Saudi Arabia: 65-year-old female scholar arrested for ‘teaching Quran’ at home

Makkah: Aisha Al-Muhajiri, a well known 65-year-old female Islamic scholar has been detained by Saudi authorities reportedly for preaching and giving Quran courses at her house, a report by Prisoners of Conscience stated.

She was reportedly detained by a 20 member squad of Saudi intelligence from her home in Makkah along with two other women.

Prisoners of Conscience, which reports on the Saudi government’s arrest and repression of activists and public figures, tweeted “We confirm the detention of the famous female preacher Aisha Al-Muhajiri (65 years), after authorities broke into her house in Mecca. The grounds of her detention is her working in preaching and giving Quran courses at her house.”

In another tweet, the Prisoners of Conscience wrote, “We also confirm that TWO WOMEN were arrested with Aisha Al-Muhajiri, on the same day of the raid on her house in Mecca; one of the two women is 80 years old, while the family of the other woman refused to publish any information about her.”

Following the arrest, the report also stated: “We confirm also that the sons of the preacher Aisha Al-Muhajiri were threatened of being detained when they asked about her after she was arrested; authorities said literally: ‘We will arrest anyone asking about her’.”

Iran based International Quran News Agency (IQNA) criticized the arrests of the scholar stating, “A number of scholars, activists and critics of the Saudi regime have been arrested over the past few years. Even highly-regarded and well-known clerics have been detained simply for commenting on current affairs or government policy, among them Aid Al-Qarni, Ali Al-Omari, Safar Al-Hawali, Omar Al-Muqbil and Salman Al-Ouda. Many are known as reformists and are thus seen as a threat by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.”

IQNA further stated “Even foreign scholars have not escaped under the crackdown. Amidoula Waili from China’s persecuted Muslim Uyghur minority was arrested by the Saudi authorities in November at the request of the Chinese government. Having already been detained in China years ago before escaping to turkey, Waili is reported to be at risk of being deported to China.”