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Attack by a preacher


Last updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:51 AM

Ruqaya Al-Hwairnee


THE Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance did the right thing when it opened an investigation into a local mosque imam who used inappropriate language to describe a female school principal during his Friday sermon.

During the sermon, the imam called on authorities to dismiss the principal because she was working in a new program approved by the Ministry of Education. The program seeks to improve female students’ etiquette skills, teach them how to deal with different situations using proper conduct and reflect a good image about Muslim girls.

The one-week program targets all female students and it is conducted as an extracurricular activity.

When the principal came to know about the imam’s words, she lodged a complaint against him. When asked why he used such inappropriate words to describe the principal who has spent 30 years of her life in the field of education, he simply admitted to the deed.

The imam is now banned from standing on the podium again because he abused his authority as an imam and uttered such inappropriate words before dozens of people in his mosque. He also violated the law by objecting to a program that was approved by the Ministry of Education.

Some imams take advantage of Friday sermons to say bad things about others by verbally abusing them. Some even lash out at satellite TV channels and local newspapers that voice opinions they don’t agree with.

Friday sermons are supposed to benefit people who listen to them. They are supposed to educate people about religion and matters related to their daily lives.

The ministry did the right thing when it brought justice to the principal and banned the imam from delivering any sermons and temporarily suspended him from his job. This is a very good step toward helping the oppressed and punishing anyone who thinks he is above the law regardless of his position.

I salute the brave principal who knew for sure that justice will prevail at the end of the day and that the concerned authorities would not allow such a thing to go unpunished. It makes us feel reassured that this principal will take good care of her female students and the next generation. It is a step in the right direction for women to refuse the oppression of men regardless of their position or power even if they are mosque imams who lead people in prayer.

Note: Local Viewpoints are translated from the Arabic press to bring current mainstream opinions published in Saudi media to a worldwide audience. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Saudi Gazette or of its team.
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