Saudi king sacks cleric who attacked social reform

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has sacked a senior cleric after he decried cautious reforms in the world’s top oil exporter that allowed women to mix with unmarried men, Saudi Gazette reported yesterday.

The decision to relieve Sheikh Abdulmohsen al-Obeikan of his position as royal adviser was made in a decree issued on the recommendation of Crown Prince Nayef, himself a reputed conservative.

The move fits a pattern of recent years in which senior clerics who oppose the government’s cautious social reforms too openly have lost their jobs.

Although Obeikan has previously backed government positions on reforms including gender mixing at university, he recently gave a radio interview attacking the government for changing the position of women in society.

“He’s taken a lot of positions in the past against the royal family and this is another one,” said Hossein Shobokshi, a Saudi newspaper columnist.

Under King Abdullah, the ultra-conservative Islamic state has made it easier for women to work and study alongside men, and tried to promote more tolerant views of other religions.

More in World News

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. The medical school sign on the Buddy’s building

    Buddy’s Pool Hall, Night Club closed after business falls

  2. A police officer attempts to escort Rushelle Gittens out of the court compound

    Woman threatens to kill cop at city court complex

  3. Lakeram Kewlachand

    Gangaram man takes his own life

  4. Colin Rodney

    Cop charged with taking bribes

  5. Citizens fleeing country due to crime, IAC says

  6. The Rio Inn at Forshaw and Oronoque Streets

    Teen shot dead outside Rio nightclub

  7. Courtenay Griffith’s home in Lodge that is earmarked to be demolished.

    City to tear down 52 derelict buildings

  8. 15-year-old charged with murdering suspect in sister’s abuse

  9. Barry Dataram

    Absent Barry Dataram found guilty of drug trafficking


Recommended For You