Saudi cleric calls for babies to wear burqas to prevent rape

A Saudi cleric is saying burqas will prevent baby girls from rape, giving rise to debate and outrage on the Internet.

A Saudi cleric has called for baby girls to wear burqas to avoid getting raped.

Al Arabiya news reported Sunday that Sheik Abdulla Daoud had said on al-Majd TV mid last-year that wearing the veil will help protect babies.

Daoud told al-Majd TV that babies were being molested in Saudi Arabia, citing unnamed medical and security sources.

The video, which surfaced on social media recently, sparked outrage and debate on Twitter from fellow Saudis.

Some tweets called for Daoud to be held accountable for his comments because it breaches individual privacy.

"Fatwa on Burkas for baby girls r disturbing! Now the baby victims are blamed for men’s crimes. Allah help us stop the ignorance, stupidity," tweeted Masleeza Othman.

Othman later tweeted: "What about fatwa on those who abuse, molested and sexually assaulted or harassed the babies, children. They aren't supposed to even live!!"

Senior Islamic officers have also criticized Daoud's comments.

Sheikh Mohammad al-Jjzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, said that Daoud's fatwa made Islam and Sharia law look bad, Al Arabiya reported.

There is nothing in Islam that requires baby girls to wear burqas.

The attention on Daoud's comments comes after the Fayhan al-Ghamdi verdict, the Digital Journal reports. Online activists are calling on the Saudi kingdom's rulers to impose harsher punishments on child abusers after reports surfaced that a prominent preacher, al-Ghamdi, received a light sentencing after confessing to raping and beating his 5-year-old daughter to death.

Under Saudi Arabia's current Islamic law, a father cannot be executed for murdering his children or his wife.

According to the Digital Journal, some people agree that sexual assault against young girls in Saudi Arabia are on the rise. It has been reported that the kingdom plans to launch a 24-hour hotline where violence against children can be reported.

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