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Saudi Islamic Ministry: No official Assigning for Female Preachers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh – Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance admitted to having some problems with the mosques’ renovations contracts, but stated a plan has been devised to overcome this issue, according to Minister Sheikh Salih Al al-Sheikh.

Addressing the 36th ordinary session of the Council in the presence of the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Salih Al al-Sheikh stated that the ministry had established a state company that will ensure maintenance procedures are done.

He added that through its Sakinah campaign, the ministry communicated with extremists and criticized the work of certain organizations.

The Sakinah campaign is a non-governmental and independent program where qualified scholars are hired to enter online chat rooms to hold discussions with users on Islam and the dangers of takfiri ideas.

Sheikh said that building mosques isn’t suspended and is on budgets. He stated that the ministry is currently not hiring any female Islamic preachers, but they do cooperate with the ministry when needed.

Concerning the mechanism of assigning preachers and Imams, Sheikh said they must go through several criteria and regular evaluation in order to determine who is suitable, adding there are 17,000 preachers in the country who are affiliated with the ministry.

The ministry has been keen to be a permanent institution to keep the Kingdom’s strength and be attractive to the world through the two holy cities and other programs such as fighting terrorism and conducting dialogue with other countries, he said.

On the ministry’s future plans for qualification of preachers to keep up with challenges and cement security, he said the ministry has multiple programs through upgrading the level of preachers and anti-terror programs. He added that there are many Fatwas issued by preachers and Imams who don’t belong to the ministry which is working on setting the right ones.