Boycott supermarket over women cashiers - Saudi scholar

Cleric calls move by supermarket chain dangerous and hypocritical - report.

SAUDI WOMEN: The Labour Office in Jeddah said women were allowed to work in supermarkets subject to certain conditions. (Getty Images)

SAUDI WOMEN: The Labour Office in Jeddah said women were allowed to work in supermarkets subject to certain conditions. (Getty Images)

A Saudi scholar has broken the official rule restricting the issuing of fatwas to senior clerics and called for a boycott of a supermarket chain that has hired female cashiers, local media reports on Wednesday.

A YouTube video clip, which was taken from Al-Usra TV, shows Yousuf Al-Ahmad saying it is dangerous and hypocritical to hire females to work as cashiers, the Saudi Gazette reports.

Panda supermarket chain has employed female cashiers since earlier this month – a move which has drawn some criticism from more conservative members of the strict Muslim country.

In answer to a question from a viewer about whether the supermarket should be boycotted, Al-Ahmad said: “Yes, it (boycott) is a noble act and all Muslim Ulema in history did resort to boycott against whoever made innovations in Islam.

“The danger of hiring females in such public places is that it is part of normalising the Western culture and that it is hypocritical and should be stopped,” he said.

Saudi’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz issued a royal decree on August 12 restricting the issuing of fatwas to the board of senior ulema following a number of more bizarre edicts, including one which said drinking breast milk would make a man and a woman related.

However, Qussay Filali, director general of the Labour Office in Jeddah, said Saudi women are able to work as cashiers in supermarkets, subject to certain controls.

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