Controversial Oman grand mufti takes aim at 'lack of modesty' of Muslim women on summer holidays

Controversial Oman grand mufti takes aim at 'lack of modesty' of Muslim women on summer holidays
Oman's most senior religious scholar, known for making controversial statements, has accused Muslim women of 'shedding their modesty' while on summer holidays.
2 min read
25 August, 2022
Some Twitter users agreed with the grand mufti's comments, saying immodest dress was alien to Omani culture [Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty-file photo]

Oman's most senior religious scholar has taken aim at Muslim women for their choice of attire at summer resorts, accusing some of them of dressing immodestly.

"Where is the modesty of women?" Oman Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili said in a tweet Wednesday, condemning "the spread of Muslim women abandoning their modest clothes at resorts".

His comments sparked heated discussion on Twitter.

Some Twitter users agreed with him, saying immodest dress was alien to Omani culture.

Others said it was not within the mufti's remit to "interfere in the lives and actions of others".

Oman, like other Gulf states, is an overwhelmingly Muslim country with a sizeable expatriate community - though it is considered somewhat more relaxed than some of its neighbours in its social codes, including dress.

However, in 2020, the municipality containing Oman's capital city Muscat announced it would be imposing a dress code prohibiting people from wearing clothing that reveals their chests, lower legs, and shoulders in public places.

Officials said the rules would apply to locals and expatriates alike.

While in most Arab countries muftis appointed by the state generally toe the government line, Khalili has made controversial comments which have sometimes embarrassed Omani authorities.

Last summer, he congratulated the Taliban, a hardline Islamist group that has come down hard on women's rights, on coming to power in Afghanistan.