A prominent Saudi cleric on Wednesday endorsed Valentine’s Day, long forbidden in the ultra-conservative kingdom, calling it a “positive social event” that was not linked to religion. The comment from Ahmed Qassim al-Ghamdi, former chief of the religious police in the holy city of Mecca, comes as 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues a far-reaching liberalisation drive that has upended years of conservative tradition.
“It is a positive social event and it is not against sharia (law),” Ghamdi told Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television. “It is an act of kindness to share greetings on Western national and social holidays, including Valentine’s Day, exchange red roses with others, as long as it is towards peaceful people who do not share animosity or are being at war with Muslims.”
Such comments from the Saudi clerical establishment would be inconceivable around two years ago, when the religious police wielded unbridled powers and were notorious for enforcing sex segregation.
Source Credit: Arabian Business