tv QA with Manal Al- Sharif CSPAN July 16, 2017 11:00pm-12:02am EDT
al-sharif, followed by prime minister's questions at the british house of commons. later, former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush talk about the importance of leadership. ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," saudi arabian women's rights activist manal al-sharif talks about her book "daring to drive: a saudi woman's awakening." ♪ brian: manal al-sharif, you have a book called "daring to drive." why did you write this? manal: tough question. i never thought of writing a book. when i started the movement, i
did a speech. people pride in that speech. people gave me two standing ovations and this never happen in the history of that conference. when i came on the stage this lady came to me and said, when you are going to write your story, and i thought who would ever be interested in reading about my insignificant life? but that really sparked the idea of writing this book. brian: when was that? manal: i did the speech in 2012 and that is when i wrote it. brian: where did you give the speech and why? manal: the speech was a freedom forum hosted by humans rights foundation in new york. they invite activists from all around the world to tell their stories of fighting for human rights. brian: let's start from the beginning. where were you born?
inal: i was born in mecca, trouble" they call it. in 1979. brian: what are your parents light? manal: mom is from libya, that is north africa. she met my father in mecca. once-in-a-lifetime, for the muslim, he is required to perform -- which is visiting the holy site of mecca and performing the ritual that will make your faith complete. that is my hometown. we perform -- in circles around this holy -- in mecca. brian: who can go there, and why do they go there and how important is it? manal: mecca is for muslims only. non-muslims are not allowed to visit. the two holiest cities for the muslims. go there.slicms
we go for once-in-a-lifetime, or you could go for a visit. it is a small version that you could do any time of the year. it literally means, visit, to visit the holy site of mecca. brian: do you have any idea how many people have died there in mecca? manal: died, for what? brian: stampedes. we have read that there are so many people there that you might have thousands of people die. manal: it happened a few times for some reason they explain why. the last -- i can't remember the last time it happened. over a thousand died. but it is not really often. they always have hundreds of thousands of people organizing the hedge, to make it smoother. you have to do it once in your lifetime. the accidents happen in the
gatherings. we are talking about a million muslims in a very small city these guys of mecca between mountains. the valley between mountains. accidents do happen. brian: what do muslims get out of going there? what other perks? manal: you have five pillars of islam. to be full islam you have to do the pillars. the fifth pillar is there is no god but allah and mohammed is his prophet. the last pillar of islam is performing hedge. that is why most muslims go to mecca to become full muslims. to have the full faith. brian: how long do you spend there? manal: it depends how long you want to spend there. you don't have to be there more than a week. but people like to spend more
time in mecca. brian: who pays for it? manal: everyone pays for themselves. we believe when you pray, god listens to our prayer. in mecca it is worth 100,000. that is why it is important for the muslims to go there. you can pray one year. if you go to mecca, you stay there one week. it is worth a few years of your lifetime. brian: i read your book, i am not sure but what would you say your muslim faith is today? manal: i am muslim. brian: you believe? manal: of course i believe.
i am just against radical islam. and islam that has been taught to us in schools growing up. brian: every time a profit is mention there is the initials pbuh. why do you do that every time you mention the prophet muhammad? manal: it is respect. if i mention any prophet, abraham, we have to mention this to them for leading humankind to the faith to god, to the truth. brian: what is the most important thing to you about being a muslim. manal: a lot of things. i think peace you get being a muslim, believing in god.
it is interesting to the misconception about islam. we see the things today and violence, that is not islam. islam is submission to god. when you see a muslim the first thing they say is peace be among -- peace be upon you. it calls for morals, good read, a lot of good things in society that they want to have there. they are emphasizing on trivial things that made us do the things in islam. that is being in peace with yourself and others. somewhere in there when it became political and it was used political. as a political weapon. brian: when did it start? manal: throughout history. in the muslim world you use one faith against the others you call them infidels.
