Muslim women can respect veil bans: Saudi cleric

RIYADH A leading Saudi cleric hit out at France for moving to ban Muslim face-veils, but approved Muslim women foregoing veils when visiting a country which outlaws them, a Saudi paper reported on Saturday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 24 Jul 2010, 11:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:48 AM

“It is illogical and unreasonable that the French government undertakes such a thing, which is condemned by neutral people, not just Muslims, because the secular state assures freedom of religion,” Sheikh Aed Al Qarni told Al Hayat.

“The state has to respect religious rituals and beliefs, including those of Muslims,” he said in an interview.

However, he added, if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, “it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face.”

Numerous scholars of various Islamic schools of thought agree on this point, Qarni said. “For Saudi tourists who face such a decision, there is a point in Islamic law where God says: ‘So fear Allah as much as you can.’’

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