Saudi minister faces backlash over niqab-less public appearance

April 17, 2018
Samaa Web Desk

Photo: Courtesy King Fahad Academy

A Saudi minister made speeches before a crowd. Outrage followed on social media as her mouth, nose and chin were visible.

Dr Haya Al Awad, the Saudi Arabian Deputy Minister for Girls Education, appeared at the International Exhibition & Forum For Education in Riyadh without the niqab, reported Daily Mail.

The floodgates opened on social media with some criticising her for not keeping “up with religious and social traditions”. At the same time, many Saudi Arabian academics and public figures hit back at the online trolls on Dr Al Awad’s behalf.

Sulaiman Al Tareefi, a religious preacher, said she had not broken any rules and was simply exercising her right to appear without a veil. “Dr Haya Al Awad is living according to her convictions within the framework of significant jurisprudence pluralism,” he said. “Our jurisprudents have decided that these matters of ijtihad, the independent reasoning as opposed to imitation, cannot be dismissed.”

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is said to be making efforts to change his country’s orthodox mindset.

This article originally appeared here