this degree of spiritual oppression

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "this degree of spiritual oppression" mean "this degree of spiritual oppression for men (but spiritual liberation for women)"?

Thanks in advance

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Zakaria and many others have noted that as repressive as Arab dictators generally are, they tend to be more liberal than the people they oppress. The Saudi Prince Abdullah, for instance—a man who has by no means distinguished himself as a liberal—recently proposed that women should be permitted to drive automobiles in his country. As it turns out, his greatly oppressed people would not stand for this degree of spiritual oppression, and the prince was forced to back down.

-Sam Harris' The End of Faith
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For me it means that Abdullah has spiritually oppressed the people - men and women - by suggesting this. Both men and women are capable of being ultra-conservative although we may guess that the men's sense of oppression was greater and their ability to express it was greater also.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don’t understand what’s being said. It doesn’t seem to make sense. What did he back down on? Women are now driving in Saudi Arabia, and allowing them to do so can hardly be seen as spiritual oppression, can it?

    Or does it mean that the will of the people forced Abdullah to back down on the ban on women driving? If so, it’s not well put.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    My guess is that by the time the prince made the decision to support women driving was still a taboo there. Notice that Harris used "this degree of spiritual oppression," he made a comparison between Arabia and America: Even though allowing women to drive was a liberation for women, it is a form of spiritual oppression in comparison to that of America, where women are born to have the right - rather than being bestowed by government.
     
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