Two Saudi clerics have declared Muslim women are exempt from wearing full veils in France, but added they should avoid visiting it as tourists.
The comments by Islamic jurisprudence scholar Mohamed al-Nujaimi and author and cleric Ayed al-Garni come two weeks after French MPs passed a bill under which women could be fined for appearing in public with the all-covering burqa or the niqab, which leaves only the eyes exposed.
"For a woman who permanently resides in France or is a French citizen, if there is harm in wearing the veil, it is permitted that she shows her face when necessity demands it," The Scotsman quoted Nujaimi, as saying.
Muslim scholars are divided over the veil, disagreeing on whether and how much of a womanâ€™s face should be covered. Saudi clerics widely recommend it.
The House of Saud in alliance with clerics from the austere Wahhabi school of Islam rules the kingdom. They oversee mosques, the judiciary and education and run their own coercive apparatus, the morals police.
Nujaimi and Garni are not members of the kingdomâ€™s official Senior Scholars Authority, which has not commented on the French parliamentâ€™s decision.
"Tourism in a non-Muslim country is not indispensable, it is not needed, it is however allowed â€¦ but we have a lot of touristic regions in our country and there are a lot of Muslim countries that do not ban the niqab," Nujaimi said. (ANI)