Saudi Grand Mufti declares contact with foreign media ‘haram’

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RIYADH – The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has issued a religious edict prohibiting contact and cooperation with the foreign media seeking to “spread chaos and strife in the Muslim world”.

The Express Tribune quoted Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, as saying that people should not divulge their country’s secrets to foreign media outlets as these media groups are only concerned with creating a divide among the people.

The Grand Mufti warned against shielding or giving refuge to criminals.

“A believer has to help in keeping security, that of his nation and community, and protecting his religion,” he said. 

WOMEN ACTIVIST SUES GOVT 

Meanwhile a Saudi women’s rights activist has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s Interior Ministry over a decree that bans women from obtaining driving licences in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Nassima al-Sadah is the third woman to file such a lawsuit this year over the rule, which enforces a traditional ban on women driving in the Muslim desert nation.

“I filed the lawsuit against the traffic department of the interior ministry at the Dammam court” in Eastern Province,” News24 quoted Al-Sadah, as saying.

According to the report, before her, Manal al-Sharif, who became a symbol of a campaign to drive after she was arrested last year for defying the ban, and rights activist Samar Badawi have also filed similar lawsuits.

Sadah said she made a point by trying repeatedly to apply for a driving licence at the traffic department in Eastern Province, the report said.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving. In June 2011, women activists launched a Women2Drive campaign on social media networks, with many also braving the ban and posting videos of themselves driving, the report added.

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