Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has removed a top cleric who demanded that religious scholars should vet the curriculum at a new flagship mixed-gender university, the state news agency SPA said on Sunday.
In a rare move, the king relieved Sheikh Saad al-Shithri of his duties as a member of a top council of religious scholars, citing a royal decree.
The agency gave no reason.
Sheikh Saad had also said scholars should vet the curriculum at the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to prevent alien ideologies such as evolution.
"The recommendation is to set up Sharia committees at this university to oversee these studies and look into what violates the Sharia (Islamic law)," Sheikh Saad was quoted by al-Watan newspaper as saying last week.
He also objected to mixed education at the university, which was inaugurated last month. KAUST is outside the reach of the Education Ministry, which is dominated by clerics.
It has attracted top scientists from several parts of the world, with research potential unmatched in many advanced countries, as well as almost unlimited funds.
The kingdom is ruled by the Al Saud family in alliance with clerics from the Wahhabi school of Islam who oversee mosques, the judiciary and vast parts of education, and run a religious police body.
Last Mod: 05 Ekim 2009, 17:48