Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • ‘Deadly clashes’ at Eastern Ukraine checkpoint

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

France

Saudi clerics says women exempt from wearing burqa in France

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-26

Muslim women living or visiting France are exempt from wearing the full veil two Saudi clerics have declared. The statement comes two weeks after French lawmakers passed a bill where women could be fined for wearing the full veil in public.

REUTERS - Two Saudi clerics have declared Muslim women are exempt from wearing full veils in France, which is planning to ban them, but added they should avoid visiting it as tourists.

The comments, by Islamic jurisprudence scholar Mohamed al-Nujaimi and author and cleric Ayed al-Garni, come two weeks after French lawmakers passed a bill under which women could be fined for appearing in public with the all-covering burqa or the niqab, which leaves the eyes exposed.

"For a woman who permanently resides in France or is a French citizen, if there is harm in wearing the veil ... it is permitted that she shows her face when need and necessity demand it," Nujaimi said in remarks published by al-Watan newspaper.

Muslim scholars are divided over the veil, disagreeing on whether and how much of a woman's face should be covered. Saudi clerics widely recommend it.

The kingdom is ruled by the House of Saud in alliance with clerics from the austere Wahhabi school of Islam who oversee mosques, the judiciary and education and run their own coercive apparatus, the morals police.

Nujaimi and Garni are not members of the kingdom's official Senior Scholars Authority, which has not commented on the French parliament's decision.

Tourism

Tourism to Western countries like France, while not forbidden, should be avoided in favor of Muslim countries where veils are allowed, the clerics said.

Every summer, tens of thousands of Saudi holidaymakers leave the kingdom and its searing heat to spend their vacation abroad, with many traveling to European countries.

"Tourism in a non-Muslim country is not indispensable, it is not needed, it is however allowed ... but we have a lot of touristic regions in our country and there are a lot of Muslim countries that do not ban the niqab," Nujaimi said.

Saudi Arabia is a major U.S. ally that has close trade and political ties with France, home to Western Europe's largest Muslim minority of almost 5 million. It is thought that only about 2,000 women wear the full-length veil in France.

The new law, which still has to be vetted by France's highest constitutional authority and approved by the Senate, could make France the second European country after Belgium to criminalize the veil.

Saudi King Abdullah postponed a visit to Paris that was scheduled to start one day before the French parliament voted on the ban, although Saudi officials did not link this postponement to the vote.

Comments by the two clerics come as the Louvre museum in Paris -- with the support of the Saudi government -- is displaying hundreds of artifacts from Saudi Arabia that have never been exhibited before, either at home nor abroad.

Among them are many pre-Islamic items. Exhibiting them in the kingdom would have triggered uproar from many clerics in the kingdom, who would see in it a revival of idolatry.

Date created : 2010-07-26

  • FRANCE

    French lawmakers pass bill to ban 'burqa' in public spaces

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Anti-veil law risks being shot down by constitutional council

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Police fine woman 500 euros for wearing burqa in the street

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)