Detained Qatari Islamist Opposition Figure Released
The Qatari emir has ordered the release of a religious scholar after three years of arrest, said newspaper reports.
Al Watan Arabic newspaper said that Abdul-Rahman al-Nuaimi was arrested in 1998 because he “opposed women’s participation in elections.”
However, The Associated Press said that the cleric spoke against “the emirate's liberal policies on women and alcohol.”
He was released Saturday, said the reports.
Police detained al-Nuaimi, who taught Islamic studies at Qatar University, in June 1998 after he wrote an open letter to Qatar's Shura, or consultative council, in which he complained that government policies violated Islamic principles.
The letter, which was published in several local newspapers, criticized the sale of alcohol and the empowerment of women, who can hold government jobs, vote and run for office in Qatar.
"This leads to an unIslamic mingling of the sexes and to women losing their proper role and turning into men," said the letter, which was signed by 12 other men, including three from the ruling Al Thani family, said The AP, adding that Al-Nuaimi was never formally charged or put on trial. His detention led to protests in Britain by Islamic activists who mounted a campaign for his release – Albawaba.com
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