A supposed Saudi cleric has warned against women using air conditioning, calling the modern convenience “immoral” when used by women in the absence of their husbands.
The cleric was identified on Twitter as Abul Ala, and he claims to be a Salafist-Wahhabist cleric. Salafist-Wahhabists are ultra-conservative Sunni Muslims from Saudi Arabia and frequently issue fatwas. For that reason, we’ll play softball with this supposed cleric.
Anyway, Abul Ala supposedly decreed that “turning on the cooler ventilator is prohibited for women in the absence of their husbands” because “the woman’s act is very dangerous, and may bring about immorality in the society. When she turns the cooler on, someone may notice her presence home, and this might bring about immorality.”
Iran-based Al-Alam news reported the story, and noted that Salafist-Wahhabists “have a distorted reading of Islam” and furthermore, that their rulings are “incompatible with common sense.”
That’s from Iran’s state-run media, so that should give you some indication as to where the Salafist-Wahhabists fall in the Muslim food chain.
These types of bizarre decrees are common from the sect as well.
In April, one such cleric called Skeikh Yasit al-Aklawni posted a video to YouTube claiming that the rape of non-Sunni and non-Muslim women is totally fine by Koran standards.
He claimed: “Legitimate fatwa for Muslims waging war against Mr. Assad and trying to put in place a Sharia government to capture and have sex with Alawites and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women.”
Interestingly, Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the senior religious authority in Saudi Arabia, has actually cautioned against the use of Twitter, which was how Abul Ala was identified.
He said that any Saudi who uses Twitter “has lost this world and his afterlife,” so if Abul Ala has been using the microblog, we’ve got a genuine religious disagreement on our hands. How air conditioning is forbidden and Twitter is allowed, well … we’re confused, to say the least.
What do you think? Is the Saudi cleric’s warning against women using air conditioning legitimate?
[Image via: GSPhotography / Shutterstock]