Riyadh: Saudi King has removed a top cleric who demanded that religious scholars should vet the curriculum at a new flagship mixed-gender university, the state news agency Saudi Press Agency has said.
In a rare move, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz relieved Shaikh Sa'ad Al Shithri of his duties as a member of a top council of religious scholars, citing a royal decree.
The agency gave no reason, but the decision came after Shaikh Sa'ad had said scholars should vet the curriculum at the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to prevent alien ideologies such as 'evolution'. He said that mixing students of the opposite sex was "a great sin and a great evil" under Islam.
"The recommendation is to set up Sharia committees at this university to oversee these studies and look into what violates the Sharia (Islamic law)," Shaikh Sa'ad said last week.
The university is a key project of King Abdullah, who has promoted reforms since taking office in 2005. The government has promised academic freedom for KAUST, but diplomats say clerics are likely to try to obstruct the project.
Well done King, it's the begining of an enlightened era in Saudi Arabia, the world should acknowledge that freedom to all genders in order to seek knowledge is not at all prohibited in Islam!
Posted: October 05, 2009, 14:01
I think that Shethri is living in the past just similar to many of his religious contemporaries. Mixing of the sexes fit with the times and we should live for the future rather than the past.
Posted: October 05, 2009, 13:29