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Sun 3 Feb 2013 12:13 PM

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Cleric faces backlash after 'burkas for babies' bid

Controversial Saudi Arabian cleric attacked on Twitter over baby girl fatwa

Cleric faces backlash after 'burkas for babies' bid
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes)

A Saudi cleric who called for all female
babies to wear a face veil to protect them from sexual exploitation has been
attacked on social media as denigrating Islam and breaching individual privacy.

Sheikh Abdullah Daoud made the fatwa during
a TV interview on Islamic Al-Majd TV last year, but his comments have been
picked up by Twitter users who have called for him to be held
accountable for the ruling.

Stressing that the wearing of a burka would
protect baby girls from abuse, he backed his assertion with claims of sexual
molestation against babies in Saudi Arabia, quoting unnamed medical and
security sources.

The TV footage has now become widely
publicised thanks to becoming a prime topic for conversation on Twitter, with
people lamenting the Sheikh’s comments.

Malaka Elvazgi wrote on the social media
website: “Burkas for babies is disturbing! Now the baby victims are blamed for
men’s crimes. Allah help us stop the ignorance.”

DissidentView asked whether it had occurred
to punish the pedophile instead of making baby girls wear the burka, while
Shereen H Aljarrah calls the comments a “minus-sanity” fatwa.

Celeste Klose sarcastically added: “Why stop
with baby girls. Let’s cover everything in a burka to protect the world from
sexual abuse by men.”

Former judge at the Saudi Board of
Grievances, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Jzlana, told Al Arabiya that Daoud’s ruling
was damaging to the character of Islam and Shariah.

He also urged people to ignore unregulated
fatwas, explaining there are rules set by Saudi authorities to
administer religious edicts and appoint those who are entitled to issue them.

According to the hadith (sayings and acts)
of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), a girl is not required to wear any prescribed
covering until she reaches puberty.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Frank F 7 years ago

He was looking for his 15 minutes of fame and people gave it to him.