Mixing of the sexes is permissable in Islam and is a natural part of life, the president of the Mecca branch of the religious police told a Saudi paper, adding he did not understand why there was so much outrage when the co-ed university, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), was opened.
Those who oppose mixing of the sexes are contradicting themselves as they most likely mix with the opposite sex on a daily basis, such as having female servants, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Qassim Al-Ghamdi, the head of Mecca's Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice committee, told Saudi's Okaz newspaper.
Al-Ghamdi added that it is only a minority of scholars that ban mixing of the sexes and said these scholars had no strong evidence to support their claims and were leading today's Muslims astray the Muslims during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The sheikh went on to say that mixing of the sexes was never prohibited during the Prophet's times and was a natural part of life of the Sahaba's, or Prophet's companions.
Al-Ghamdi also argued that the term "mixing" could not be found in Shariah, or Islamic law, and said Shariah says nothing about banning non-married men and women working, studying and socializing with each other.
"Islamic law says nothing about mixing unlike the numerous laws on things such as divorce, trading and war. Mixing of the sexes does not have official laws or concepts."
Al-Ghamdi said the term mixing was coined simply because some scholars have exaggerated the so-called taboo of mixing of the sexes despite the fact that it is natural.
"It is dangerous when the term mixing is being connected with the science of Islamic law this affects the heritage of islamic law negatively because have given a fake idea merit," which al-Ghamdi said leads to chaos.
There is usually strict segregation between men and women in Saudi circles and the sexes do not mix in schools, universities, officies and even restaurants and malls have female only areas.