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Saudi Scholars Issue Statement in Support of Al-Barrak`s Gender-Mixing Fatwa
Arab News Online
March 3, 2010

Secondary school students sit for an exam in a government school in Riyadh February 7, 2009. REUTERS

Report by Muhammad al-Sulami from Jedda: “Al-Barrak Gets Support From a Few Scholars”

Over two dozen Saudi religious scholars have come out in support of a fatwa issued by Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Nasser Al-Barrak in which he called for the death of those who promote gender mixing in workplaces and educational institutes.

Al-Barrak, a 77 year-old scholar from Qassim, said the mixing of men and women in the workplace and in educational institutions is religiously prohibited. He also said those who approve gender mixing are “infidels” and that they should either retract their views or be killed. “Gender mixing is totally prohibited by the Qur`an and Sunnah,” said the 28 scholars in a statement issued on Monday in support of Al-Barrak.

“Sheikh Al-Barrak has ruled that those who propagate the correctness of matters deemed impermissible in Islam are infidels. These impermissible things include, by definition, the mixing of the sexes which is totally forbidden by Islam ... therefore, anyone who advocates the mixing of men and women is an infidel,” said the scholars.

Most of the signatories of the statement supporting Al-Barrak are from Makkah, and include judges, university teachers, imams, educationalists etc.

“What Sheikh Al-Barrak said is in total compliance with the fundamentals of the Qur`an and Sunnah,” they said, adding that they are astonished at the campaign against the fatwa in the media and that people are calling for gender mixing in the Kingdom. “The mixing of the genders leads to vice. This is why some rational people in the West are also calling for separation between men and women,” they said.

(Description of Source: Jedda Arab News Online in English -- Website of Saudi English-language daily; part of the Saudi Research and Publishing Group which owns Al-Sharq al-Awsat. URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Saudi Cleric Abd-al-Rahman Al-Barrak Sanctions Killing Advocates of Gender Mixing
Monday, March 1, 2010

Secondary school students sit for an exam in a government school in Riyadh February 7, 2009. Tens of thousands of Saudi students from elementary, middle and high schools have started their one-week mid-term exams. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed (SAUDI ARABIA)

On 23 February, a forum participant posted to a jihadist website an article entitled “Shaykh Al-Barrak Issues Fatwa Sanctioning the Killing of Advocates of Gender Mixing at Work and in Education, Describing Them as Cuckolds!” The posting includes a transcript of a fatwa issued by the Saudi cleric Abd-al-Rahman Al-Barrak, who strongly opposes the call for gender mixing, describing it as “sedition.” Al-Barrak calls on Saudi rulers to “protect our societies from the roots of corruption.” The participant says that by this “controversial” fatwa, Al-Barrak has “followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Shaykh Salih al-Luhaydan, who had issued a famous fatwa...sanctioning the killing of owners of satellite channels.”

A translation of the article follows:

“Shaykh Al-Barrak Issues Fatwa Sanctioning the Killing of Advocates of Gender Mixing at Work and in Education, Describing Them as Cuckolds!

“Shaykh Abd-al-Rahman al-Barrak has created a new issue in the ongoing controversy by issuing a new fatwa that bewildered many people; sanctioning the killing of anyone who permits gender mixing at work and in education. He called the person who does this a renegade and kafir (infidel) the killing of whom is a duty.

“Al-Barrak also calls the man who allows his sister or wife to work or study with men a (cuckold) (as published), that is, one who is not zealous about his honor.

“Al-Barrak`s fatwa is expected to cause a big clamor in the Saudi street, which has started to follow a centrist, tolerant approach in dealing with the developmental stage the country is going through. Many have started to reject the incitement fatwas, bound as they are to stir up sedition in Saudi society, create sectarian or religious conflicts, or (conflicts) that are bound to cause a security storm and threaten the country`s stability.

“It is worth mentioning that by this fatwa, Al-Barrak has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Shaykh Salih al-Luhaydan, who issued a famous fatwa two years ago that sanctioned the killing of the owners of satellite channels. Because of that fatwa, Shaykh Al-Luhaydan was dismissed from his position as chairman of the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council.

“The following is a transcript of the fatwa as posted on his website:

“Praise be to God, Lord of all creation; prayer and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all of his household and companions.

“Gender mixing at work and in education- sought by the advocates of modernity- is (religiously) unlawful; it involves unlawful looking, unlawful female charms, unlawful unveiling of women`s faces, unlawful meeting together in private, and unlawful talk between men and women- yet all of this is just a preliminary step.

“Motivating the advocates of modernity who promote this gender mixing are two things:

“First: Inclinations toward the kafir Western lifestyle. Their minds are westernized and they seek to westernize the Ummah; they even seek to impose this westernization.

“Second: Following lust. Almighty God states: `but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that ye should turn away (from Him), - far, far away,` (Partial Koranic verse, Al-Nisa, 4: 27).

