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Saudi Arabia Follow-Up: Manal al-Sharif Forced to Quit Women2Drive Campaign

Yesterday we reported that Manal al-Sharif, who not only defied Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving but also posted a YouTube video of herself behind the wheel to inspire others, had been released after nine days in detention.

Now it appears that the price for al-Sharif's freedom is her promise of self-imposed silence.

See also Saudi Video and Poster: Manal al-Sharif "We Can Do It. We Can Drive."
Islam and Women Videos: Manal al-Sharif, Arrested by Saudi Arabia for Driving

Al-Sharif's lawyer, Adnan al-Salah has said, "She wrote a pledge that she will not drive a car and after what has happened she has decided to give up the campaign and not be part of the protests." He insisted arif had made the decision on her own and authorities had not set the conditions.

On Tuesday, al-Sharif expressed "profound gratitude" to King Abdullah for ordering her release, according to a written statement in the Al-Hayat newspaper.

"Concerning the topic of women's driving, I will leave it up to our leader in whose discretion I entirely trust, to weigh the pros and cons and reach a decision that will take into consideration the best interests of the people, while also being pleasing to Allah, and in line with divine law," al-Sharif supposedly wrote.

She continued, "On this happy occasion, I would also like to affirm that never in my life had I been anything beside a Muslim, Saudi woman who aspires to remain in God's good graces and to safeguard the reputation of our beloved country."

The Women2Drive campaign has planned a mass drive on 17 June.

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