TEL AVIV — The king of Saudi Arabia announced a royal decree last week lifting restrictions on women that forbade them from driving or acquiring a driver’s license, before which Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose such a ban on female drivers.
According to analysts, the rise to power of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman greatly influenced the decision.
The move continues to court controversy in the kingdom, with one young Saudi man filming himself vowing to burn the vehicle of every woman he encounters driving a vehicle.
“I swear to Allah that every time I see a woman stuck in a car I will set her and her car on fire,” he said.
In response, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior and the kingdom’s eastern police district announced that the young man had been arrested and handed over for prosecution so that the appropriate steps could be taken against him in light of his threat.
The young man, who was released after initial questioning, later released a video saying his threat was not serious.
شاب سعودي يعتذر بعد التهديد بإحراق سيارة كل امرأة متعطلة يصادفها pic.twitter.com/tgElI2gFQE
— الخليج الجديد (@thenewkhaleej) September 30, 2017
The decision inspired many to upload videos giving their opinions on the issue.
One young Saudi man promised, “I’ll be the first to sexually harrass you if I see you driving a car.”
But there were also humorous videos. One of them, called “How the Tables have Turned,” showed a Saudi man begging his wife to take him to his parents. The wife reminds him how she used to beg him to take her to the supermarket when she wanted sweets “and you would answer that you didn’t have time.”
The wife then gives him cash to take a taxi and demands that he not return late.
Another video showed surprised people in a parking lot clapping as they see a woman driver successfully accomplish the unbelievable: parking her car for the first time without any difficulty.