Last updated at 8:13 PM on 1st December 2011
Repealing a ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia would result in ‘no more virgins’, the country’s religious council has warned.
A ‘scientific’ report claims relaxing the ban would also see more Saudis – both men and women – turn to homosexuality and pornography.
The startling conclusions were drawn by Muslim scholars at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University.
Their report assessed the possible impact of repealing the ban in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed behind the wheel.
It was delivered to all 150 members of the Shura Council, the country’s legislative body.
The report warns that allowing women to drive would ‘provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce’.
Within ten years of the ban being lifted, the report’s authors claim, there would be ‘no more virgins’ in the Islamic kingdom.
And it pointed out ‘moral decline’ could already be seen in other Muslim countries where women are allowed to drive.
In the report Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state.
‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote. ‘One made a gesture that made it clear she was available… this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.’
The astonishing report comes after Shaima Jastaniya, a 34-year-old Saudi woman, was sentenced to 10 lashes with a whip after being caught driving in Jeddah.
There has been strong protest in the country about the sentence – and about the law generally.
But resistance to reform and change remains strong among conservative royals and clerics.