Saudi woman min­is­ter re­moves face veil

Saudis rush to de­fend Al Awad af­ter some users at­tacked her on so­cial me­dia

Gulf News - - Gulf - BY HABIB TOUMI Bureau Chief

In­tel­lec­tu­als and writ­ers in Saudi Ara­bia have come for­ward to de­fend the king­dom’s Deputy Min­is­ter for Girls’ Ed­u­ca­tion Haya Al Awad af­ter she ap­peared in pub­lic with­out her niqab.

No de­tails were pro­vided about Al Awad’s de­ci­sion to lift the niqab that kept only a gap­ing slit for her eyes.

While a few users on so­cial me­dia at­tacked her for “not keep­ing up with re­li­gious and so­cial tra­di­tions” many oth­ers, in­clud­ing re­li­gious fig­ures, praised and de­fended her in­sist­ing she did not do any­thing wrong.

“Dr Haya Al Awad is liv­ing ac­cord­ing to her con­vic­tions within the frame­work of sig­nif­i­cant ju­rispru­dence plu­ral­ism,” Su­laiman Al Ta­reefi, a re­li­gious preacher, said.

“Our ju­rispru­dents have de­cided that the mat­ters of ijti­had, the in­de­pen­dent rea­son­ing as op­posed to im­i­ta­tion, can­not be dis­missed.”

Saud Al Mu­saibeeh, a me­dia and ed­u­ca­tion ad­viser, said that he “hailed Al Awad for adopt­ing the stance of re­li­gious schol­ars who al­lowed women not to cover their faces. She is fol­low­ing what she be­lieves is right re­gard­less of what she has to en­dure from those who op­pose her view.”

Al Marsad

Dr Haya Al Awad with­out niqab (left), and wear­ing it (right).

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