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Saudi women can travel without male guardian, uncover their faces and eat along men says an influential Saudi cleric.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Qassim al- Ghamdi, the former head of Makkah’s  Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Committee said that it is permissible for people to look at what is not forbidden in women like their faces and their arms, according to the statements posted on Twitter. They also stated that women can travel without a male guardian as long as  there is safety.

The cleric quoted sayings by prominent Muslim scholars in history to back his statements. According to normal practice, the male guardians must give consent for the women to leave the kingdom by signing the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.

Al-Ghamdi is known for his statements supporting women’s rights. He had previously issued a Fatwa that mixing of the sexes is permissible in Islam and is a natural part of life. He had added that he did not understand why there was such an outrage when the co-ed King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) was opened.

Al Ghamdi said that the people who oppose mixing of the sexes contradict themselves as they most likely mix with the opposite sex on a daily basis, such as having female servants.

Source: AlArabiya