Saudi cleric shocks in call for baby burkas

Sheikh Abdullah Daoud says sexual molestation of female babies common in Saudi Arabia; other clerics criticize ruling.

Muslim women all covered up 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Muslim women all covered up 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Saudi Arabian cleric has called for female babies to wear the full-body burka in order to prevent sexual molestation.
In an interview on Saudi Arabia’s Al-Majd station, Sheikh Abdullah Daoud explained that sexual molestation of babies was common in the country and cited unnamed medical and security sources, according to a report on the Al-Arabiya website.
The interview was originally posted on the Internet in April 2012, but recently started to get attention on social networks in the kingdom, where some have been criticizing the ruling. Al- Arabiya reported that another distinguished cleric, Sheikh Muhammad al-Jzlana, complained that it made Islam look bad, and that people should ignore unauthorized fatwas and only follow those sanctioned by Saudi authorities.
In a video clip of the interview, which was posted on the MEMRI website, Daoud says that the custom of wearing a hijab (head covering) has precedents in eastern Asia, where girls start wearing the hijab at the age of two.
He goes on to say, “We want this too. We do not want to see revealing and shameful clothing, especially when girls start to develop and fill out, and show signs of beauty, and so on. You find that she is in a state of exposure and nudity. I think we know that there are fatwas that forbid this, even if they have not yet reached the stage of puberty. Whenever the girl is an object of desire, the parents have the duty to cover her up with a hijab.”
One of the scriptural roots of covering women comes from Koran 24:31, which states: “And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment, except that which [necessarily] appears thereof, and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment.”