when you use it to gain power is when it becomes dangerous. brian: where do you live now? saudi.i used to be in i moved to dubai. only two months we moved to sydney, australia. brian: are you married? manal: i am married to my second husband from brazil, we have a boy. brian: your first marriage ended in divorce. how is the young man? manal: my first son. abdullah, he is 11 right now. my second boy will be three next month. brian: why did you pick australia? manal: long story short, my husband is working or now but he did not want to go back to brazil. he wanted to go to a country where he can have a better life for our kids.
for daniel. brian: you tell us in your book a lot about your divorce. why? manal: not a lot, did i talk a lot about the divorce and the book? [laughter] manal: it was so difficult for a woman to get divorced because she is not supposed to. i did not get support from the family, they were against it. i explained it was an abusive relationship. the saudi courts are not a friendly place for a woman. him and it is really difficult. when i got divorced it was liberating when i left my husband. brian: you talk about how you met your husband in the first place and another relationship you are interested in that did not develop. when did that all happen? manal: you mean my first husband? brian: the man you are interested in before you met your husband.
you talked about your personal life and all of that? what year did all of that happened? manal: my first husband was my first love. i had crushes on men. i grew up in a society where men and women are isolated. i own cousins, i cannot even. once i got my period, she is not allowed to see men. the only man i saw was my father end my brother. man, the time i saw a first time i interacted with a man was when i got my first summer job. i was 22 and it was interesting to see that i can work with all these men and talk to them for the first time in my life after reaching puberty. i had so many crushes, but it would last for a week. it made sense later on for me because i was not allowed to be
introduced to men are at how they talk, what they think of. to even just talked to them. it was a bizarre situation, but feelings. to bizarre brian: what are the rules and where to the rules come from in saudi arabia? manal: the first rule for a woman is her first place is her home. not a job, not the mosque, not outside, it is her home. if i ever want to be at the -- if i ever what to leave the house, it should be for urgency or something really, really important. in i have to take a man if i leave the house. also, the segregation between the sexes. if you go anywhere. to a bank, to a government
office. the men and women are always segregated. for school, fort university, i never saw might teachers, most of them. cc tv.ost of them on pictures. we were not even allowed to see them. class wouldin the call them if we had a question and would at the question on our behalf. this is how you grow up. also they list the things you cannot do. for women, it was really huge. you cannot just do anything on public. you have to put on the hijab. it was a very conservative city and i had to cover my face. it was not encouraged to use our first names. at the end of school, as my father's outside, i am not allowed to be standing outside. they have to call me through the microphone, the security guard.
a call through the microphone , the gatekeeper, he calls my father's name, not my name. the list goes on and on. brian: we have two still photographs i want to show you. this is the first one. manal: this is us in saudi arabia. they are showing her hands and feet, things are different now. we were fully covered. we had to put on the he shop. --.he brian: what is the difference we are putting their? manal: this is the new generation. they do not accept to cover their face. now they are wearing something you could never have war. when i worked in --, i insisted on wearing colorful scarves. i was totally different than everyone else. now more and more girls wear colorful ones.
i hope things loosen up. they are pushing the rules to be clothing they the want. the modest clothing they want. it shouldn't be black. brian: how much of saudi arabia requires women because of the prophet lay down years ago -- is ophet or is it created by the kingdom right now, their own rules? manal: there are rules from the prophet mohammed, but it is all about the interpretation of these that come from mohammed. the five pillars of islam that we follow. there are rules that are imposed that are not meeting the 21st century. i will give you one example. they expect a woman, when she trouble she is a man companion.
