On February 22, 2010, prominent Saudi cleric 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Barrak published an article on the Nur Al-Islam website (www.islamlight.net) denouncing as apostates those who regard the mingling of men and women to be permissible, and saying that they should be killed.
The article, which due to Al-Barrak's status is considered a binding fatwa, appeared after months of intense public debate on the issue of gender mixing in the recently inaugurated King Abdallah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Seeing that KAUST is the flagship of King Abdallah's development program, hurling accusations against it is considered criticism of him.
"The Intermingling Between Men and Women in Workplaces and in Educational [Institutions], Which Is Desired By the Modernists, Is Absolutely Forbidden"
"The intermingling between men and women in workplaces and in educational [institutions], which is desired by the modernists, is absolutely forbidden, because it includes various forbidden forms of behavior: forbidden glances [at the other sex], women publicly displaying their charms, women appearing in public without covering their faces, women spending time with men who are not of their immediate family, forbidden conversation between men and women. All these forbidden things lead to what is beyond that.
"The modernists who call for mixing between men and women are driven by two things: First, their attraction to the way of life of the infidel West. Their minds are westernized, and they want to westernize the nation. Furthermore, they want to impose this westernization. The second is following their lusts. The Quran says, 'Those who follow their lusts want that you should deviate a great deviation' (Quran 4, 27)."
"Whoever Holds These Things Permissible is an Infidel... If He Does Not Repent – He Should Be Killed"
"Whoever holds mixing between men and women permissible, even though it leads to those forbidden things, is thereby holding those forbidden things permissible. And whoever holds those things permissible is an infidel, and that means that he becomes an apostate. He should be made aware [of what he is doing], and his error should be explained to him. If he does not repent – he should be killed. The principle in this matter is that whoever denies a well-known element of Islam is inevitably an infidel, because he renounces the laws of the shari'a.
"It is agreed upon and well-known among the scholars of Islam, namely, that mingling between men and women is forbidden, as mentioned above. Avoiding mixing between men and women was a practice among Muslims in former generations, until the infidels, Jews and Christians, took control of many Islamic countries, which is known as colonialism. The westernization of women, and making them rebel against the laws and customs of Islam under the slogan of women's liberation, was the most important tool to transform Muslim societies and spread in them the vile behavior of fornication through the institutions of immorality such as cinemas and dance parlors and singing clubs.
"Our land, the Saudi Arabian kingdom, had nothing to do with that, because Allah spared us from the impact of Christian colonialism, and he blessed us with the call for reform and for rejuvenating monotheism by the two imams, Muhammad Ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab and Muhammad Bin Sa'ud. We continue to enjoy the effects of their mission, Allah be praised. However, the enemies of Islam were could not tolerate that this country should retain its original nature, pure society, and chastity of women, so they adopted what is known as 'women's rights' as a means for achieving their goals. They demanded the removal of the veil, the elimination of the mahram [that is, to allow women to go out of their homes without being escorted by a close male relative], and the mixing of men and women at workplaces and at school. Furthermore, they have demanded equality for women in everything. This confirms the words of the Quran, 'Those who follow their lusts want that you should deviate a great deviation' (Quran 4, 27).
"According to Quranic exegesis, [the phrase] 'those who follow their lusts' signifies fornicators, Jews, and Christians. This is stated clearly by the exegete Ibn Kathir on the authority of the early generations.
"It should be known that a person may become an infidel by uttering one word, without even being aware of it. You should never trust yourself. Beware, beware. This idea is expressed in the Hadith: 'A man may say a word which angers Allah without paying attention [to what he said], for which he will be sent to hell.' Recorded by Al-Bukhari.
"It is noteworthy that whoever acquiesces in his daughter's, his sister's or his wife's working with men or studying with men has little concern for his honor. This is a form of shamelessness, because in this way he agrees that foreign men look at her, and other such forms of behavior, which are brought about by men and women mixing together."
"I Call On Those in Power... to Put an End to This Heretical Deviation... and to Protect Our Society from Corruption"
"On this occasion, I call on those in power, may Allah grant them success, to put an end to this heretical deviation – the deviation of calling for the mingling of men and women – and to protect our society from corruption by blocking the doors of corruption, by way of supporting Allah and his prophet and in loyalty to their task. As Muhammad said, 'each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock'. May Allah guide our rulers towards that which is beneficial for this nation, and may He protect our country from the evil plots of plotters and from the covetous desires of enemies.
"Allah's prayers on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all his companions."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2744, "Saudi Cleric: The Mixing of the Sexes Is Not Forbidden in Islam," January 11, 2010, Saudi Cleric: The Mixing of the Sexes Is Not Forbidden in Islam.