RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A popular Muslim cleric issued a fatwa on Saturday stating that it is permissible for Saudi women to reveal their faces in countries where the Islamic veil is banned, while criticizing efforts in Europe to outlaw the garment.
Sheik Awadh al-Garni's ruling was in response to a question from a Saudi woman in France about how to respond to a movement there to ban full-face veils. Governments in Spain and Belgium are also considering bans.
Al-Garni said Muslims should not challenge the issue in such nations at risk of breaking laws. His ruling was published Saturday in Al-Hayat newspaper.