Saudi King Fires Adviser After Remarks on Women

They're getting too much freedom, he said
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2012 7:34 AM CDT
Saudi King Fires Adviser After Remarks on Women
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia leaves his palace after a meeting with Hillary Clinton in March.   (AP Photo)

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has dismissed an ultraconservative adviser after he publicly criticized reforms aimed at easing restrictions on women. Sheik Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan had told a local radio station that officials were working to Westernize and secularize the country's laws by "legalizing taboos." The "situation is a very dangerous one that is linked to schemes by influential people to corrupt Muslim society by removing women from their natural position," he said.

King Abdullah has irked the country's hardline clerics by easing some restrictions and allowing women to vote and run in 2015 municipal elections. After his dismissal, al-Obeikan posted on his Twitter account a statement saying he hopes that the kingdom's rulers are kept away from "bad advisers." This year, the kingdom began to apply a 2006 law that allows women to work in lingerie and female apparel stores, despite disapproval from the country's top clerics. (More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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