Nasser Al-Omar: The antithesis of modernity

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Nasser Al-Omar
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Nasser Al-Omar
Updated 25 June 2019

Nasser Al-Omar: The antithesis of modernity

  • Saudi preacher has been a vigorous opponent of the influence of modern ideas in the Islamic world
  • Al-Omar said prohibiting girls from marrying before the age of 18 could "lead to many evils"

Detained in August 2018, Saudi hate preacher Nasser Al-Omar was a vigorous opponent of modern ideas in the Islamic world, and of intermingling between Muslims and non-Muslims.

He issued many fatwas (religious edicts) that placed curbs on the rights of women. He is known for his continued affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group designated as terrorists by many countries around the world.

Al-Omar 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.

BIO

Nationality: Saudi

Place of Residence: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Occupation: Cleric, member of the Muslim Scholars Association, head of the International Association of Tadabbur Al-Quran

Legal Status: Detained in Saudi Arabia since August 2018

Medium: Twitter, Al-Moslim website, books and interviews

Al-Omar opposed the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War that liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

Born and raised in the village of Al-Moraidasiih in the Saudi region of Qassim in 1952, he completed his schooling in Riyadh’s Methodical Institute in 1970 before pursuing a degree from the Shariah faculty at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh in 1974. He was appointed a lecturer soon after, and pursued his high education from 1979 to 1984.

“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.”

Hate preacher Nasser Al-Omar

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.”

Al-Omar added that 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 said: “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!”

Dr. Hani Nasira, an author and expert on ideological movements, said Al-Omar “sometimes reverts to forgery, fabrication, or transmitting false stories and tales.”

Al-Omar has dubbed women’s sports facilities “the greatest means of corruption,” forbidding them “because it leads to many evils that do not compare to the desired benefits.” 

He opposed the rewriting of Saudi religious schoolbooks to remove anti-Western and anti-Jewish teachings.

In 2005, a question was posted on his website after Pope John Paul II’s death, asking if it was permissible to curse him as many Muslims were mourning him. Al-Omar replied: “As for cursing him, it is permissible to curse those who have died as infidels … His service to his religion is the dissemination of infidelity, polytheism and the war against Islam.”

Al-Omar prohibited Muslims from celebrating with or congratulating Christians on their holidays.

“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 said.

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While Al-Omar deemed traveling to “infidel” countries for medical treatment, advocacy, relief work and education acceptable, he 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: “As for travel to commit sin and visit forbidden places and night clubs, it is forbidden, and this is a sinful journey.” 

Al-Omar said: “I advise not to travel abroad unless it is a travel of obedience, necessity or urgent need, provided there is no danger of temptation, and that there is a determination to stay away from forbidden acts, otherwise his country is better for him (the traveler).”

When asked on his website about Muslims taking a foreign nationality, he said it was “not permissible for Muslims to travel to the land of the infidels to stay there except for a necessity or a pressing need,” and “living amongst the infidels is forbidden.”

He added that “it is also not permissible to obtain the nationality of the infidel countries except for those who are forced to do so.”

Nasira said Al-Omar “only advocates hatred,” and his stances include opposing the liberation of Kuwait, rejecting the idea of citizenship for Shiites in Saudi Arabia, and “his ridiculous fatwas banning honeymoons, or tourism and visits to what he called ‘infidel countries’.”

Al-Omar’s fatwas, published works and videos are available on his website and his personal Twitter account, which has 6 million followers.

 


First Lifestyle Enhancement Conference in Saudi Arabia puts spotlight on healthy living

Updated 07 December 2019

First Lifestyle Enhancement Conference in Saudi Arabia puts spotlight on healthy living

  • The LEC brought together globally renowned experts on health care, wellness, medicine and alternative therapies to discuss some of the most pressing issues of today
  • The conference highlighted the importance of healthy choices, nutrition, and physical activity

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and in association with the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya), has held the first Lifestyle Enhancement Conference (LEC) in Riyadh.

The LEC, focusing on the emerging science of lifestyle medicine and preventative nutrition, took place on Dec. 7-8, 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.
The LEC brought together globally renowned experts on health care, wellness, medicine and alternative therapies to discuss some of the most pressing issues of today. The conference highlighted the importance of healthy choices, nutrition, and physical activity to help prevent obesity and diseases such as diabetes.
“The Saudi Sports for All Federation champions physical activity and fitness as a major tenet of increasing health and welfare. As part of our mission to enhance the quality of life in the Kingdom, we are also advocating for conscientious nutrition,” said Ms. Shaima Saleh Alhusseini, managing director at the SFA. “The Lifestyle Enhancement Conference, staged in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Weqaya, is the first event to bring together top caliber medical professionals to facilitate the increase of health education levels in Saudi Arabia.”
Speaking at the conference, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, president of the Saudi Sports for All Federation, said: “Diseases such as diabetes and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate in the region and becoming a major cause of worry. We are seeing that the lack of sports participation and physical activity, combined with substandard health education, are all contributing factors to poor health. Adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle are among the top factors needed to prevent these diseases. As an organization focused on a healthy public, we seek to engage and communicate on measures that contribute to prevention.
“The SFA endeavors to counter the health threats that our society faces. We aim to contribute to proactive, healthy behaviors by hosting experts from various branches of health, fitness, wellness and medicine together to discuss and share insights on prevention and alternative remedies to these diseases.”
Saudi Vision 2030 has outlined its goals for a more physically fit population by increasing student participation in sport by 25 percent and increase the number of fitness coaches in the country. The LEC aims to proactively address this target by also adding health education metrics to its national campaigns.
The event’s presentations and panel discussions presented the importance of exercise and nutrition for mental and physical wellbeing, highlighting prevention and treatment measures for different types of diseases.
Attended by medical and health care professionals, nutritionists, wellness experts, sports and fitness coaches, physical therapists, and students of the related fields, the LEC’s inaugural edition was a resounding success.
The SFA intends to build on the LEC’s positive reception in Saudi Arabia by continuing its close cooperation with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health and Weqaya to establish an annual event open to the public.
SFA, a proactive community sport and wellness organization founded to promote a healthy lifestyle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, aims to provide access to opportunities for all members of society to practice physical activity.
Partnering with government organizations, sports delivery bodies, sports federations, and the wider public and private sector to achieve its goals, the SFA focuses on increasing physical activity and health and wellness metrics across the country. The increase of physical activity is achieved by advancing four strategic priorities: education, community and volunteering, fitness and wellbeing, and campaigns and promotion.
It does this by designing recreational sports programs tailored for women, men, youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities across Saudi Arabia.