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This Saudi cleric says women only watch football because of players' thighs

Saad al-Hijiri is known for blasting women in his sermons [Twitter]

Date of publication: 28 January, 2018

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The same Saudi cleric who said women must not drive because they half a quarter of a brain said women watching football is haram.

Women should not watch football because they get distracted by players' thighs, a high-profile Saudi cleric has claimed. 

Sheikh Saad al-Hijri, the former head of religious decrees in Saudi Arabia's southern province of Asir, claimed that women who watch football on television are committing a sin and husbands who let their wives watch football are shameless.

"What good do women get out of watching football matches?" Hijri asked.

"There is no benefit of this. The women will be looking at footballers' thighs and they will be focusing on that. They wouldn't even care about the match or scores." 

Not only did his comments incriminate women for watching football, but he also shamed husbands for allowing their wives for to watch the universally-loved sport.

"Have you no shame for allowing your wives to watch other men in this state? Do you not fear Allah? You are also setting yourselves up for divorce," he said.

 

"If she supports one team and you support the other, by Allah I know you could end up divorcing her."

Hijri's comments, which are at least three years old, recently resurfaced on social media.

Last September, Hijri was suspended from preaching after saying women should not be allowed to drive because they have a "quarter of a brain".

"It is not their fault, but women lack intellect do they not?" Hijri asked an audience at a lecture on "the evils of allowing women to drive".

"Their lack of intellect does not harm their piousness because they are made that way," he said, explaining that in Islam a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's.

"Would you give a man with half an intellect a driving licence? So how would you give one to a woman when she has half an intellect," he said.

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