Saudi writer: Harrass Saudi women cashiers

Mohammed Al Dawood (image from Twitter)

Mohammed Al Dawood (image from Twitter)

A prominent Saudi ‘self-help’ writer has triggered a fierce debate by urging his Twitter followers to sexually molest women working as cashiers in big grocery stores, local daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.
Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, who has more than 97,000 Twitter followers, used the hashtag #harass female cashiers and made the comments in an attempt to “encourage” Saudi Arabian women to stay at home and protect their chastity.
By the way, this is the same man who called for (girl) babies being veiled to protect them from  sexual harassment.

The literal translation of the tweet is:  Fruitful reaction in hashtag # female cashier # harass_female_cashiers. This is a master’s thesis that considers a female receptionist and cashier as (human trafficking).

Al Dawood  justified his tweet by citing a story from the early days of Islam about a famous warrior, Al Zubair, who did not want his wife to go out of home and pray in the mosque.
According to Al Dawood, Al Zubair hid in the dark one night and molested his wife in the street. The wife rushed home and decided against ever going out of her house again, saying that the “there is no safer place than home and the world out there is corrupt”, the report said.
Khalid Ebrahim Al Saqabi, a conservative cleric, supported Al Dawood’s calls and said a law proposed by the Saudi government against sexual harassment in newly mixed workplaces was “only meant to encourage consensual debauchery”.

Saudi female casier (image via Al Arabiya)

Saudi female casier (image via Al Arabiya)

This tweet has started a Twitter war in Saudi, Dawood has many supporters who defend him, but there are also hundreds of Saudi and Arab tweeters who have attacked his tweet, some asking him what right he had to stop women working, others accusing him of inciting sexual attacks.
Other newspaper reports also claimed that Khalid Ebrahim Al-Saqabi, a conservative cleric, supported Al-Dawood’s calls and said a law proposed by the Saudi government against sexual harassment at workplace was “only meant to encourage consensual debauchery.”

Al Dawood now claims the tweet meant something else and called it “a sheer distortion of facts and the actual meaning of the tweet on Twitter.”
The literal translation of the tweet is:  Fruitful reaction in hashtag # female cashier # harass_female_cashiers. This is a master’s thesis that considers a female receptionist and cashier as (human trafficking).
Al Dawood claims the translation of his tweet was erroneous. That however does not explain the outrage from native Arabic speaking readers, many of which condemn his tweet.

The hash tag #harassfemalecashiers raised ire with some who took it as a command to ‘harass female cashiers.’ But in Arabic the wording can be understood two ways. Al-Dawood was using the phase to say: “They would harass female cashiers,” he has said.
Al Dawood believes that if women are allowed to work at certain jobs, some men will treat with them with as much disrespect as they would trafficked women.
Al Dawood is experiencing first hand the new reality in the age of social media: one need not even leave home to get a hard time in public.

Is his tweet misunderstood or is Al Dawood trying to escape the criticism aimed at him?

AA

read more:

Yahoo (maktoob)

Saudi Gazette

BBC Middle East

CNN

AA

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33 Responses

  1. Whoa! They are slowly integrating things there, huh. There were no women cashiers in mixed public places while I was there, only in women only areas. In my opinion, some of these people should just think about what they’re saying because they’re mostly revealing their own battles with lust and insecurity by the more rules they want to put in place when it comes to women. Seriously, the native women are already covered up except for their eyes and maybe, hands and feet. They need to learn to resist their own individual temptations and lustful desires instead of trying to punish and hold women, the objects of them, responsible for them. After having been there before, I experienced and heard the experiences of other women, all of course wearing the abaya but some choosing to cover head and some not, none of whom worked in mixed public settings who were harassed by men. Even one woman who was Muslim from another country recounted how when she was pregnant and fully covered from head-to-toe (which she didn’t always do) how a man sexually harassed her though obviously having a huge belly making it obvious that she was pregnant and of course entailing that she was married.

  2. that is exactly what he is is seeking : a stunt advertising. and you are giving it to him for free. just ignore him, he is a mentally ill person. sexually obsessed. cover babies and now harass cashier-women what the hell….and what else?

