Saudi Arabia Life in the Slow Lane

By formally banning Saudi women from driving cars, conservatives hope to brake any further efforts at liberalization

It may be axiomatic to say that Saudi Arabia is deeply influenced by religious conservatives, but the specifics are often surprising. When the Sunday Times of London recently published excerpts of Ronald Reagan's memoirs, for example, Saudi censors gathered all the copies that reached the kingdom and methodically blacked out a half-page photograph. The offending scene: Reagan bussing his wife on the lips.

With hundreds of thousands of American troops stationed in the country, both U.S. and Saudi officials have been nervously watching for signs of a culture clash. So far, the tensions have been minimal. But the growing Western presence...

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