EDITOR’S COMMENT: Every now and then a story comes along that is quite surprising, even in an era where theoretically “nothing surprises us anymore.” Well, this is one of those stories. For Saudi Arabia to be planning to build “women-only” cities throughout the country, frankly, just doesn’t make sense to me. I understand that this is the Saudi version of “advancing” women’s liberation, and, in a certain sense, this might actually be a step forward for a number of women living there, but I could argue just as easily that this might become a step backward for them also.
So, I have tried to research this further, but there is very little news contained in the Saudi or Arab newspapers concerning this plan. But, it does appear that they are, in fact, proceeding with these “women-only” cities as an attempt to bridge the basic conflict between strict Sharia law and the aspirations of active females who wish to pursue their own careers. “The new plan is to combine women’s desire to work in the modern age and provide a job environment that would go hand-in-hand with the country’s Sharia law. The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has been charged to lead the country into a new era.” So far, most of the mainstream media has not noticed this development. I’m guessing that eventually this will create the need for additional Saudi security forces to enforce the strict city limits in order to keep the Saudi men out and to keep the Saudi women at home.
By The Daily Bell
Saudi-Modon plans to establish women-only industrial cities … Efforts are under way to establish the Kingdom’s first women-only industrial city in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf. Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has initiated works for planning and development of the city. “We are now working on a second industrial city for women,” said Saleh Al-Rasheed, acting director general of Modon. “We have plans to establish a number of women-only industries in various parts of the Kingdom,” he added. Al-Rasheed said Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb, has already allocated land for the first women-only industrial city in Hofuf. – Arab News
Dominant Social Theme: Ain’t Saudi Arabia grand? Its Saud sheiks are building entire same-sex cities to advance women’s liberation – Middle Eastern style!
Free-Market Analysis: We read this article with growing disbelief. What kind of sick society builds separate CITIES for women?
Well … the Saudis do.
But really, it ISN’T the Saudis. It’s another group entirely. But first, more on this insane development.
The article explains – in its frighteningly chipper way – that moves to build cities just for women follows a Cabinet decision that “urged authorities to create more job opportunities for women in order for them to play an important role in the Kingdom’s development.”
Actually, we are sure it has to do with the Saud family’s determination to continue to enforce the tenets of Wahabbism – a mutated “fundamentalist” version of Islam that deprives women of even the right to drive a car and can impose terrible mutilation on them for minor infractions. Here’s some more:
The Cabinet also instructed the relevant ministry to allocate lands … to establish industrial projects for women … Modon seeks to allocate land for industrial development and develop industrial cities in collaboration with a number of government agencies and the private sector to meet the requirements of investors.
Al-Rasheed highlighted Saudi women’s ability to engage in various industrial activities, adding that the development of women-only industrial cities would help tap their energy to boost national development.
“I am sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many light and clean industrial sectors that suit their interests, nature and capabilities,” the Modon chief said. The industrial cities now comprise factories owned by women as well as companies with some production lines set aside for women …
Sound dynamic? Obviously Modon wants to be perceived as an enlightened agency. It’s certainly a big and powerful one. From the article, we learn it was established in 2001, and that it is “responsible for the development and management of industrial cities.”
Currently, Modon “supervises” 29 cities across Saudi Arabia, though apparently these are not same sex cities. During the next five years, the Saudis intend to build 40 industrial cities occupying 160 million square meters, the article informs us.
Wow. We don’t know what is madder, this continued sickness of planned industrial development or the added fillip of creating such cities for individual genders. Saudi Arabia is apparently creating its city infrastructure via a series of five-year plans. This is, of course, typical authoritarian planning. And Saudi Arabia is nothing if not authoritarian.
When the Saud secret police arrest individuals – especially for security purposes – they usually try to arrest members of the individual’s family and friends on the theory that the suspect has corrupted others.
Saudi Arabia has dozens of new prisons where prisoners are kept in high style, able to eat from tempting menus and watch TV programs of their choosing. But they are still in prison, and often they remain there for years without even being charged.
The larger issue that Saudi Arabia is grappling with is the growing paranoia of the ruling Saud family, a family that is in aggregate worth trillions.
The riches come from a deal that the Saud family made basically at gunpoint with the US, to trade oil only for dollars. This took place in 1971 and cemented both the abrogation of the gold standard and the creation of the dollar-reserve currency.
The deal the Saud family made was far larger than just an economic one, however. The Western power elite behind it pretty much endorsed the Saud’s larger power structure, including its mad Wahhabi reign.
It is this fundamentalist Wahhabism that Saudi Arabia is busily exporting around the Middle East. Of course, one can argue legitimately that the Western powers-that-be were quite happy to introduce Wahhabism to a wider Middle East audience.
No doubt, the dynastic families that want to run the world found it quite convenient. Wahhabism is an extremely fundamentalist sect and therefore contributes to the polarization of Islamic society generally. The elites, doing everything within their power to encourage a wider (phony) “war on terror,” surely have no compunction about supporting Saudi authoritarianism and the Saud family’s very own crazy religion.
And thus it is that one can argue the Americans and British are behind the dissemination of extremist Wahhabism in all its intolerance and brutality. Yes, it is always thus. Money Power controls both sides of any conflict.
While making noises about liberating women in the Middle East and Africa, Western elites continue to prop up the Saud reign and its Wahhabi state religion. And now the Saud family, driven mad by money it never made and doesn’t deserve, has begun building vast same-sex cities so men and women will not have to consort.
This is truly the kind of psychopathology that can emerge only after societies have been corrupted for decades, for centuries. Unfortunately for Saudi citizens, their society has indeed been under attack for that long.
It is a mad policy, a mad society and a mad world. It cannot end soon enough … And it will end. The impossibly wealthy and corrupt Saud family will likely find the 21st century a good deal less forgiving than the 20th. When their reign does end, Western support shall likely be exposed for all to see.
Conclusion: There are few if any secrets left in the Internet era. (my emphasis)
By The Daily Bell
By permission The Daily Bell