Much ado about women

Sheikh Al Najaimi who announced his support for the Al Barak fatwa that anyone who calls for gender desegregation should be killed was caught last month attending a women’s day conference in Kuwait. The conference’s attendees were mostly women and there was no segregation at all. He sat for hours with women and even had a meal with them. When he got back to Saudi Arabia, he told everyone that the majority of women were menopausal and as such it is Islamically allowed for him to socialize with them. Of course, this is not true. In the Quran, the verse is very clear that it is the woman’s decision whether or not to announce that she is post-menopausal and just being menopausal is not enough, she has to have no interest in men too. However, Al Najaimi took it upon himself to make this milestone decision on behalf of all the women attending the conference. Moreover he proclaimed that those who weren’t post menopause confessed to him that they were committing a sin by not covering!

A woman who shiekh Al Najaimi insisted is post menapausal even when she denied it. He said to her face "you are post menopausal whether you admit it or not!".

And then the Deputy Minister of Girl’s Education Ms. Nora Al Faiz, made it a point to appear in photos taken at official meetings in full face cover to even more discredit the photo of her face that was highly publicized when she was first appointed. I’ve met a few teachers since then and they keep telling me that they or other colleagues are uncomfortable with such a liberal woman!

At the same time, King Abdullah had a photograph of him and Princess Mozah, the ruler of Qatar’s wife, on the first page of most major newspapers in Saudi. And then another photo of the king and Prince Sultan with a group of Saudi women, many with their faces uncovered surfaced everywhere. And this one had the names of those women published alongside it as if to show that tribal Saudi women from old families have no issue with having their pictures in newspapers.

It is rumored here and here that recently a Saudi woman declared on a forum that she will stand in the middle of a major highway in Riyadh and burn her face cover and hijab, she was apprehended within a few hours of posting. She goes by the name of Wedad Khalid and lives in a posh area of Riyadh. On her post (I haven’t seen it personally) it is reported that she was going to do it on June 12th 2010 and she invited people to video tape it. She also stated that a couple of years in prison are worth standing up to the hypocrisy of Saudi society. It was reported that within a couple of hours she was reported, tracked down and arrested.

It’s a crazy time to be a Saudi woman. You’re pulled in every direction and a simple and personal decision like covering or uncovering your face decides your spirituality and political stance  and affects everything from family to career.


Filed under Culture, Fatwas, Gender Apartheid

28 responses to “Much ado about women

  1. Usman

    The implementation of Al Barak fatwa should take effect from Sheik Al Najaimi’s prosecution 🙂 . Why didn’t he say that he is impotent and hence hanging with women will not bring any violation?

  2. Following a visit to Saudi Arabia as part of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth`s press corps in 1979, I tried on several occasions to get a visa to return and write some non-contentious articles on Saudi Arabia.

    It was never granted. I would be called to the KSA embassy in London, looked at and listened to, but I would never hear another word.

    I am now post-menopausal so perhaps I should re-apply so I can report on Ms Wedad Khalid burning her mask in desperation at Saudi male hypocrisy.

    Christine B.Osborne
    Member British Travel Writers Guild

  3. There is definitely something going on here. Something is in the air. It’s an exciting time. The King is trying to lead the country out of the darkness, but the older religious leaders keep kicking and screaming every step of the way.
    Al Najaimi is a huge hypocrite – I love what Usman said!!!

  4. this time is going to be a great leap forward or a step backward,,,,

    A lot of things going own, and I think what happened at Shaik Al-Ghamdi house is an indicator of how these people don’t have a clue. and most of all how dangerous these people are.

  5. Dilara

    “Sheikh Al Najaimi who announced his support for the Al Barak fatwa that anyone who calls for gender desegregation should be killed was caught last month attending a women’s day conference in Kuwait. “If I would have read this in a book I would claim it as unrealistic. That´s too good to be true! :o)

  6. WOW!! I liked this post Ms. Eman

    facecover is a big issue here, nowadays alot of Saudi women are no longer covering their faces. As a nursing student I have seen alot of Saudi women who were covering their faces in the past and then they stopped covering. I kindda like that. that they are making their own mind and not being forced to do things that they don’t believe in. Saudi women are becoming stronger now, I guess they just got fed up with the situtation and no longer can take this C*** anymore.
    and what with this Fatwa, killing everyone who support or calls for gender desegregation!!

    lol I guess I’m a candidate !
    are they trying tell people to kill Shaikh Ahmad Al Ghamdi!!?

    encouraging murder because of supporting gender desegregation! that is VERY barbaric!!

    P.S I am not against facecover. However, I believe that women have the right to choose to cover or not cover their faces.

