Saudi Arabia’s King Salman yesterday issued a Royal Decree (full text) which for the first time allows the issuance of drivers licenses to women.  As reported by Reuters, Saudi Arabia has been the only country that bars women from driving.  The new rules will be implemented by June 2018 after a high-level committee of ministries recommends how to implement the changes. The decree reads in part: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.



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