Saudi Writer, Abdullah Mohamed al-Dawood, in Hot Seat for Harassment Tweet Against Women, Nation Divided

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 30, 2013 1:28 PM EST

Women empowerment, it seems, is slowly getting powerful in Saudi Arabia so much that Abdullah Mohamed al-Dawood, a self-help writer and cleric, had to create a hashtag in Twitter to spur a campaign against its women. But it was not simple tweet. He specifically wanted Saudi men to molest working women.

Creating an Arabic hashtag on Sunday, Mr al-Dawood rationalized the campaign to his followers to sexually harass female cashiers was a way of discouraging women from working. The hashtag, when translated, literally read #harass_female_cashiers.

Saudi women have just been recently allowed to work in public in shops. Not only that, they have been accorded seats in the Saudi council. Young Saudi girls have also been allowed to engage in sports provided they are students in an all-girls school.

Essentially, Mr al-Dawood wants Saudi Arabian women to remain at home in order to protect their chastity, insinuating they are now more prone to crime and violence since they are already on the streets, much exposed to the public because of their jobs.

Divided

Khalid Ebrahim Al Saqabi, a fellow conservative cleric, endorsed Mr al-Dawood's messages, noting to create a law against sexual harassment in the workplace "only meant to encourage consensual debauchery."

"It is a manmade law and it can't be accepted in a kingdom ruled by God's law," another unidentified supporter was quoted at UPI.com.

But as expected, just as Mr al-Dawood has supporters, his Twitter hashtag only generated detractors, perhaps more.

"You are a fucking disgrace to mankind, Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, I hope you die a slow and painful death. Hope your wife gets molested," @adil_khan86 said.

"What kind of person urges the youth to commit debauchery?" Waleed Al Khawaji asked.

"Everyone should grope his filthy ass when he goes out," said @DrArifBaig

In response, someone had created the hashtag #arm_female_cashiers "to protect Saudi women from thugs who think they are entitled to #harass_female_cashiers.

Read more:

Women Empowerment in Saudi Arabia Faces Standstill, Nation Divided on Stadium Access Grant

Raha Moharrak Conquers Everest: Saudi Women Celebrate Empowerment

Signs of Changing Times? Saudi Arabia Publishes 1st Ever Anti-Domestic Violence Advert

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