justice minister says his department is drafting a law that would allow female lawyers to argue legal cases in court for the first time.

"Sheik Mohammed al-Issa told reporters Saturday the bill will be issued in the coming days as part of the Saudi king's 'plan to develop the justice system.'..."

"...Women in Saudi Arabia are nearly totally segregated from men in public life."
In September of 2008, the Saudi king made some remarkable statements about who was besmirching Islam's reputation. (September 27, 2008) If this apparent change in policy in Saudi Arabia's justice department goes through, it'll be evidence that the Saudi king was serious. And, just as important, able to take a country that has earned a reputation for bizarre official pronouncements and behavior a little closer to the present day.

Not that I expect - or would want - Saudi Arabia to become a 'republic with strong democratic traditions,' like America. I like it here: but I also recognize that not all countries are alike. (November 15, 2009)

But that's another topic.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.