Saudi Clerics Declare Women in France Exempt from Full-face Covering

Two Saudi clerics have declared Muslim women are exempt from wearing full veils in France, which is planning to ban them, but added they should avoid visiting it as tourists. The comments, by Islamic jurisprudence scholar Mohamed al-Nujaimi and author and cleric Ayed al-Garni, come two weeks after French lawmakers passed a bill under which women could be fined for appearing in public with the all-covering burqa or the niqab, which leaves the eyes exposed.

Muslim scholars are divided over the veil, disagreeing on whether and how much of a woman’s face should be covered. Saudi clerics widely recommend it. Every summer, tens of thousands of Saudi holidaymakers leave the kingdom and its searing heat to spend their vacation abroad, with many travelling to European countries.