A Fatwa Too Far In Saudi Arabia

There are clerics in the world who are concerned about issues of poverty, racial hatred, violence and war, but to many Saudi Arabian clerics key issues confronting their society are whether it is permissible for a man to bring flowers to his wife in a hospital because there is no mention of this right in the Koran. The ultraconservative Wahhabi school of Islam is on guard against such heinous crimes against religion as having boys and girls share a swimming pool. They spend their time issuing a fatwa against this or that alleged problem when, in all probability, the only ones who regard the issue at hand as a problem is the cleric issuing the fatwa. KIng Abdullah is moving to gain control of these non-stop silly fatwas and in August issued a decree only granting permission to the Council of Senior Religious Scholars as having the right to issue a fatwa. A major problem with his solution is allowing this group to control the fatwa is placing a body of men who are dominated by conservatives in charge of preventing silliness when their views of life are not consistent with those of many people in the nation. This group still considers foreigners or Shiites as infidels and their ideas on a jihad are not that different from what al-Qaeda seeks.

The King instituted the first university which allows females and males to mix and share classes. He did appoint four clerics who were not from the Wahhabi school to the list of scholars. There is some evidence even the King could not take a recent fatwa in which a cleric ruled if a woman needs to appear before a male without a veil, she has the option of breast feeding him because that would establish a mother son relationship!

The strict Wahabboi religion has spawned groups like al-Qaeda. Perhaps, it is time to realize there are fatwas that have gone too far into the realm of silliness.