Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Grand Mufti says CofE bake sales 'unavoidable'

The religious leader of the Sunni community in Saudi Arabia has come under fire for suggesting it is only a matter of time before Church of England parishioners can hold bake sales in the kingdom. "I can even envision a time when there might be day trips to the seaside to thank parish volunteers for their work over the year," said Grand Mufti Shaikh Aal ash-Shaikh. The Grand Mufti's speech has proved controversial in Saudi Arabia, where trying to convert a muslim to another religion is a capital crime. "Now it's tea with the vicar," said Medina resident Abdallah bin-Aziz. "What's next? Bingo evenings? Where does it end?" Shaikh Aal ash-Shaikh's spokesman later clarified that the Grand Mufti's remarks were, like the Archbishop of Canterbury's, meant only to initiate a debate about whether religious freedoms should be spread in Saudi Arabia. Religious police have not yet responded because they have been otherwise engaged in clamping down on the sale of Valentine's Day red roses.

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