In Al-Monitor by yours truly:
While the Saudi official religious establishment has chosen to resort to silence over the appointments, as they usually do when they find themselves in disagreement with the royal family, some conservatives have decided to show their objection in a rather unusual, public manner. Dozens of clerics staged a protest outside the Royal Court in Riyadh last week, breaking with the Wahabbi tradition that does not allow street protests and instructs that advice to rulers can only be offered gently and in private.
It is important, however, to note that not all conservatives are against the king’s decision. A special group worth highlighting here are conservative female academics and writers. These women reject the label “feminists,” and they see their role as defenders of Islam against what they consider the Western-inspired notion of women empowerment promoted by many activists in this field.