it makes sense because it would be dangerous when you travel. there would be thieves, killers, and caravans with camels it would take six days. , i do not need a guide or a gunman to travel with me. from roles, they are taken books written thousands of years ago. it should be reinterpreted to meet the current situation. i say to the scholar from islam when they say, it should not be reinterred -- reinterpreted anyway. for example, you cannot tell me you have facilities and he still cut hands. this debate has been going on with scholars. itm not a scholar but
terrifies me when they insist that we cut hands. brian: have you ever known anybody that had their hands cut off? manal: no, i have not known, but it was carried out in saudi arabia. i have not heard about it recently, but it had been carried out. brian: what if they find out you are a homosexual, what happens? manal: you get killed in saudi arabia. brian: killed? yes.: you cannot announce you are homosexual in saudi arabia. i cannot stay away from religion because i am at peace with every different faith and sexual orientation. if i mention these things in my country, you cannot discuss this homosexuality in in my country, for example. it is something that is taboo that we cannot talk about in saudi arabia. i keep these things to myself and i am taught to teach these things without offending the believer. the things i believe should change in my country and
has no base, in islam you are pushing on us. brian: you mention this about your mother and father, and sisters, and teachers, and others that beat you. when you say beat you and your ex-husband, what does that mean. define "beating." manal: growing up, my generation was expected to discipline your kids with a stick, a bamboo stick. it was expected that if you do not behave -- so we were brought up this way. with a wooden ruler. mom and dad would discipline in the house if they thought we misbehave. one boy was -- because his
-- killed because his teacher beat him badly. they ended it beating in the school. but the beating in the houses happen. there was anti-domestic violence law that was passed, it is not enforced, but it is a good start to stop this cultural stands that you can physically abuse someone. brian: you the most in your lifetime? manal: my sister. she did it the most. brian: where was the most severe beating, i am leading up as to whether or not that was your ex-husband. manal: i have my share of beatings growing up in saudi arabia. actually when i left my -- it was physical abuse, not only emotional abuse. brian: what was his physical abuse like? manal: with the hands, punching. brian: did you have any place to
go in your ex-husband would punch you? manal: i would go to the police and report the man, they would summon him and they were not going to put him in jail. to sign aave pledge promising not to beat her again. this is a girl who is 29 years old. she was beaten, she complained against her brother who is younger than her. her father complained against her to drop the charges and she was sent to jail, not her brother. social media when into frenzy, six months later she is living an abusive house, she leaves the house, they put her back in jail for the crime of being absent
from her abuser's house. that is a problem that we don't have, even if there are shelters for women in saudi arabia, they treat those abused women as criminals. they lock them in those houses. she made the guardian to sign the paper to leave the shelter or jail. there is also this girl who ran away from her abusive family, they caugher her in manila and sent her back. handcuffe himd and with duct her mouth. she is in jail. this is what happens to abused women in my country. brian: i want to play for you in 2006 with turkey outsize a who is ambassador of saudi arabia to the united states. we talk about women in saudi societies. it is not very long. video clip]
>> the most prized woman today in saudi arabia is a woman with a job. she is encouraged by her parents to go and find a job because she brings in income and they do not have to spend money on her. her siblings look up to her and want to do her. equally important is she is sought after by suitors. i think this is what is going to happen to women driving to people going to common events together. social change is what will drive these factors. [end video clip] brian: what do you think of what he said, that was 11 years ago. where were you 11 years ago? manal: i was working at aramco. brian: what do you think? manal: i agree that social change is what we need in saudi arabia. this is the beautiful thing about saudi arabia, the government invest so much in
a woman's education. i got free education, i went to computer science college and women can study for their masters degree and phd degree and even bachelor's degree fully covered by the government. our problem is, the frustration as they go back home are when i finish my education i do not find a job because we are only 14%, a was 11% two or three years ago. 14% of the workforce. we are highly educated women, but we cannot find jobs. i believe a woman who has full potential cannot reach her full potential and she needs financial independence from the man. she cannot on her life and her decisions. i do agree, an educator working woman is what saudi arabia needs today. brian: i want to show you an old video of aramco and i want you
