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.

 


Kingdom’s Dalma Malhas to participate in Diriyah Equestrian Festival

Updated 58 min 27 sec ago

Kingdom’s Dalma Malhas to participate in Diriyah Equestrian Festival

  • The upcoming Diriyah Equestrian Festival will be a huge moment for the Kingdom’s female riders and will fire up future generations
  • The festival at the Al Duhami Farm on the outskirts of historic Diriyah will be the first FEI sanctioned competition in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: She was the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to ride for the Kingdom in an Olympic-level event, now Dalma Malhas is dreaming of competing in her own country for the first time ever.

Back in 2010, Malhas rode to glory in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore and won a bronze medal in the 14 to 18 age group, becoming only the third Saudi athlete at that point to win an Olympic medal.

But now Malhas is looking forward to another milestone in her sporting career riding in a mixed Saudi national equestrian team for the first ever time on home soil in the upcoming Diriyah Equestrian Festival.

“It’s a rendezvous I’ve been dreaming about for a very long time. I am really excited, this is going to be a first time for me competing on home soil. I’ve been all over the world, I did the World Championships, I’ve really been everywhere except Saudi Arabia," she said.

The festival at the Al Duhami Farm on the outskirts of historic Diriyah will be the first FEI sanctioned competition in Saudi Arabia, with points earned counting towards qualification for individual riders to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the World Cup.

Across six days, from Dec. 12-14 and 19-21, the event will welcome 150 riders, 150 grooms, 50 officials, 300 companions and trainers, 250 members of the club and 150 crew members. Some 1,500 visitors are expected to attend and will witness Saudi Arabia’s hospitality with the offering of 15 food trucks catering to international cuisines, 10 shops and game and federation exhibitors.

Dalma Malhas is dreaming of competing in her own country for the first time ever. (Supplied)

While it will be the first time the mixed Saudi team will compete in the Kingdom, it isn’t the first time they have ridden together competitively, that watershed moment came at the Nations Cup in October’s Morocco Royal Tour.

“Honestly it was wonderful, this is going along with everything that is happening in the country and Vision 2030. There is a big push to move forward," Malhas said.

The Diriyah Equestrian Festival is part of the Diriyah Season, an epic month of iconic sports events such as Formula E, top-class men’s tennis and a World Heavyweight Title fight – The Clash On The Dunes.

The stunning UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah will also stage performances from some of the biggest music artists on the planet.

Dalma Malhas is dreaming of competing in her own country for the first time ever. (Supplied)

Olympic equestrian hero Ramzy Al-Duhami, who won team bronze in the London 2012 Games, and his wife and partner Sara Baban, are hosting the event at the bespoke riding arena they have created together. Both firmly believe that the DEF 2019 can provide a massive boost to female equestrianism in the country.

“The field is open now in Saudi Arabia for female equestrianism and women are being seen as partners to men and capable of supporting the progress of the equestrianism in international events, which will reflect on the development of the sport," Al-Duhami said.

“I am excited for the girls; I’ve been rooting for them all this time.  There are so many girls at our school that want to ride and actually they are more motivated than the boys," Baban said.