Muslims abroad must respect law on veils, MWL chief reiterates

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa
Updated 11 May 2017

Muslims abroad must respect law on veils, MWL chief reiterates

RIYADH: A Muslim World League (MWL) official has reiterated the position of its Secretary-General Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa that Muslims abroad must respect the laws of the land they live in.
The official told Arab News, in light of what he described as recently published inaccurate reports by a number of media outlets, that Al-Issa’s position on wearing the hijab in non-Muslim countries has always been clear and has been repeated and published several times.
“A Muslim must respect the constitutions and laws and culture of the countries in which they live,” the official said.

“Should the laws not allow head-covering, a request to wear the hijab must only be made through the proper and legal channels and if such a request was rejected, Muslim residents have the option either to abide by the state’s regulations or leave the country.”

This in no way should be interpreted as a statement encouraging women to remove their head cover, as some media outlets chose to portray the MWL secretary-general’s words, the source explained.
The MWL official called upon journalists to “verify the news from its sources before publishing it and not take statements out of context.”
“We are ready to provide answers to all inquiries and have the original copies of any statements made by the secretary-general or on behalf of the MWL,” the official told Arab News.
To support its statement, the MWL released through its social media channels a video dating to the beginning of March that shows Al-Issa at a function in Brussels.
During his speech, which called for coexistence and tolerance, he clearly urges Muslims to respect the laws and regulations of the countries where they happen to reside. The function was attended by a large audience, which included representative and religious leaders of the different Abrahamic faiths.
Arab News has obtained the MWL video containing Al-Issa’s statement, and it is available with English subtitles.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 15 min 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.