Surprise, surprise: another Saudi Sheikh says something incredibly offensive, yet again.
This is becoming almost a weekly occurrence and some of us at the CairoScene office debate whether to mention these instances anymore. Truth is, we feel that people need to be aware of just how ridiculous some religious leaders are, as unfortunately their opinions still heavily influence a large population of misguided Muslims.
The latest instance is that of Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, who during Friday prayers declared that gender mixing is a “heinous crime” which endangers women and society, and continued to demonise women who call for gender mixing as people who “want to corrupt their morals,” according to Al-Eqtisadiah.
We aren't exactly sure what he means by gender mixing, but he considers the act a criminal western project that brings horrors, calamities and peril to the Muslim nation. Clearly, this man needs a hug but considering how heinous of act that must be, there are likely no takers.
This is the same Grand Mufti – who represents the highest religious authority in the Kingdom – that believes that indecency and lack of modesty in some women’s actions are the reason married couples divorce and that husbands should be “patient with their wives' mistakes.”
The only equality this man has ever preached about is the fair and equal treatment between wives a polygamist should have. As for the ban on women drivers, he perceives it as a way to “protect society from evil.” These are just a few of the highlights of a man that will continue to keep Islamic moderates and would-be new-comers away from Islam.
How out of touch is this man? Short answer is extremely, as he criticises Twitter as a “council of clowns,” alienating Islamic tech-savvy youth, which is definitely not the worst thing he has said, however, it is a welcoming thought to know that his opinions won't be coming out as tweets anytime soon.