to explain what aramco is. this is a short clip to give you a sense of what it looks like. [begin video clip] >> his majesty, king of saudi arabia. he had faith that somewhere within these far-reaching fans -- sands was the key to a richer life of people who had known scarcity. perhaps this country is so unproductive on the surface, it might contain minerals below the surface, including oil. on may 29, 1933, after weeks of discussion, there was a meeting on the outskirts of jeddah. it was there that saudi government officials representing his majesty signed a confession covering 320,000 square miles, this was the starting point of a new american business venture abroad. [end video clip]
brian: reportedly the company of aramco is worth between one and $10 trillion. nobody knows for sure. what is aramco? manal: right now it used to be the american oil company. the government in the 1980's but all of the shares. it became fully known by the saudi government. now it is known as the arabian oil company. aramco is in charge of producing oil, all of the oil under the control of aramco is the largest producer of oil until 2015. until america took over. that's aramco. it was started by americans, now it is fully own by saudis, but it did inherit the discrimination laws against women from the americans and was not changed in the last 80 years. 1933.mpany started in
brian: are you blaming america for the discrimination against women? manal: this is an interesting thing. when the company started, and i know women who worked in a ronco before it was owned by the saudi's. there was a lot of discriminative laws by americans against women in this company. saudis inherited it and kept it. maybe they created their own rules. it is a very secretive company, they tried to keep a very low profile. they are going public next year. they like to only keep their low profile. in my book, there is a whole chapter where i bring up a lot of policies that are in just and discriminating for being a saudi women working at aramco.
brian: what were the years you worked there? manal: i join in 2002. i quit my job in 2012. it was the only place for me, we were 60 girls graduating from computer college, we were only two girls from that whole 60 girls class. i was very lucky to get a job with aramco. because for me at that time in 2002, there were no jobs for me. brian: what was the difference between living in the aramco compound and living in the rest of saudi arabia. manal: when i join at in 2002, as a saudi woman i was not allowed to live in the compound. i was not allowed to live a -- not even allowed to rent an apartment outside the compound. i was not even allowed to stay in a hotel because the
government also would not allow me to rent a hotel room without a man. it was 2007, out of policy the company allowed women to live in the compound. that is when i got my divorce. when i found a place to stay, i left my marriage. starting in 2007 at the company. brian: where is your son? from the first marriage? manal: he is in saudi arabia with his grandmother. his father took him for me after i got married again and he is living with his grandmother. brian: when can you see him? manal: i always see him. he lives in my grandmother's -- his grandmother's house. brian: you can go in and out of saudi arabia even though you do not live there? manal: no, i wish i could go back. my second marriage is not recognized and approved by the government.
for a man and a woman applies to move any have special permission, which they would not guarantee until now. i know it is because my activism. i cannot take my second son with me to saudi. under the saudi law i am still divorced. i was five years married. my first son cannot visit me or leave the country. brian: when can he leave the country. manal: he leaves the country with his father, but not with me. brian: at what age is he independent? manal: 21. hopefully when he is a teenager he can speak up for himself, and he requires and demands the right to visit his mother. brian: how many times have you been in prison? manal: just one time. sometimes they write multiple times but no, he it was just one time. the first time i was in detention, they arrested me and
released me. the second time i was sent to prison for driving while female. brian: is that an actual turn the use in saudi arabia? manal: yes it was on my paper. driving while female. brian: what do they mean by that. manal: it means a woman driving a car. brian: why is at a big deal? manal: they will come and really argued that, it is a society issue that woman can drive, society does not want them to drive. i drove, there were other cars, no one stop me. the ones that stop me art the authorities. we told them there is no law that prevents me from driving. they insist that we cannot issue a drivers license, even if you apply. they say it is the custom. it is complicated. i always think it is a political
issue. society, religion, it is a clinical decision to allow women to drive or not. brian: what year did you do the famous video? manal: 2012. brian: i want to begin to show it, then i will explain it. what town are you in? manal: i am 10 minutes from where i used to live aramco in. [speaking foreign language] brian: explain what we are watching. manal: a woman driving. brian: who is shooting the video?
