Nasser Al-Omar: The antithesis of modernity

1 / 2
Nasser Al-Omar
2 / 2
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.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

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.

 


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.