Veiled Saudi women talk on their BlackBerry phones at a shopping mall in Riyadh
Veiled Saudi women talk on their BlackBerry phones at a shopping mall in Riyadh Reuters

Saudi women are coming out in droves today in the Muslim holy land to protest the ban by getting behind the wheel and cruising.

The motor vehicle had not yet been invented during the time of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. So why is it illegal for women to drive there?

If your looking for an answer in the Qur'an or Islamic Shariah, or holy law, then you're out of luck.

No such law exists.

In Saudi Arabia, many Muslim scholars have issued decrees saying that there is no basis for a ban on women driving, and many women already drive in rural areas.

Behind today's protest is Manal al-Sharif, who was jailed for a little over a week after posting a YouTube video of herself driving a car and discussing why the Saudi government should legalize driving.

Not all of us live luxurious lives and are spoilt like queens and have drivers, she said in the video.

What if there's an emergency, what's a woman to do, she said, noting that if a woman's husband has a heart attack, she sometimes has no way to get him to the hospital.

Women are ignorant and illiterate when it comes to driving. You'll find a woman with a PhD, a professor at a college, and she doesn't know how to drive.

Al-Sharif also explained that it is sometimes unsafe for an unmarried woman to ride with a cabby or chauffeur.

Earlier this month, a Saudi woman was raped by her chauffeur.

In the fashion of most movements in the Arab spring, Al-Sharif is advertising for her automotive women's rights movement via social media like Twitter.

A parallel protest was organized in Washington DC Wednesday, in which women supporting Al-Sharif and the Saudi woman's right to drive circled the Saudi Arabian Embassy.