manal: i never met her. i met her because of this movie. brian: what impact did this video have? manal: when we posted it on youtube it was number one trending, not only in saudi arabia, but the whole world. i got 700,000 views because of this video. i made sure to show landmarks in the city because they kept saying, no, women cannot drive, it will never happen to i wanted to prove it can happen. brian: what led up to your decision to do this? manal: in 2011, everybody wanted to bring social change. there was a lot of frustration with corruption and in just laws. in 2009, in new hampshire, the live free or die state, i got my
me back home. all of this frustration with all of these years that i live in a country where there is no public transportation. a woman to leave the house or do anything in her life, she needs a car. to function or to use his car, she needs a man. the movement was june 17, coming in a few days, and this movement is simple. we said june 17, we will go out and drive because we want to normalize women driving. you never see women driving in the streets in a huge country. we wanted to change this by this movement. the movement is going on, it never stopped. we're still campaigning for the right to drive. the act's civil disobedience because women are not supposed
to drive. we show that we are able and capable of driving our own lives and being in the drivers seat of our own destiny. brian: that people saw you in a car they would yell also it's a nasty things to you? manal: that is when i was walking alone on the street. when i drive the car, no one talks to us. they would just talk to his wife or the people around him. brian: why do the men care so much about women being covered? manal: in saudi arabia, it is a global issue when it comes to a control over a woman's body. it is a battlefield for men. yet the do this in a certain way we have to cover up because your body does not belong to you, it belongs to the man who owns you. how they want to look at women. this is what bothers me a lot. brian: how nasty were people to you when you were uncovered? manal: really nasty, especially in my hometown. it was so difficult that i had to put my headscarf on my face because they would not approve women walking without covering
her face. things are changing now. i can go freely now without my face being covered. especially the young generation, there helping push the believe of uncovering your face. brian: this is from a tv program "frontline" and these are the religious police. we will see this and i want you to explain who they are and what they are supposed to be doing. >> he films the man who enforce their countries islamic laws, the saudi religious beliefs. dressed in traditional islamic clothing, they patrolled the streets and shopping malls. the title is the committee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice during activists have been filming and sharing videos to expose their practices and to show ordinary
saudi's standing up to them. they force women to cover themselves and drive people out of cafés to go and pray. these rules are based on a strict form of sunni islam. it is the religion on which saudi arabia was founded. brian: who are the religious police? manal: who are the religious police? brian: who picks them? manal: the government. it used to be this way. it has changed now, thankfully. i wrote a piece about it in "the new york times." they are able to arrest people for reasons they do not understand because they have a list that they will check adherence to following these laws or the sense that they have to check, that no one is committing.
that. why do you show signs of public affection in public? he said, i'm just protecting her from the people around her. he was arrested. they used to do these things. if you are playing is a cloud on the national day, they chased him and pushed him over the bridge. both brothers died for listening to music in their car. things have changed now. i think it was last year when they had to take the power of arrest from them. they have to call the police if they see something that is un-islamic. you are always feeling you are being watched. you are always questioned. it is always subjective. they can insult you, call you
names -- without facing any consequences. brian: during your prison experience, who arrested you and why? when they originally arrested you and put you in prison, who did that? manal: i was arrested the first time on purpose because i wanted to get arrested. the second time i was with my brother. i proved the point that i did not break a law and that they were not allowed to arrest me. the same day at 2:00 a.m. they sent the police to my house. the police could not go into the compound. i was arrested and sent to jail without a trial in 2011. brian: where were you? manal: i was in my house in aramco. 15 minutes from where i used to live was where the prison was. brian: how long was it before you were in the cell? manal: it was right away.
