Women banned from religious seminar in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH – Women at a hospital in the Saudi capital, including doctors and journalists, were forced to leave a lecture about Islam’s stance on organ donation because they were women, reported Saudi- based Arab News on Wednesday.

The sheikh who gave the lecture, a university professor, refused to enter the room until it was emptied of women. In the beginning, some women protested but in the end they gave in so the man could give the presentation.

“This is ridiculous,” one woman, a medical professional and a Muslim, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“In the Grand Mosque in Mecca, men and women pray together. Why are we being asked to leave? This guy knows a hospital is a mixed place. He should have realized that before he came,” she said.

“We had every right to be there,” said another woman on condition of anonymity.

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This post was last updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 7:01 PM, Central European Time (CET)