Saudi cleric suspended for making controversial remarks about women

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    A Saudi cleric has been suspended after he made derogatory remarks about women in a public lecture.

    Sheikh Saad al-Hijri, member of the Asir province religious jurisprudence committee, said during a lecture in the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait that women should not drive because they lack reason and religious commitment.

    Al-Hijri went on to say that women have only “a quarter of a mind” therefore they cannot make decisions involved while being behind the wheel. The lecture sparked outrage on social media and stirred anger across the Kingdom as social media users demanded that he held accountable for what he said and prevented from issuing religious edicts.

    Duties as a preacher

    Asir governor Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz immediately relieved Hijri from his duties and preaching activities.

    Spokesman for the governorate of Asir, Saad bin Abdullah al-Thabet, said in a press statement that Prince Faisal’s orders came in response to what Hijri said and the reaction it stirred on social media as his remarks upset the public opinion.

    Thabet added that the measure aims to limit exploiting such religious platforms to make controversial statements and devaluate people, adding that similar decisions will be made against anyone who tries to exploit these platforms to voice derogatory opinions.

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