Sheikh Abdullah Daoud: Saudi cleric sparks outrage after calling for baby girls to wear the burka
A Saudi cleric has sparked outrage by declaring that baby girls must wear the burka.
Sheikh Abdullah Daoud, who said all female newborns should wear the veil, insisted the burkas would help to protect the infants against the threat of sexual attacks.
His comments, made in an interview with an Islamic television station that has surfaced online, have been widely condemned as 'disturbing' and harmful to the religion.
In the interview broadcast on al-Majd TV last year, Sheikh Daoud cited instances of babies being sexually molested in Saudi Arabia, and quoted unnamed medical and security sources, a report on Al Arabiya News said.
After the footage suddenly spread across the internet this week, commentators called for the cleric to be held accountable for his unregulated fatwa, which they said was damaging to Islam.
Islamic law holds that women should wear the veil after they reach puberty.
Sheikh Mohammed al-Jzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, told the news channel that Sheikh Daoud's remarks had made the faith look bad.
He urged people to ignore unofficial religious edicts, which he said were administered under special regulations set by Saudi authorities, which also appoints those entitled to issue them.
The former judge said covering baby girls with burkas was 'an injustice' to children.
Islamic law holds that women should wear the veil after they reach puberty