Now, a Fatwa for women to travel alone, uncover faces

New Delhi, March 1
A Saudi Arab based liberal cleric has issued a Fatwa for allowing women to travel without a male guardian, uncover their faces and eat alongside men.
The former head of Mecca’s Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice committee, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Qassim al-Ghamdi said on Twitter that it is permissible for people to look at what is not forbidden in women like their faces and their arms. The cleric further stated that women can travel without a male guardian provided that there is safety.
Al-Ghamdi backed has his statements with references to sayings by prominent Muslim scholars in history. There were reports in Saudi Arab suggesting women are being monitored by an electronic system that tracks their cross-border movements as male members of the family getting text messages on their phones as when women under their custody leave the country even while they are traveling together.
Earlier, one man while traveling with his wife received a text message from the immigration authorities that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh. In Saudi Arab, women are not allowed to leave the country without permission from their male guardian that is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.
Al-Ghamdi is known in Saudi Arab for his liberal views and supporting women’s rights in the conservative kingdom. Earlier, he issued a Fatwa saying that the mixing of the sexes is “permissible in Islam and is a natural part of life,” when an outrage broke out against opening co-ed university, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) took place. “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,” added Al-Ghamdi.