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Islam: Women in Saudi Arabia
Speaking from experience, one WAISER says declarations of happiness by Muslim women are mostly show, and, "as Ronald Hilton points out, there is risk involved in talking to foreigners (as a rather silly writer found out via a death warrant for his commentary on Islam)." Even I don't feel comfortable talking about this................there is DEFINITELY risk involved. Saudi women have 'representational' roles to fulfill, and they are well aware of these roles and the consequences of not fulfilling them.
My comment: In any authoritarian regime, people are frightened to talk to foreigners, indeed, they may be forbidden to. In the old Soviet bloc, statements made to me about the joys of the regime were clearly command performances. In relatively free Poland, a dissident took me to the middle of a park before he would talk.
Ronald Hilton - 10/22/99