  3. He represents the system’s denigration of women through institutionalized discriminatory policies such as the male guardian system.

    He and other men know they can do to women whatever they wish without much repercussions.

    The system is the root cause of women’s degradation. It gives men total control over all aspects of women’s lives.

  4. Of course the weaker the man the more afraid he would be of a woman who has some small measure of independence. Of course you have such deviants here and there, what is really scary is that such a loser has something like 97.000 followers….
    What does that say about the followers?

  5. It looks as if he didn’t expect (?) all the negative backlash and is now trying to make out he meant something completely different.
    Which, considering his views on putting babies in black bags, is extremely unlikely.
    He’s not only a loser, he’s a coward as well.

  6. What is sad about this kind of mindset is that men who think like this do not see it as an insult to themselves. What is says, at least to me, is that men cannot control themselves, that they are weak and are the same as creatures who see the female as a means to produce . offspring.

  7. Is it freedom of speech for the Religion of Peace to publish the Qu’ran that teaches:

    … animal sacrifice, arson, assault, assassination, civil rights violations, conspiracy, destruction of property, duplicity, incitement to overthrow the government, involuntary conscription, incitement to riot, money laundering, misogyny, murder of unbelievers, murder of apostates, perjury, rape, same family murders for honor, sedition, slavery, statutory rape, terrorism, theft, unconditional murder of homosexuals, unending hate speech towards Jews, Christians, Hindus, and atheists, and (jihad) war?

  8. Crantode,

    I feel the same way. The first (but not the last) time my Saudi husband complained about liberal women’s dress codes, I must have repeated a dozen times, “Don’t worry about us, worry about you / it’s not our problem / lower your gaze / we’re not responsible for your weakness.” How absurd.

    Also, as Aafke indicated, this was the man who suggested the veil for infants. At the time I wondered if this man unwittingly revealed something about himself or the properties of his fellow men.

  9. Crantode, I like that comment about it being an insult to the man himself!!! He has no idea, then again maybe he does, about how strong a woman can be even in the face of harassment!

  10. I thought the historical Muhammad (pbuh) and his wife Khadijah worked together in their family caravan business. They loved and trusted each other.i should think that the nice Saudi woman working at the checkout counter is loved and trusted by her Husband or her Parents.
    we love you, Aafke 🙂 ❤

  11. Perhaps AlDawood simply did not think about his phrasing, but if that is the case then he needs to be a lot more careful simply due to the fact that he is a public figure. Particularly because he is a writer, I would expect him to be more careful about his wording. I doubt he would have gotten this much attention if he was just an average guy.

    The only thing determining how much a woman is viewed as a sex object is the culture. By allowing women equal rights as men, then you are saying that not only do women matter, but they do not need to be protected by staying in the home because there is more trust in the society in general. Perhaps we should ask AlDawood if the reason it is viewed as culturally appropriate for women in the “west” to cover less is because men can be trusted to keep their hands off women (and vice versa) in the west, whereas they cannot be expected to do the same in Saudi Arabia?

    @Aafke,
    The question would then be: Do his twitter followers agree with him, do they find him entertaining (as in: You’ll never believe what this guy said next!), or do they disagree with him? Maybe it’s kinda like when Charlie Sheen got all that attention in the US….?

  12. Since this man is clearly not fit to be around women- he should certainly stay home.

  13. Another jabbering stone age savage who didn’t get the “religion of peace” memo :)-

    All I can say is that I love and respect my wife of 40 yrs. If a moozlum male comes here and tries to advocate something like this, I will remove all of his tools so that he can never again perpetuate this kind of atrocity on any other woman.

  14. Thank you Aafle for updating this blog . I really appreciate your work (regardless our differences on other subjects)

  15. @ Sandy. I agree with you a 100 percent.

  16. To all those wondering whether or not his followers might agree, let me point out: his followers count has not decreased, but increased, by approximately 2,000.

    Maybe some of the followers are just critics wanting a convenient way to keep track of the latest thing he says, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s gained some supporters. He certainly hasn’t seemed to have lost many.

