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Thu 4 Feb 2010 07:25 AM

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JCCI chief: worry about corruption, not women

Saudi business chief says bribery 'a million times more harmful' than mingling of sexes.

The chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) has slammed religious leaders for concentrating on preventing the mingling of the sexes, while ignoring such issues as corruption and bribery in the Kingdom.

Saleh Kamil said he had received around 50 letters from imams and judges complaining about the mingling of members of the opposite sex at the chamber. According to Saudi daily Arab News, he noted that Islam has not prohibited unrelated men and women from interacting but rather prohibits them from going into secluded places together.

“We don’t have a single man and a single woman working together in an office and we don’t have businessmen and businesswomen working together in an office. They have different offices,” he explained. “As long as they wear proper Islamic dress what is wrong with women if they work in the chamber or in any other institution?”

According to the paper, Kamil said that while he has received so many letters complaining about men and women working together in a professional environment, “I have not received a single letter about corruption or bribery or injustice.”

“I believe that bribery is a million times more harmful than the mingling of sexes. There are Qur’anic verses and Sayings of the Prophet that prohibit bribery, but you would not find a single Qur’anic verse banning the mingling of sexes,” he added.

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Hal-Luke Savas 10 years ago

Yes, I do agree with Sheikh Saleh, that some people are throwing baby out with the bath water! Given that different Muslim countries treat women's involvement in commercial life in different ways, meaning the standards are different but not the Islamic application. The issue is that women are part of our society and they are mothers and sisters and wives as everywhere else and with proper social care and due diligence by the menfolk they can be part of our commercial society without being hurt by unscrupulous characters. If anybody is unscrupulous then there is the legal and religious law to deal with them and we have enough religious leaders to guide us through. So, there is no excuse to exclude them and deprive industry half of its workforce. There are jobs that ca be done best by women and those interested to work outside their home should be allowed to work in peace and prosperity. They have their rights clearly outlined in the Holy Koran and that's God's word. As regards bribery, Islam is much more clear on this subject than the other subject. It is not only sinful and evil but it is the cancer of any society, Muslim, Christian or whatever. May God protect us from wrongdoing and lead us all in his path, not on any other path. Warmest salutations to all God fearing and loving peoples. Maassalama Hal-Luke Savas MBA FCIM MBIFM ICIOB affCIBSE londonmanagement@aol.com

sultan 10 years ago

cannot agree more.......

Usman 10 years ago

How about talking about the injustice towards the labourer in Saudi. How about talking about the double standards towards lower paid workers and their treatment. Workers rights, Human Rights... there are alot of other topics... seems like saudis are stuck with mingling !!!

Jihad 10 years ago

I truly hope that in future, preferably sooner rather than later, there will be more influential people in Saudi Arabia such as Sheikh Saleh Kamel. He is absolutely correct in his statements. If only more people, regardless if women or men, were to engage themselves in developing both Saudi society and its economy, I trust that Saudi Arabia would not only become a more pleasant place to live and work in for Nationals and Foreigners alike, but would become a truly admired destination in many other respects, and by many other nations. I hope to one day experience a Saudi Arabia in all its true tolerant, encouraging, all-incorporating and fair Islamic values. Signed, A hopeful Member of Society