RIYADH // It is permissible for Saudi women to reveal their faces in countries where the burqa is banned, a Muslim cleric says, although he criticised efforts in Europe to outlaw the garment. The ruling by Sheikh Awadh al Garni, a popular cleric but not a member of the official religious establishment, was in response to a question from a Saudi woman in France about how to respond to a movement there to ban full-face veils. Governments in Spain and Belgium are also considering bans.
Sheikh al Garni said Muslims should not challenge the issue in such nations at risk of breaking laws. His ruling was published today in Al Hayat newspaper. * AP