A Saudi Mufti has issued a religious edict, commonly known as
Fatwa, allowing women to travel without a male guardian, uncover
their faces and eat alongside men, a media report said.
According to Al Arabiya, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Qassim al-Ghamdi,
the former head of Mecca's Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of
Vice committee, in statements posted on Twitter said: “It is
permissible for people to look at what is not forbidden in women
like their faces and their arms.”
In other statements, the Mufti said women can travel without a
male guardian provided that there is safety.
Al-Ghamdi backed his statements with references to sayings by
prominent Muslim scholars in history.
Al-Ghamdi is known for his liberal
statements supporting women’s rights in the conservative kingdom.
Previously, he issued a Fatwa saying
that the mixing of the sexes is “permissible in Islam and is a
natural part of life,” adding he did not understand why there was
so much outrage when the co-ed university, King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology (KAUST), was opened.
“Those who oppose mixing of the
sexes are contradicting themselves as they most likely mix with
the opposite sex on a daily basis, such as having female
servants,” Sheikh al-Ghamdi, said.