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Friday, May 21, 2010 03:58:49 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: At the time when ruckus prevails against a Fatwa allegedly issued by Indian seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband that suggests to the Muslim women to refrain from mixing with men at work-places, women in Saudi Arabia came strongly in favor of the Kingdom's ban on gender mixing.


According to the Saudi English Daily Arab News, more than 1,600 Saudi women have backed an open letter to top Saudi leaders and religious scholars, expressing support for the Kingdom's ban on the free mixing of men and women.

The letter, which is on the Noor Al-Islam website, said women in Saudi Arabia are saddened by the publication of news reports and articles calling for the free mixing of men and women in the Kingdom.

Saudi woman Maryam Al-Khalifa said she is surprised to see some writers attacking Islamic scholars for objecting to gender mixing. "Ahmed Al-Ghamdi described such scholars as astray," she said, asking how it is possible for him to use such words to describe people who want to protect women.

She added that people who call for the free mixing of men and women do not entertain good intentions for women, adding that such people want to force women into becoming the victims of sex abuse, harassment, rape and infectious diseases such as AIDS.

Abeer Al-Otaibi, another of the letter's supporter, emphasized the role that the hijab plays in safeguarding women's chastity and modesty. "Women are like sweets. If you keep them out in the open ... then nobody will take them. On the other hand, if you cover them then everybody will like them," she said.

She added that the letter — titled "Women of Saudi Arabia support its leaders on the ban of sexes mixing" — is an expression of what women think. The text of the letter says, "We feel happiness and security in the shade of this religion by which God has honored us and brought us from darkness into light. Islam fully protects our rights and preserves our purity and chastity."

The letter also urges the Kingdom's rulers to stop people from playing with the Kingdom's stability and values, and from deriding its religious teachings, Islamic scholars and religious rulings.

It further urges the authorities to clear the country's media and education system from people who support gender mixing, warning that it is people like these who have led to the prevalence of corruption in many Muslim countries.

The signatories add that secularists are behind the idea of promoting the free mingling of sexes, as they want to promote Western culture in the Kingdom using the media, especially newspapers. "They do this under the pretext of protecting women," the letter said.

It adds that secularists are calling for the mingling of the sexes, discarding of the hijab, traveling without a mahram (a close relative), staying in hotels without mahrams, disobeying guardians, disrespecting the Shariah and rejecting religious rulings issued by Islamic scholars.

The letter says secularists wish to use women as a gateway for sedition and evil in the Kingdom, thus spreading immorality, diseases, the break up of families, the dislocation of children and the prevalence of divorces. It adds that they wish to make women cheap for use in publicity campaigns and at cinemas and fashion houses.

The letter also urges Islamic scholars, especially the grand mufti, to work with the Kingdom's political leadership to challenge the spread of corruption using reasonable arguments. "They should also enlighten the public and warn them against the secularists who are trying to spread evil in the country," it says.

It also warns scholars who support the mixing of the sexes that they will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. "We ask them to return to the truth and review their opinions. History will not show mercy toward those who tamper with the issues of religion and the Ummah."

The letter also rejects supporters of Western culture "who speak on behalf of us as if they are our well-wishers; we have not appointed them to demand our rights. If you were truthful you should have given us the opportunity through the media to speak about ourselves; you have monopolized the media without giving us a chance."



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