Saudi clerics demand ban on women appearing in media

London, Mar.23 : A group of hard-line Saudi clerics have urged the kingdom’s new information minister to ban women from appearing on TV or in newspapers and magazines.

The 35 clergymen also called on Abdel Aziz Khoja, who was appointed by King Abdullah February 14 as part of a wide reform drive, to prohibit the playing of music and music shows on television, reports the Daily Express.

The clerics’ recommendation will probably have little effect because the king’s reshuffle removed a number of hard-line figures and is believed to be part of an effort to weaken the influence of conservatives in this devout desert kingdom.

The statement does, however, put a degree of pressure on the new minister and lets him know the feelings of the country’s powerful religious establishment.

Saudi Arabia was founded on an alliance with the conservative Wahhabi strain of Islam that sees the mixing of sexes as anathema and believes the playing of music violates religious values.

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