“Whoever sanctions this gender mixing- which leads to these forbidden practices- is already sanctioning these forbidden practices. And whoever sanctions them is kafir, which means he becomes an apostate. In such a case, he should be informed, and the evidence against him confirmed, to let him recant- otherwise, he should be killed. The reason for this is that whoever apostatizes one of the fundamentals of the Islamic religion is inexorably considered kafir because he is either mendacious or not adhering to Shari`ah rules.

“This has already been established and approved by the Islamic scholars- I mean forbidding gender mixing the way it was explained before. The forbidding of gender mixing has been applied by Muslims throughout the centuries, until the infidel Jews and Christians seized many Islamic countries, which is called colonization. Then, in the name of women`s liberation, they sought to westernize women and make them rebel against Islamic rules and ethics. These were the principal means they used to alter and westernize Muslim societies and spread the abomination of adultery through places of debauchery, such as cinemas and places of singing and dancing.

“Our country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, has been detached from all of that, because God saved it from the vehemence of Christian colonization. God bestowed on this country the call of reformation and renewal of the monotheist call at the hands of the two imams Muhammad Bin-Abd-al-Wahhab and Muhammad Bin-Sa`ud - may God rest their souls. We still enjoy the effects of that call - praise be to God.

“The enemies of Islam, however, were enraged to find this country, whose society is uncorrupted and women are chaste, remains wholesome. Thus, they used the call of so-called women`s liberation as a tool to reach their objectives. They called for unveiling, disposal of the authority of close kin males over their women, and women mixing with men at work and in education. They even called for equality between men and women in everything. This is true to the statement of Almighty God: `but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that ye should turn away (from Him), - far, far away,` (Partial Koranic verse, Al-Nisa, 4: 27). The part of `the wish of those who follow their lusts` was interpreted as adulterers, Jews, and Christians, as stated by Ibn-Kathir (14th century Islamic scholar); this was reported and passed down by the ancestors - may God rest their souls.

“O Muslim! Do not be surprised if a man inadvertently utters a word of infidelity; thus, do not think you are safe, and be extremely careful! `A slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.` This Hadith was narrated by Al-Bukhari.

“It is worth mentioning that the man who allows his daughter, sister, or wife to work or study with men is not zealous about his honor, which is a kind of cuckolding, because he accepts that foreign men look at her, as well as other things caused by gender mixing.

“On this occasion, I call upon the rulers - may God grant them success - to stop this sedition- the sedition of the call for gender mixing- and to protect our societies from the roots of corruption by eliminating it, in support of God and His messenger, as part of carrying out their responsibility, like what the prophet - God`s prayer and peace be upon him - said: `Every one of you is a guardian and every one of you is responsible (for his wards),` (Hadith). May God grant success to our rulers to do good for this Ummah; may God preserve our country from the wiliness of the wily people and from the greed of the wicked. God`s prayer and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his household and companions.

“Abd-al-Rahman Bin-Nasir Al-Barrak

“8 Rabi al-Awwal 1431 (corresponding to 22 February 2010).”

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Saudi Intellectuals Call for Trial of Al-Barrak for His Fatwa on Gender-Mixing
February 26, 2010

Secondary students sit for an exam in a government school in Riyadh June 15, 2008. Tens of thousands of Saudi students from elementary, middle and high schools have started their one-week mid-term exams. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed (SAUDI ARABIA)

Report by Ghadah Muhammad, from Jedda: “After His Fatwa Allowing the Killing of Advocates of Gender-Mixing, Saudis Call for Putting Shaykh Al-Barrak on Trial”

Shaykh Abd-al-Rahman al-Barrak`s fatwa, in which he allowed the killing of anyone who advocates gender-mixing at work or in education, has been met with extensive reactions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is a wide rejection of this fatwa and calls for putting Shaykh Al-Barrak on trial and finding quick solutions for the issue of the controversial fatwas, which harm the reputation of Saudi Arabia.

In her talk about the controversial fatwa, media personality Buthaynah Al-Nasr has said in an exclusive interview with Ilaf: “The call for putting Al-Barrak on trial is a security requirement, because we have heard a great deal of statements stressing the need to combat terrorism, with intellectual terrorism and the deceptive addresses at its forefront, as these hard-line takfiri addresses deceive our youths.” Al-Nasr adds: “By this fatwa, Al-Barrak incites to murder on his official website. This is a grave issue that cannot be kept quiet or accepted.”

Al-Nasr calls for not imprisoning or whipping Al-Barrak, as Mazin Abd-al-Jawwad, who announced his wrongdoing publicly, was punished: “Al-Barrak ought to be deterred in a way suitable for his age, by sending him to an old people`s home, and declaring him legally incompetent.” Al-Nasr continues: “What is important is that an official statement should be issued admitting the fault of the Shaykh, and declaring a severe legal punishment that will deter any Saudi Shaykh who thinks of following in his footsteps in issuing hard-line fatwas and incitement.”

The Saudi media personality expresses her sorrow that such fatwas are issued; she says: “The sons of the Kingdom will continue to march with determination along every development or civilization project set up by the state toward a country of peace, and not of violence, under the slogan `peaceful coexistence and dialog in a kind way.`”

Al-Nasr wonders: “Is it conceivable that the project of our King, the leader of dialog among religions, will succeed while in the midst of our country there are those who distort the tolerance and flexibility of our religion and people by such an address of ignorance and violence? The answer might be that this is always within the field of political decision making, and the arena of the people`s options.”

