On 24 February 2010, Quilliam issued by the following press release:
Senior Saudi cleric orders the killing of Muslims who permit gender interaction
Yesterday, a leading hardline Wahhabi cleric issued a fatwa in which he orders the killing of Muslims who allow the sexes to mix freely in the workplace or in educational institutions. The prominent Saudi cleric, Abd al-Rahman al-Barrak (1), who is highly reputed within the Saudi religious establishment, issued the fatwa in Arabic on his website
‘And whoever permits this mixing – and if it leads to these impermissible things – has permitted these forbidden acts, which means that he becomes an apostate, so he should be made aware of his mistakes and given a chance to repent or else it is obligatory to kill him’.
This fatwa comes in the wake of strong opposition from the hardline Saudi religious establishment to the opening
of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology – the first academic institution in Saudi Arabia that is not gender-segregated.
A Quilliam spokesperson says:
‘Elements within the British Government that seek to empower Wahhabism against al-Qaeda ideology should take heed from this, and other, fatwas.
‘Fatwas such as this are a stark warning of the damaging effects of Saudi Wahhabism on communities in the UK. Some British universities have already witnessed gender segregation at public events organised by university Islamic societies.
‘Moreover, the impact of takfiri ideology (branding people apostates) has tragically led to mass terrorism, such as the recent fatal bombings directed against Shias in Iraq and Pakistan’.
Quilliam issued a press release on the attacks on Shias in Pakistan and Iraq on 5 February 2010. This press release can be found here
1. Abd al-Rahman al-Barrak was a lecturer at the University of Riyadh and held a position at the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwa (the highest religious body in Saudi Arabia).
2. Al-Barrak’s fatwa is being reported widely in the Arab press. Reports in Arabic include Reuters and al-Watan.