Saudis Women have Right to Lead Own Lifestyles

Response to Chicago Tribune’s “Saudi Women Give Hughes an Earful”

The lack of understanding towards Islam and the Middle East among Americans was displayed openly in the efforts of Karen Hughes to urge Saudi women to demand more “freedoms” that allow them to “fully participate in society” like women in the United States do (“Saudi women give Hughes as earful,” Sept. 28).

It is sad that Hughes, the official charged with spreading the Bush administration’s message in the Muslim world, can make such a blunder that casts her as an arrogant American woman who believes any women who does not live exactly like her must not be happy. How can Hughes expect to change minds in the Muslim world if she fails to fully understand the culture and religion of its people?

If Hughes can just act like a fellow woman to these women rather than as an American who is shocked with how they lead their lives, perhaps she will able to form stronger connections that may one day lead to these women changing their own status.