Riyadh - For the first time in the history of the Olympics, women athletes from Saudi Arabia may be able to compete in London, reports the influential and usually well informed Al-Hayat, according to which a decision in this regard has been made by the Interior minister and Crown Prince of the Kingdom, Nayef bin Abdulaziz,.
The newspaper says, Nayef has given his consent for participation in sports that "meet the standards of decency and as long as the women do not contradict Islamic law."
The announcement comes at a time when King Abdullah is committed to achieve a slow but gradual modernization of the culture of his country. Significantly, yesterday pro-governmentArab News published an editorial entitled "Saudi women are in urgent need of equal rights."
In the article, it is stated among other things that "women comprise more than half the population of our country and, frankly, no real social development can be achieved without them," that "Islam is a great religion, but some of us spread the wrong message "and" repress civil rights of women "and" that Saudi Arabia has a moral responsibility to respect and protect human rights of all its citizens. " Again: "Although the Koran clearly states that personal freedom must always be respected and that is that everyone, man or woman should be allowed to make their own decisions, the tragic reality is that women are not free to do so and can not live a normal life". The editorial ends with a call to men to support the efforts of the Saudi king for reforms, including those for real equality between all citizens, men and women.