Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Breaking News: a Saudi Sheikh makes a proclamation about sharia that has more to do with politics than religion

Mosque? or State?

Sheikh Obaikan, a member of Saudi Arabia's Higher Religious Committee, answered a question about mixed-gender workplaces by saying that it was appropriate if the woman (or women) were wearing hijab; sharia only forbids khalwa, wherein a man and a woman are together in a state of seclusion.

Hadi Fakeeh, journalist at al Hayat and asker of the question, published the answer and is now being sued by Sheikh Obaikan. (He recorded the conversation). The sheikh has issued new statements on the mixing of men and women that are a little ... less liberal.

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