A young Saudi woman has come under backlash by ‘trolls’ on the internet, following her recent photo upload on social media, showing her new found freedom in Canada.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, escaped from Saudi Arabia, when she went on a family trip to Kuwait. She calls it the biggest challenge of her life, as she uploaded a photo where she posed in a bikini and compared it to an old image of herself in a niqab, which she likened to black sheets.
Saudi critics were quick to lash out, saying she only craved being ‘naked’, which apparently is in stark contrast to how the majority of women dressed in Saudi Arabia.
But she also received amazing support from other people who called her escape an act of bravery.
Hers is not the first case of a successful attempt at escape, but for Saudi women, this kind of bravery is often always a matter of life and death, and most time they do so it’s to flee harmful male relatives.
Following the controversial uploads, one follower trolled her saying, she really feels sad for people like her, saying that Saudi women are living in happiness, living a normal life, as they are now allowed to drive, go to malls and even travel alone. The said follower further said Rahaf had no reason to leave, as the Prophet Muhammad said women and men were equal.
Rahaf had escaped while she was on a trip with her family to Kuwait, and then flew to Bangkok. She was denied entry by immigration police and her passport was seized. She took her case to social media, sparking the hashtag #SaveRahaf, and posted video of herself using a table to block the door to her hotel room.
The young Saudi woman has presently renounced Islam and declared herself an atheist, saying she was physically, emotionally and verbally abused by being imprisoned inside the house for months. She felt oppressed as her relatives threatened to kill her and make her quit her education.
Rahaf was given UN protection, following her campaign, and she chose to fly to Canada after being granted asylum there.