Muslim Women, With ID Cards, Undraped?
J. Grant Swank, Jr.
That’s what Muslim News reports. The headlines read: "New
identity cards: Saudi women find their feet — and face too."
Muslim women must wear fabric covering the entire body. If an ankle
shows, a male can beat her. If she bothers a male too much, he can shoot
her in the head. Muslim women have a demonic curse on them from
conception, according to Islamic custom. It would have been better for
them never to have been born.
Therefore, when the news comes out that Muslim women are going to be
undraped, that’s news indeed. And when it comes out that they are going
to have their own identification cards, that’s more news indeed.
Up till now, the Muslim female is identified via her male
identification card. Otherwise, she doesn’t exist for all practical
So now the Arab News from Riyadh reporters Raid Qusti and Somayya
Jabarti states that "Saudi women will no longer be faceless
identities. As of mid-2006, it will be compulsory for every Saudi woman to
have her own ID card with her face on it, terminating the age of women
depending on the current family card that only carries their names.
"Hissah Al-Suwaileh, the head of Women’s Civil Status Department
in Riyadh, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab
News, that Saudi women would soon no longer be using the traditional and
current method of proving their identity with the family card.
"The department will now be providing separate identity cards for
women, delinking her from being just another name on the family card.
"She said that an ID card for a woman had become a necessity to
verify/prove her national identity and that it would be the only card
recognized by banks and government sectors in the future. At present women
are using the family card or their passports in their dealings with banks
and the government."
Is this a turn that males will approve of, not only in Saudi Arabia but
elsewhere? And will this measure actually see it to the light of day,
2006? Or this merely wishful thinking on the part of some Muslims? Time
will surely tell. However, at present the tussle is real.
"’It is a necessity that must be acknowledged,’ said a Saudi
female employee at one of the local banks who identified herself only as
Noura. ‘We’ve been asking clients to bring in their passports and for
those who don’t have them, they’ve got to bring in a male guardian to
verify their identities.
"’After all, the family card only has her name on it which in
any day and age could never be enough. The process of identification has
kept pace with modern technology as in many parts of the world with voice
detectors, retina and palm scanners being used. We however still are at
point zero dealing with the photo issue: To show or not to show!’"