Sexually molest working women, Saudi writer urges Twitter followers
Abdullah Mohammad al Dawood said the increasing employment of women in mixed-gender environments was further evidence of the Westernization of the deeply conservative Islamic kingdom.
He has used the Twitter hashtag #harass_female_cashiers in an effort to force women out of positions at grocery stores and back into the home “to protect their chastity.”
Al Dawood, who has written bestselling self-help books in Arabic such as “The Joy of Talking” opposes limited social and economic reforms introduced in 2011 by the Saudi government intended to improve the country’s non-oil economic sector.
Saudi Arabia’s population is extremely young, but education levels are generally low and employment of Saudi nationals in the private non-oil sector is also low. Since then small, but increasing, numbers of women have joined previously all-male workplaces, including large grocery stores.
Al Dawood has 97,000 Twitter followers. He justified his call for women to be molested in the workplace by quoting a seventh-century warrior from the early days of Islam who molested his wife in the street to prevent her from leaving her home to pray in the mosque.
Supports of al Dawood’s stance said the government should be providing jobs for men, not creating the conditions for “consensual debauchery.” But others slammed the writer for encouraging young men to harass women.