Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – A senior governmental official in the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs denied that there are female preachers in his country who believe in the same ideology as Haylah al Qassir. Al Qassir has become known as Mrs. Al Qaeda after she was arrested by Saudi authorities for providing funding to the terrorist organization.
Dr. Tawfiq al-Sudairi, the Undersecretary for the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa, and Guidance told Asharq Al-Awsat that “I believe that female preachers affiliated to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs have not been influenced by Mrs. Al Qaeda Haylah al Qassir after her arrest, as she is not qualified in Islamic Shariaa law and not a specialist in [Islamic] guidance, whereas these female preachers are professors at various Saudi universities.” Al-Sudairi also confirmed that no security concerns have been raised about female preachers licensed by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
In Saudi Arabia there are no female preachers who employed in this field in an official capacity, however the Ministry of Islamic Affairs does accept female preachers who wish to work in this field as “cooperators.”
In addition to this, the Islamic Affairs Undersecretary also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the female preachers who are affiliated to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs are all cooperators, and no female preacher is chosen who does not meet the conditions put in place by the ministry, and these include scholarly preparation and scientific sponsorship.”
Al-Sudairi, who was speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat from Riyadh, described the conditions which are currently in place to attract female preachers to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs as being “sufficient.” He also said that that “the field [of preaching] does not allow any female preachers [to preach] except those who have a permit from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs”.