Imams face the sack if sermons are politicized

Updated 05 February 2014
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Imams face the sack if sermons are politicized

Imams who politicize Friday sermons at mosques will not be allowed to continue in their positions, Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh said in comments published on Thursday.
“We have set up a legal panel to advise such imams. If they respond positively and follow the guidelines they will be allowed to continue. If not, then we’ll tell them they are not fit for the pulpit,” the minister said.
He said the ministry would continue monitoring all mosques and imams to make sure nobody violates the regulations. “The use of politics in sermons will divide the community and create hatred among people. Preachers should spread the word of Allah and the message of His Prophet (peace be upon him), and encourage people to worship.”
He rejected claims that many preachers are not qualified to hold their positions.
However, Al-Asheikh pointed out that it was difficult to find qualified imams for the 80,000 mosques across the Kingdom. “We launched a program 10 years ago to take care of mosques. It includes various maintenance and renovation work.”
Many Saudis supported the minister’s statement while some others objected, saying it was not the right approach. “The mosque and other platforms should be used for the benefit of people. Following moderation is the best way. Efforts must be made to correct the wrong impressions created by extremists,” said a Saudi teacher.
Fuad Kawther, a Saudi engaged in the propagation of Islam, said the move contradicts the example set by the Prophet (peace be upon him), adding the Madinah Mosque was the center of the Islamic state.
“Isolating Islam from different aspects of life will lead to secularization,” he told Arab News. Imams should be trained to deliver meaningful sermons, he added.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 18 June 2019
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.