  7. Ahmad Banjar

    This is exactly why I want my sister to join me here in the States after she finishes high school,
    it’s mind blowing how a scholar “supposedly” can come with a fatwa permitting the killing of anther Muslim just because he disagreed with him.
    easy for him to say that, after he’s a man, he could do whatever he wants, I am a guy and I admitted shamefully that our society is extremely dominated by males, and there’s no or little consideration for females.
    I heard and I hope this is wrong that one of the Saudi scholars called to rebuilt the holly mosque in Mekkah that the sexes will be segregated even in Tawaf.

  8. Laylah

    Oh how I loved reading this post!!
    What a big hypocrite he is, just unbelievable..
    So according to him the King should be killed then?
    I wonder what his wife (or presumably wives) think of him attending the conference with all those pretty young ladies present? of course they have no say.
    Would he allow the same to his wives, to attend “mens day conference” with impotent men of course 😀

    I agree with Susie, something is definately in the air!very exciting indeed..
    Perhaps the king wants to be remembered as THE King that brought KSA to this century, giving women back their God-given rights and pointing a new direction for his follower..
    Inshallah he will succed!

    • Ali

      I can tell you for SURE, inshallah, that King Abdullah HAS made KSA a different, MUCH more refined country. The people should wish well for him.
      You see the thing is, in this day and age, people that make statements, give fatwas etc.. are followed by cameras. Little Cameras , Big Cameras.. and anyone , anywhere.. can write anything.. so.. two faces policy will not work anymore. 20 years ago, it may have worked. It cannot now.

  9. :
    The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, is launching a new periodical .The new publication , WASLA, publishes bloggers’ posts and articles on current issues in Egypt and the Arab world.

    Your contribution to WASLA is most welcomed if you would let us quote from your blogs after your permission.
    Your prompt response will be much appreciated

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  10. A very informative and entertaining write up. I would say “It’s a great time to be a Saudi woman”. You are riding a memorable ‘tide in the affairs of (wo)men’, and what you do or not do will determine the direction and quality of life of those voiceless women whose covering or uncovering of face seal their fates forever. Your actions or the lack thereof may be the turning point for all womanhood living in the Islamic world!

  11. Sultana

    I am shocked about the hipocresy of this Sheykh!! BTW i wanna thank you for this blog,is absolutely informative…I am actually addicted to it!

  12. Wow this Najaimi guy is really weird .I really question his mental status … how dare he tell a woman something as her hormonal status that’s very private matter to woman and especially if she is not…that women should sue him and make his life miserable

    Another thing making fatwas to kill people for just disagreeing never worked ,there is laws to prevent killing of innocent people in this country

    • Ali

      Here is his problem:
      He thinks people are as NAIVE as they used to be. They are not. He has no clue how much exposure they have and what they can see and hear..

  13. There is something in the air.
    but even jeddah it is unclear where the boundaries are now.I am all for going back 30 years in the past. When there was less niqaab and forced covering. And women worked with men. And nobody questioned their morals.
    \i think this segregation is an outcome of luxury.
    \in the seventies everybody had to work, many women too to make ends meet.
    \and now those women who are poor and need a job are not allowed to work.

  14. james

    if you are going to impose sharia law at least interpret your scripture right what do you say about the 70 year old syrian women who is going to be caned
    1.the neighbors say that the young guy is his nephew
    verdict:should be not guilty why -you cannot have a law saying that visiting your aunt is un islamic
    2.the family and neigbor say that she was his wet nurse
    verdict:should be not guilty i understand that under islamic law your wet nurse is considered your mother if that’s the case then you cannot cane someone for visit his mother
    3.islam says to help the poor,old and widows
    verdict:not guilty you cannot be punished for being a good muslim
    4.a few week ago a cleric went to kuwait and met some women his rational is that post menopausal women can meet with un related men
    verdict:should be not guilty a 70 year old woman obviously meet that criteria

  15. zara

    dont lost hope…as along as you are alive keep fighting of what is right for you,what u are doing now is really good for you future generation,life must move on,as well as your environment.
    you must have freedom your own freedom as woman,just like god created equal for both man and woman.
    you are human being are not animals.

  16. Seriously,

    you need to be here. Bikinis, boyfriends, romance, STDs, I pray that this becomes ur lifesstyle and ur daughters.

    I’m tellin ya… YOU NEED TO BE IN THE US!!!

    • la bebe

      so tell me… did u ever have sex with any of the bikini babes or did you remain a virtuous Muslim by remaining a male virgin? eagerly awaiting your hypocritical answer.

  17. Pingback: Saudi disillusionment with the religious establishment « Saudiwoman’s Weblog

  18. Pingback: Saudi disillusionment with the religious establishment « Mohammed Abbasi

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