SHAH FAYAL/AFP/Getty Images SHAH FARISAL/Getty Press A Muslim man in Saudi Arabia has said he would never wear a hijab if he could, and said that women who wear the headscarf should be ashamed of their religion.
The comments from the 61-year-old, who is the spiritual head of the local mosque, came as the kingdom is grappling with its worst-ever death toll from the coronavirus.
Mr Al-Sayed was quoted as saying that the head scarf is a symbol of a woman’s status and said it was a symbol for women that “showed a man his right to be proud”.
He also said that wearing a hijab made him feel that it was the right of all Muslims to be Muslim.
Saudi Arabia is home to about one million Muslims.
The country’s religious police have launched a crackdown on women wearing headscarves, while police officers have also been ordered to cover their faces in public places and wear face coverings when patrolling.
Saudi authorities have said that nearly 90 per cent of coronaviruses are transmitted through the use of close contact.
But the death toll has been rising in the kingdom.
In a separate report, the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper said that there were about 500 deaths in Saudi Arabian hospitals from the virus, a rise of 50 per cent in the past month.
Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef have vowed to fight the virus by the end of the year.
The kingdom has said it is tackling the virus through vaccination programmes and by reducing air travel and limiting travel to other countries.