As for the writer Abdallah al-Alami, he also stresses that his call for referring to the courts does not apply to Shaykh Al-Barrak in particular, “but it applies to anyone who allows, prohibits, and judges others as infidels in individual fatwas.”

With regard to the reliance of Dr Abd-al-Rahman al-Barrak in his fatwa on Koran verses and Hadith, Al-Alami stresses in his interview with Ilaf: “Al-Barrak`s jurisprudence knowledge does not qualify him to interfere in such judgments. However, out of showing good will, patriotism, and keenness on peaceful coexistence, we call for an end to these takfiri individual judgments, and for punishing whoever issues them.” Al-Alami says that he does not agree with Shaykh Muhammad al-Nujaymi when he calls only for an end of these judgments, and he also calls for punishing those who issue them.

With regard to some people accusing others of being not qualified to argue with those judgments, Abdallah al-Alami says: “I agree with him, because it is quite possible that there can be no unanimity; however, when the disagreement reaches the level of killing, it will be a disaster when such judgment is issued by one person. This is completely rejected.”

Al-Alami continues by saying that he calls for investigating anyone who tries to commit slander, and for holding him to account for what he does. Al-Barrak calls on his official website for killing anyone who advocates gender-mixing; therefore Al-Barrak has judged a group of citizens to be infidels, and accuses them of apostasy and infidelity, and hence he has committed slander, and cast suspicions on their honor.

In her turn, psychiatrist Dr Samirah al-Ghamidi considers: “Al-Barrak`s being called Shaykh does not give him the right to do what he does, as we do not know his authority.” Al-Ghamidi wonders: “Are we the ones who have established gender-mixing in the hospitals as working places? Of course not, as it was the government who did that. Therefore, he should ask the government about this. Is he courageous enough to address higher authorities?” Al-Ghamidi says that she is not highly-knowledgeable about religion, but what she understands is that Al-Barrak`s words are not correct, “because no individual has the right to allow bloodshed, and cast suspicions on the ethics and behavior of others.”

Al-Ghamidi continues: “Anyone who expects that if a woman works with a man in a hospital reception on a shift-system basis would be in a secluded meeting is wrong, because the woman and man are in a public place, and in a working place that is known to all, and secluded meetings have their conditions, which I do not think apply in such cases. If his viewpoint is valid, then let all people be held to account and be whipped. What is required? Do we have to live in caves so that such people will be satisfied with us? Anyone who considers that I am calling for gender-mixing will be wrong. I call for a dignified living that respects public morals, and respects all sides, because we belong to a society that respects human rights. However, the tragedy is that we as individuals do not respect each other.”

It is not natural, says Samirah al-Ghamidi, that we should be classified as people whose men do not think of anything other than sex; otherwise where is the reform tendency, and the role of the universities. If we can distinguish between public affairs and private affairs, between professional and non-professional issues, we can deal with each other; otherwise KAUST (King Abdallah University for Science and Technology) would not have existed in our country, and we would not have women go for study abroad, and return with Doctorates and as professors. Those who fight progress are nothing other than guardians of distorted virtue, who forget that we are well brought up; they try to turn us into mere animals looking for sex. This image of us portrayed by Shaykh Al-Barrak, and these words are invalid, because Shari`ah is greater than portraying us in this way. This is according to Dr Samirah al-Ghamidi.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Nujaymi, chairman of the civil studies department at King Fahd Security College in Riyadh, professor at the Higher Institute for the Judiciary, and member of Islamic Fiqh Assembly, has stated to Ilaf: “I am confident that they will not win anything at all in the courts. This is the reason that they always call for referring their cases to the media committee.” Al-Nujaymi wonders: “Why do they fear standing before the judiciary, and now they call for punishing the Shaykh. I wonder why should he be put on trial, and who exactly did he harm? They understand the fatwa as they want; however his talk is purely scientific and according to the Shari`ah. Those who want to send him to an elderly people`s home on the basis that he is legally incompetent ought to rest assured that they are the ones who are legally incompetent, and ought to be referred to psychiatrists.”

Al-Nujaymi challenges anyone to prove that Al-Barrak, or other Shaykhs, are against the establishment of development and civilization projects: “This is not true, and mere rhetoric with no legal meaning. In my opinion, there is a solution; let us conduct a plebiscite among all sectors of our society, provided that the authority conducting it should be impartial; and the one who is wrong ought to apologize and shoulder the consequences of his opinion. We will see who will laugh last. Let them rest assured that if the issue is referred to the courts, they will be the ones to be found guilty and not Al-Barrak, because his fatwa is based on jurisprudence, while they are talking nonsense.”

(Description of Source: London in Arabic -- Saudi-owned, independent Internet daily with pan-Arab, liberal line. URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Saudi elementary students from Children`s World School sit for an exam in Jeddah June 13, 2007. REUTERS

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