Switzerland denies Saudi sheikh entry for 5 years

Updated 26 May 2013

Switzerland denies Saudi sheikh entry for 5 years

Saudi Sheikh Mohammad Al-Arifi has been banned again from entering Switzerland and all European Union countries, according to a Swiss official.
Jourg Walban, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Swiss authorities issued a new decision that bans Al-Arifi from entering all EU states for five consecutive years.
Al-Arifi is known for his controversial statements and has a large following on Twitter and YouTube.
The decision denies Al-Arifi entry to 26 European countries included in the Schengen Agreement that allows a visa holder entry to an EU country. The Schengen also allows the visa holder to travel to other EU member countries without restrictions.
Al-Arifi was due to participate in the second annual meeting of the Swiss Islamic Council.
Last December, Switzerland issued the six-month ban.
Al-Arifi had planned to attend an Islamic conference, but had been barred from entering the country following accusations that he made anti-Semitic comments and offered advice on wife beating.
Al-Arifi reportedly has about 2.2 million followers on Twitter.
His statements on Twitter have sparked controversy, including a statement he reportedly made in December in which he accused the Middle East Broadcasting Center’s children’s channel, MBC3, of promoting “atheism and corruption.”
He also once stated that a daughter should not sit alone with her father because she might tempt him into lusting after her.


Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

Updated 22 October 2020

Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has praised the exceptional role played by women during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech delivered at the end of the W20, the G20 women’s engagement group, on Wednesday, King Salman said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Women 20 Engagement Group for their remarkable efforts and commitment to deliver their agenda during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID -19 pandemic.”
The Saudi king described women as the source of evolution for any society and said that without empowered women it is difficult to reform societies. 
“Women are the main source of development for any society. Hence, without empowered women, it is almost impossible to implement any societal reforms given that women form half of the societies and they are the ones who raise up generations. Women has proven through history their remarkable role in leading change and in decision making.”
The king noted that Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 has dedicated special attention to discussing policies related to women across different ministerial and working group meetings.