i did not leave with them until 4:00 a.m. even though they came at 2:00 a.m. brian: how do they treat you between the time they pick you up and the time they put you in the jail cell? manal: they had a way of interrogation. the first one said, everything is fine there just asking you some questions. then the guy disappears and things changed. another interrogation, but this when they take away your phone. they took my brother away, and they took my bag. they brought a woman prison guard in task me the same questions. i was strip-searched when i got to the prison. by a woman, and they did not explain to me why i was there. i said, can i talk to my family? can i call a lawyer? and they refused to do that. once i am in jail, i don't know. will people know that i am in prison -- and for what?
brian: but you said your dad was mad at you a lot. manal: things changed. i changed growing up. brian: your family lived in poverty? manal: yes, but once you get a job and you work, it is so much easier to move out of poverty. the education is free. once you get a good job, you can move out of poverty. most of my generation, or at least the city where i live, which is poured not rich, most of my generation moved their family out of poverty. to go back -- what was the question we started with? brian: you were talking about your parents moving out of poverty. but the thing i want to get to, the prison experience -- the cockroaches. describe the cockroaches. it is even a title of one of the chapters. manal: i hate cockroaches so
much. i think all women hate cockroaches. when i mentioned cockroaches about prison, it is to tell you about how filthy it was. it was dehumanizing. it was humiliating in the prison. i was deeply shocked about women getting strip-searched and then cramming us in this room. brian: in one cell? manal: there were 12 bunkbeds in each cell.
12 bunkbeds had more than 12 women. there were kids in jail. they gave birth to the kids in jail. it was sad. it was shocking to me, the situation there. most of the women there were not saudi's. more than 90% of the women there were not saudi's. brian: they leave the lights on their? manal: yes they leave the lights on 24 hours. the bathrooms did not have doors. there were nor mirrors, see forget what you look like. brian: the entire time no mirrors? manal: they don't allow it because you could use it as a weapon.
there were kids in jail. the whole situation was humiliating. the first night i slept on the floor. i was taken from my home, interrogated, and no one told them i was there. no one explained to me what i should've have been doing. it was staggering. it was the most shocking experience i went through. brian: did you sleep with the cockroaches? were they crawling on you? manal: over the food, over your hands, over your face. they were everywhere. they live with you. you get used to seeing them around you. brian: how long were you there? manal: i was there for nine days. brian: how did you have an international rally? manal: that video got the attention of the world. when i published that video, we were a group of women, it was not only me. i was made the face because no one else wanted to do the video. i was crazy enough to go out and make the video. the world knew me as the girl who got sent to jail for driving. i talked to cnn before they came
to my house. i picked up my phone with the reporter who did an interview a week earlier. i said these people are coming, i don't know who they are, i don't know where they are taking me -- please write about it. and she did. brian: where do you get the strength to do all this? where did you learn how to do all this -- get the attention of the media, find an agent, write a book -- all of that? where does this come from? where did you learn this? manal: i didn't even know i needed to find an agent. i knew i wanted to write a book. i wanted to drive because for me driving is a way of emancipating women. i believe that driving is the key to change.
our situations could change in saudi arabia. i had no clue that driving would be the symbol of resistance and saudi arabia. i wanted to write a book, i had no clue what to do. i talked to people around me. one friend said you need a book agent. he introduced me to a book agent. peter bernstein, my book agent. the first thing he told me, you should write a book. his father, my agent, and he said you should write a book. i just said, who would read my stories, really? brian: you give credit to a woman, who issued? manal: i had five different collaborators. to be successful in writing a book, you need to things.
the first one, finding the right agent who believes in you who will always be there -- and i was blessed to have peter as my agent. and finding the right collaborator. i had very disappointing experiences with the previous collaborators. i said, i'm done with collaborators. i do interviews for six months and then they disappear without giving me a single word. i have always worked, i wrote it in arabic and translated it into english. and then my fifth collaborator showed up after i wrote most of the book. she had transcripts of interviews before plus my
written translated passages. she did a fantastic job. i did not have faith in her at the start because i was mad at all of the previous collaborators. brian: lyric is the wife of a historian we have here all the time. the name bernstein is a jewish name. is there any irony to this that you had a jewish agent? manal: my best friends are my jewish friends. they are the most successful. they are the things that make things go. they're the most connected. i'm very proud that i have them as my friends. someone who introduced me to my agent. and then the american jewish committee in new york.
