A piece in the Arabic Al-Jazirah newspaper (translated here by Saudi Gazette) reports that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has banned an imam from preaching from the pulpit (minbar) for lashing out at a female school principal who was doing her job. The imam didn’t like that she was following her orders from the Ministry of Education and targeted the principal individually and by name.
Imams in Saudi Arabia receive a government stipend. That makes them government employees. Governments can certainly limit what their employees say while on the job, particularly when that speech opposes government policy. The imam will have to find another venue to vent.
Attack by a preacher
Ruqaya Al-Hwairnee | Al-Jazirah
THE Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance did the right thing when it opened an investigation into a local mosque imam who used inappropriate language to describe a female school principal during his Friday sermon.
During the sermon, the imam called on authorities to dismiss the principal because she was working in a new program approved by the Ministry of Education. The program seeks to improve female students’ etiquette skills, teach them how to deal with different situations using proper conduct and reflect a good image about Muslim girls.
The one-week program targets all female students and it is conducted as an extracurricular activity.
When the principal came to know about the imam’s words, she lodged a complaint against him. When asked why he used such inappropriate words to describe the principal who has spent 30 years of her life in the field of education, he simply admitted to the deed.