Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah marked the first day of Hajj by pardoning the so-called Qatif girl, who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison because she was traveling with a man when she was attacked and gang-raped. The Saudi justice minister said that, despite the pardon, the king was “convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair.”
Challenging their culture’s conservative gender laws, a group of Saudi Arabian women from the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars is preparing to petition King Abdullah to allow women to, well, drive cars.
One of Bush’s biggest buddies in the Mideast, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, described the Iraq war as an “illegitimate foreign occupation” while pleading for Arab unity. His remarks came during a summit of the Arab League, which plans to approach Israel with a renewed diplomatic effort.