Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Weakens Grip of Islamic Hard-Liners

[Los Angeles Times] Jeffrey Fleishman - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia weakened the hold of Islamic hard-liners Saturday by appointing the first woman to a ministerial post and dismissing a leading fundamentalist cleric and the head of the nation's powerful religious police. The king dismissed Sheik Ibrahim Ghaith as head of the Commission of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which oversees the religious police. The monarch also removed Sheik Saleh Lihedan as chief of the country's highest religious tribunal. In September, Lihedan issued a fatwa saying it was permissible to kill TV executives for broadcasting "evil" and immoral programs.

2009-02-17 06:00:00

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