Skip to comments.Cleric attacks hardliners over wedding dance
Posted on 03/12/2008 8:42:37 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
RIYADH (Reuters) - A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has issued a rare public attack on religious hardliners angry over a video showing him dancing at a wedding in the conservative Islamic state, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The video, posted on the Internet, showed Sheikh Abdul-Mohsen al-Obaikan dancing the Bedouin sword dance at a wedding. Similar dances are also performed by top royals at some national festivities.
Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi interpretation of Sunni Islam frowns on singing and dancing and maintains a strict segregation of unrelated men and women, even at weddings.
Obaikan, an adviser to the cleric-run Ministry of Justice, defended himself in remarks published in Asharq al-Awsat, saying the society needed to "get over restrictions imposed by ignorant people."
"They want to turn our weddings into funerals and joy to sadness," he said. "There is no report from the Prophet or any of the early Islamic leaders saying that they turned weddings into occasions for preaching."
Saudi Arabia uses a strict interpretation of Islamic law and allows Wahhabi clerics wide influence in social affairs.
But liberal critics say their powers have increased since the 1970s, citing cinema houses and occasional mixed weddings.
I hate it when I go to a wedding and someone is wearing the same outfit as me!
When will these people escape the 7th century and step into the 21st century? They really need to wake up to the new world. Some of their beliefs are just pure caca.
If it was that bleeding chicken dance, I’d say they have a point.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.