Saudi reaction to Manal Al Sharif’s Oslo Speech

Saudiwoman's Weblog

Last week Manal Al Sharif won the Vaclav Havel prize for Creative Dissent and gave a 17 minute speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum. She talked about her personal struggle and transition from extremism to becoming her own woman. She related this personal story to the historical and factual events going on around her in Saudi and abroad.

The speech was not received well in Saudi. Although no one actually denies the truth of what Manal had to say, they still opposed it. The opposition bubbles down to three main points:

1-Shhhh! Don’t let the infidels know how bad it is for women in Saudi since it represents Islam. One example of this is Hana Al Hakeem’s long rant on the Oslo speech where she concludes with

I wish that Sharif had not published our dirty laundry on the roofs of our neighbors (and I mean the status of…

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