Riyadh (AsiaNews) - Muslim women living in or travelling to countries where face-veils are forbidden are allowed “to forgo covering their face". The statement came from a leading Saudi scholar Aed Al-Qarn, with the support of Mohamed al-Nujaimi, a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence and other experts in a country where almost all women wear face-veils, despite a tiny minority, so far tolerated, who do not wear full face-covering veils.
Al-Qarn’s statement began; " It is illogical and unreasonable that the French government undertakes such a thing, which is condemned by neutral people, not just Muslims, because the secular state assures freedom of religion" . "The State - he added - must respect the religious traditions, including those of Muslims."
That said, if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, "it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face."
Similarly, even though he only speaks in reference to the French case Nujaimi, in a statement posted on the Saudi Al-Watan, said that " For a woman who permanently resides in France or is a French citizen, if there is harm in wearing the veil ... it is permitted that she shows her face when need and necessity demand it".