Detained Saudi hate preacher Nasser Al-Omar is known for his fatwas (religious edicts) against women, and his criticisms of moderation.
He is known for being affiliated to the former and current emirs of Qatar, and to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group designated as terrorists by many countries around the world.
He is a member of the Muslim Scholars Association, spearheaded by Qatar-based Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, one of the preachers of hate profiled by Arab News.
Born in the village of Al-Moraidasiih in the Saudi region of Qassim in 1952, Al-Omar completed his schooling in Riyadh’s Methodical Institute in 1970.
He then attended Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University and received a bachelor’s degree from the Shariah faculty in 1974, before being appointed a lecturer at the university, where he pursued his higher education from 1979 to 1984.
He became an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1989, before becoming a full-fledged professor in 1993.
Al-Omar opposed the rewriting of Saudi religious schoolbooks to remove anti-Western and anti-Jewish teachings, and forbade Muslims from entering churches.
On travel, learning languages, gaining foreign nationalities
Al-Omar wrote on his website that “if travel is for tourism, and the traveler thinks that it is likely that he will fall into sin, the journey is prohibited.”
He added: “If there is no danger of temptation, I think it is disliked, especially traveling to the land of the infidels.”
He only deems it appropriate to travel abroad in cases such as medical treatment, advocacy, relief work and education.
He wrote: “Learning the rhetoric of the foreigners is not limited to learning the language and alphabet, but it goes beyond to admiration, similitude and reading their cultures that are contrary to the guidance of the Prophet peace be upon him. All this and other things have obvious negative effects, and the reality shows evidence of this.”
He added: “It isn’t permissible for Muslims to join the Christians in their festivals with any kind of participation, whether congratulating them, giving gifts to them, attending their celebrations, celebrating them, honoring them or any other form of participation.”
He also prohibited Muslims from obtaining the nationality of an “infidel” country, “except for those who are forced to do so.”
One of Al-Omar’s fatwas states that it is only acceptable for a woman to practice sports and physical exercise in her home by purchasing the necessary equipment.
“She should not practice sports before any of her family members, even those who are consanguineous to her, except for her husband and the women,” the fatwa stated.
He dubbed women’s sports facilities and gyms “the greatest means of corruption,” and forbade them “because it leads to many evils that do not compare to the desired benefits.”
When a woman inquired about wearing colored contact lenses, he replied: “I do not agree with this because it is changing the creation of God, there is no necessity, and it is proven to be harmful.”
He spoke in support of child marriage in an article he wrote in March 2012, titled “About the Marriage of Young Girls.”
He said prohibiting girls from marrying before they reach the age of 18 could “lead to many evils because it does not appreciate the situation of girls under this age, who may feel strong passionate desires, and their parents want to protect them by marrying them off.”
He said those against child marriage are “arrogant” and should look at the West, where pregnancies at a young age are “proven and registered, and some of them are in primary school!”
He added: “It is strange that if a 12-year-old girl was divorced in Yemen, they make a lot of fuss … But if a 10-year-old child has a baby in the West … they celebrated the youngest father, and the State provided care and gear!”
On the pope
Many Muslims mourned when Pope John Paul II passed away in 2005. When asked about this, Al-Omar said: “His service to his religion is the dissemination of infidelity, polytheism and the war against Islam.”