Saudi Arabia’s religious police have lifted the ban on women to ride motorbikes and bicycles in restricted, recreational areas. According to a local newspaper an influential leader in a religious police has said that women are allowed to ride bikes in parks and recreational areas. This freedom, however, comes with a condition, which calls for women to be accompanied by a male relative, and should wear the full Islamic head to toe abaya.
“Women are free to ride bikes in parks, seafronts, among other areas, providing that they are wearing fully modest dress and a male guardian has to be present in case of falls or accidents,” the report read.
Samia al-Bawardi, a non-profit leader has issued warnings to women that they should not ride the bikes without the cloak. However, the safety of women riding a bike or bicycle after wearing abaya is questionable because these cloaks are very long and are not safe.
The authorities said that women should use the bikes only for entertainment and should not go to the places where young men gather in order to avoid harassment.
There are extreme conservative rules followed in Saudi Arabia where there are bans on Women for driving. Women are not allowed to ride motorbikes as well as bicycles in public places. There is, however, no clear reason, which made the religious police to take this decision.
In similar news, Saudi Arabia telecommunication regulators did not block the messaging applications such as Skype, Whatsapp and Viber. There will be an agreement between Saudi Arabia Telecommunications and Information Technology Commission and telecom companies.
The commission has asked the telecommunication companies to keep an eye on these services else the applications will be blocked all together.
In 2010, the similar issue arose when Saudi telecommunication authority entered into a brawl with Blackberry maker Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) when it asked the company to open its encrypted network. The telecommunication authority ordered the companies to block Blackberry messenger service.
The online users in Saudi criticized the decision of commission on twitter by saying that the commission should post ban on internet service altogether while others held the view that the next aim of the government will be to curb the oxygen, which is a necessity for people to live.