Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP) – The following is the text of the royal decree issued by Saudi King Salman regarding women being allowed to drive, as translated from the Arabic version carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
A supreme order was issued (last week), which reads:
Your Royal Highness, Minister of Interior:
We take into consideration (or we study) the pros of allowing women to drive and the cons of banning them from driving, while taking into account the necessary legal rules and adhering to them.
We also refer to what the majority of the Council of Senior Scholars agreed on, which is that the original Islamic ruling in regards to women driving is to allow it, and that those who have opposed it have done so based on excuses that are baseless and have no predominance of thought. The scholars see no reason not to allow women to drive as long as there are legal and regulatory guarantees to avoid the pretexts (that those against women driving had in mind), even if they are unlikely to happen.
And because the country – with the help of God – is the guardian of Islamic values, it considers preserving those values one of its priorities, in this matter and in others, and will not hesitate to take any means to ensure the security and safety of its society.
Therefore; adopt the application of the Traffic Regulations and its executive list – which include issuing driving licenses to men and women alike, and forming a high-level committee of ministries (including the Interior Ministry, Finance Ministry, Ministry of Labor and Social Development) to study the necessary steps needed to implement the regulations. The committee must submit its recommendations within 30 days. The implementation – God willing – will be from 10/10/1439 (Islamic date in June 2018) and in accordance with rules and regulations, and the completion of the necessary steps.