RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A popular Saudi cleric said Saturday it is permissible for Muslim women to reveal their faces in countries where the Islamic veil is banned to avoid harassment, while deploring the effort to outlaw the garment in France.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is one of the few Muslim countries where women are forced by custom to cover their hair with head scarves and their bodies with cloaks called abayas in most parts of the country. It is also common to see Saudi women wearing full-face veils.
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