Saudi self-help writer urges men to molest women in the workplace

Saudi writer Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood has used his Twitter following of nearly 100,000 to encourage the sexual harassment of women in the workplace

by The Commentator on 29 May 2013 16:40

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Saudi writer Abdullah Mohammed Al Dawood has urged his 97,000 Twitter followers to molest women hired to work as cashiers in big grocery stores in an attempt to "encourage" women to stay at home.

Al Dawood, who tweeted in Arabic using a hastag that translates as "#HarassFemaleCashiers, writes "self-help books" including one called "The Joy of Talking". He comments have stoked fierce debate this week as he implied that sexually harassing women in the workplace would help protect their chastity.

Al Dawood has previously asserted that baby girls should be fully covered using the burka, in order to protect them from sexual molestation. 

Gulf News reported that his campaign against official moves to encourage women to work in mixed gender environments has led some Twitter users to denounce him. Others however applauded him as a fighter against government efforts to Westernise and corrupt the country.

Khalid Ebrahim Al Saqabi, a conservative cleric, endorsed Al Dawood’s calls and said a law proposed by the government against sexual harassment in newly mixed workplaces was “only meant to encourage consensual debauchery”.

Al Dawood, who has more than 97,000 followers on Twitter, justified his call to harass female workers by using an obscure story from the early days of Islam about a famous warrior, Al Zubair, who did not want his wife to leave home to pray in the mosque. Al Dawood claimed that 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”.

But Al Dawood’s hashtag drew condemnation from others, who said the writer was a disgrace to Islam. One, Waleed Al Khawaji, asked: “What kind of person urges the youth to commit debauchery?”

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