Saudi Cleric Sheikh Abdullah Daoud has wowed children’s rights activists all over with his August 2012 pronouncement on al-Majd TV that females of all ages, even infants, should wear burqas, the head-to-toe, opaque traditional Muslim veil. Currently in Saudi Arabia girls only wear burqas after reaching puberty. Enforced use of the burqa remains controversial, even among scholars of Islam, because the Quran merely directs women to “draw their outer garments close around themselves.”
Daoud, however, who is not affiliated with the Saudi government, insists on the burqa for females of all ages, not because it’s fashion savvy and all the women are wearing them, not to teach younger girls the virtue of modesty, but to protect young girls and infants from sexual molestation.
The interview recently went viral and Internet reaction to this fatwa, or religious decision, has basically been negative.
In a comment to al-Majd TV on the fatwa, Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, said that is was “denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad.” The Daily News quoted a tweet from “Brit Asian of Pakistani heritage” Munir Khan saying, “It seems there’s no shortage of moronic Saudi Mullahs churning out absurd Fatwa’s.”