A Saudi woman has been executed for practising “witchcraft and sorcery”, the country’s interior ministry says.
Amnesty International says the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion.
Many were stunned when Saudi cleric Sheik Abdel Mohsen Obeikan recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, calling on women to give breast milk to their male colleagues or men they come into regular contact with so as to avoid illicit mixing between the sexes.
But a group of Saudi women has taken the controversial decree a step further in a new campaign to gain the right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom, media reports say.
A Saudi cleric finds himself in the hot seat after issuing a decree permitting unrelated women and men mingle so long as the guy drinks the woman’s breast milk.
Sheik Abdel Mohsen Obeikan, a scholar and a consultant at Saudi Arabia’s royal court, has called for women to give men breast milk to establish maternal relations and get around the ultra-conservative kingdom’s ban on mixing between men and women who are unrelated.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Much of the world knows Petra, the ancient ruin in modern-day Jordan that is celebrated in poetry as “the rose-red city, ‘half as old as time,'” and which provided the climactic backdrop for “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
But far fewer know Madain Saleh, a similarly spectacular treasure built by the same civilization, the Nabateans.
That’s because it’s in Saudi Arabia, where conservatives are deeply hostile to pagan, Jewish and Christian sites that predate the founding of Islam
in the 7th century.
But now, in a quiet but notable change of course, the kingdom has opened up an archaeology boom
by allowing Saudi and foreign archaeologists to explore cities and trade routes long lost in the desert.
In a surprise move, a Saudi Christian arrested in January for describing his conversion from Islam and criticizing the kingdom’s judiciary on his blog site was released on March 28 with the stipulation that he not travel outside of Saudi Arabia or appear on media.
The country’s penalty for “apostasy,” or leaving Islam, is death, although in recent years there have been no known cases of kingdom citizens formally convicted and sentenced with capital punishment for the offense.
After 30 years of marriage, cynics might say most husbands and wives would have seen quite enough of each other, thank you very much. But not in the case of one Saudi Arabian man who managed to live with his wife for three decades without setting eyes on her face.
Amnesty International has urged Saudi authorities to release a Saudi university professor who is facing flogging and imprisonment for meeting a woman to whom he is not related for coffee in the conservative Islamic kingdom.