  17. most people cant see outside the bubble they live in. we are all like that in a since. not all saudi men are like this man, and his followers are not all agreeing with him. many of them are just entertained by the louse. if you live in saudi, you will know not to be threatened by his words. next.

  18. I’m sorry, but didn’t the wife of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Fatima, work and assist The Prophet in his business as well?

    Al Daoud’s mother must be so proud….

  19. Desert girl, Actually Fatima was the boss, she owned an international trade business and Mohammed worked for her, as her subordinate. Fatima was rich and had a much higher status than Mohammed, she asked him to marry her, and while he was married to her he could not marry more wives or own sex-slaves.

    So at the very least it is sunna for women to own and run large companies, to employ and work with men, and to work themselves.
    I wonder where this dude thinks he gets his inspiration from? Certainly not from Islam….

  20. Close! Fatimah was his daughter. You two are thinking of Khadija.

  21. Oh yes, duuuh, Khadija!
    Thanks TE

    Anyway, American Christian nutjobs have the same problems,
    Enjoy:

  22. Bada BING. Just another case of an individual twisting a beautiful religion to suit his own ideology. You never know where satan will appear….

  23. Aafke, no problem, I had a feeling you knew it!

  24. Great video, AA! It’s always about control! These ignorant men don’t even stop to think about the family who might depend on the wife’s income. In Saudi many families are really struggling to live never mind women who are widowed, divorced or single who need to earn some money. Ignorance isn’t restricted to one religion, group or country.

    Stepping out of Saudi I think of all the places around the world where the woman looks after the house AND keeps the family going by farming, making crafts, etc. and the husband is unemployed or ill or whatever. I think of rural Africa. In many of these places these women are still highly controlled by men even to the point of trying to destroy them during wars, etc. That’s sad!

  25. Here is a Ted Talk that is interesting on many levels regarding violence done to others.

  26. Trying to embed it.

  27. Muslims Double-Speak Often: When they say “Unlike the west, We respect women” —- What They really mean is “Under islam, we respect the PROPERTY of other muslim men” ….

  28. whatever the idiot twitters – women in the workforce is a great step forward. now those with no husband can earn and support themselves and their family instead of living off the goodwill of others. and those that have family support, earning and being independent never harmed anyone , every adult human being should be capable of supporting themselves . great for self-confidence.

  29. Radha, I have always though that the inevitable increase in self-confidence, and the independence, which results from earning your own money is actually the real reason these men do not want women to have any kind of paid job.

  30. I pity his wife(ves) and daughter(s). How awful it must be to live with a man who actually advocates sexual assault towards women.

  31. Mrs. B,

    I agree! And when I first encountered such things, I thought it was strange to even imagine these men had female loved ones. But I guess in any society where there are such starkly different cultural expectations for men and women, in the eyes of the advocates, all women in the world fall into two categories: the ones who are decent and the ones who “deserve it.”

    This is undoubtedly how he looks at his women; they are different–better–than the women who would be caught dead in a cashier’s station, so he probably can’t even see a good connection between the women of his family and the women who are working in mixed gender locations. It is a shame.

  32. These men are just idiots living in some mental utopia. There are so many women who would benefit from this job. I’ve been asking my 2 widowed sil’s to apply. And hopefully they will and get on their feet. I’m getting tired of partially supporting them and their brood. My co-sis is tired too. However much I complain I can’t see myself cutting off funds and jeopardizing the health and education of 11 kids. Hopefully the moms will pick up slack and let us free. The rest of the extended family is worried about the evils of these women working!!! Food vs fitna , I know what I’d pick for me and my kids, however I’ve realized not everyone is endowed with the brains to extricate themselves from that cultural mess.. Sad

  33. Aafke said “Radha, I have always though that the inevitable increase in self-confidence, and the independence, which results from earning your own money is actually the real reason these men do not want women to have any kind of paid job.”

    I so agree. We have had gender mixing all the time and there is no fuss when women are the customer. Only when they are earning income.

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