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(By Chris Sharp) For some time now, Saudi Arabia has been served as an introductory course in traditional Islam for our American purposes.   I believe this has been so because there are two key words in each nation’s dialogue to serve for our mutual benefit:  Money and oil.  But these two words do not just serve America and Saudi Arabia.  Presently, these two words are running the world.

So as long as money and oil have been the basis of our livelihood, America has silently put up with an awful lot from Saudi Arabia.   The Saudis have in fact indulged in human rights violations that would have drawn serious American sanctions if these abuses had occurred in any other nation.  But to put sanctions on a nation that has so much money and oil waiting for our trade?  No way!

But these days, something very sunny and happy is happening for Americans in Saudi Arabia.  Since 2015, they have had a new crown prince in the Royal Family member king who actually likes women.

Let me say that again if you did not believe it the first time.  Today the Saudi’s have a new crown prince in the form of 32-year-old Mohammad Salman who actually likes the women of Saudi Arabia.

It should have happened long ago.  I for one am amazed that hating women had ever become the government tradition in Saudi Arabia.  This is especially since this past year I have read a beautiful translation of the Qur’an by the very poetic American scholar Thomas Cleary and I do not remember any reference to women in it that the prophet Muhammad did not pose in a loving way.

What is most important is that the Saudi crown price is the second who powerful person in his country and he is known to have the ear of his 82-year-old father, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Saud, At the crown prince’s insistence that men and women should have equal pay doe equal work, Salman has installed a woman to become deputy minister of labor and given special preferences in cabinet meetings.

Under the young Salman’s promotion, Saudi Arabia’s women’s university is now kicking off a movement with the goal of having all adult and able women in the nation capable of driving a car.  At the present time, only 22 percent of women in the nation can drive a car.

Today, a totally changed culture from the royal family in Saudi Arabia has made such medieval habits as the stoning of women officially extinct.

I can understand that this kind of revolution could not be easy, considering that a similar revolution took place in America.  But it is still not easy in America.  For example, in this space, I have related how as a teacher I have a first-hand accounting of all the young women who are LA Dodger fans in my school that is in the vicinity of Los Angeles, and they would love to play the same kind of hard ball/baseball that Clayton Kershaw plays for the Dodgers.  But because they are female, they are forced to play softball – universally known as much more of a children’s game – instead.

Read more here: A Sharp View: Hats off to the Saudi Arabian pro-woman reforms