A Saudi cleric who said women should not be allowed to drive because they have a ‘quarter’ of the brainpower of men has been banned from preaching, media reported on Friday.
Saad al-Hijri was suspended from all religious activity in the southern province of Asir after his comment was widely pilloried on social media.
Hijri said women -- who normally are ‘half-brained’ compared to men – ‘end up with only a quarter’ when they go shopping and therefore must be denied driving licences, according to an online video identifying him as a senior religious figure.
Hijri's comment sparked a storm on social media, with women's rights activists calling for his suspension, but he also had pockets of support from conservative followers.
Hijri later said that his comment was a ‘slip of the tongue’, according to Sabq online newspaper.