brian: why do you think that is? manal: because they have been persecuted in the past. they have been blamed for all of the evil in the world. when you really corner someone, when you persecute that someone, that makes them either choose to become radicals, adopt the fate of hate, or become really successful. that is a beautiful thing that the jews have done here. my more successful friends are the jewish friends. brian: let me ask you a couple more things. i want to show you some video of your hometown of mecca. a very rich place. lots of money. why in the world with mecca look like this?
>> i will show you have people live here. he brings his hidden camera to a salon that the edge of the holy city of mecca. >> people are living in real misery here. children, selling things. oh my god. look, it's a dump. look at the sewage. the way money is spread, it is not spread to the people. only the crumbs are spread to the people. brian: that is from frontline, saudi arabia uncovered, from 2016. manal: i agree and disagree.
we get a lot of benefits for free. i want to pay taxes and i want to get benefits because i am paying taxes, i don't want to give away from anyone. we have over 66 slums in the city of mecca. i lived on the outskirts of one of the slums. a lot of muslims come from very poor countries to mecca and they stay. most of these legal immigrants, when they stay legally, they build their houses in the
mountains illegally. their children and to the schools which create enclaves of illegal immigrants and poverty. the people from mecca never had a park or infrastructure in my city. mecca makes so much money out of religious tourism, and this money does not go to mecca to make it clean, to make it livable for its own people. people are too afraid to speak up against this. in a country with an absolute monarchy, speaking up about the distribution of wealth and corruption could get you in jail, arrested, or in so much trouble. brian: here's the second question that ties into this. a country that is a religious state, how have you kept your faith? you have people that are leading this country, a religious state, and have done all these things at you just explain to us. manal: my faith has nothing to do with them. the faith they promote is not the real faith. it is a version of faith, but the ideology of hate that we are
fighting against is not the great faith. faith was used in no way to get political power. that is what i am against. when you come to the realization that your religion has been used and misused, you become angry and start to go back to the true islam that is calling for peace and coexistence, does not matter your color, tongue, or religion -- i respect you and your faith. brian: mi an infidel? manal: no, you are not infidel. anyone who doesn't believe in their interpretation of islam is an infidel. that includes other muslim faiths, by the way. that is a version of islam. it doesn't really matter whether you are hindu, buddhist -- religions should be used to call for peace.
we need a dalai lama for islam that spreads forgiveness, persevering, and love, instead of hate. brian: what you think about the atmosphere and saudi arabia? manal: it is not the true islam. it is not what he called for. calling for hate has nothing to do with islam. it is not islamic to call for the hate of the other. he had the jews living in medina. what is happening today is using islam to gain political power. to me that is unholy.
for me that is something that makes me angry. brian: do you have any idea what the leadership in saudi arabia thinks of this book? manal: finally, after years of being indoctrinated, the government is acknowledging that they made a mistake. all the religious books that we were studying are being changed. they removed the part about hate for the infidel. their egg knowledge and that after it backfired. after our own sons and daughters backfired. when you suffer more terrorist attacks -- more than it anywhere
else, people are bombing mosques. they realized they made a mistake. now there are a lot of things happening to rebel against those ideas. the problem is we did so many wrong things in the past, how do you go and undo them? when you have the same ideology being taught in saudi arabia, and then they go home with the same ideology. that is why you have radical islam on the rise. have you undo this? that is the important question today. we have a big responsibility for spreading the ideology of love and coexistence. brian: our guest lives in
australia right now married to her second husband. how old is the young child? manal: daniel will turn three next month. brian: the name of this book is called, "daring to drive: a saudi woman's awakening." manal al-sharif, thank you for joining us. announcer: four free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit our website. these programs are also available as c-span podcasts. >> if you enjoyed this
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