Saudi Islamic scholar Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, the former head of the Mecca chapter of the Authority for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice said that he supports women becoming judges and judges in shari'a courts. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) on May 28, 2021. Al-Ghamdi said that nothing in Islam prohibits this, and he thinks that women should become muftis and lawyers as well. He said that this would serve the public interest. Al-Ghamdi also said that he supports women being part of the Shura Authority in Saudi Arabia. In 2014, Al-Ghamdi faced criticism in Saudi Arabia for saying that women do not have to wear a veil. For more information on Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, see MEMRI TV clip no. 4689.
Ahmed Al-Ghamdi: "From the shari'a point of view, there is no proof, meaning there is no certified text that prohibits women from being appointed as judges. I believe that appointing women as judges..."
Interviewer: "According to your opinion, a woman can also serve as a mufti?"
Al-Ghamdi: "Yes. A woman can serve as a mufti, a judge, or a lawyer. Moreover, this serves [public] interests, since many women would not be able to reveal certain things to a male judge. It would only be appropriate that some women be appointed as judges [in order to deal with] many subjects related to women, family life, and so on."
Interviewer: "Do you support the notion that women will be member of the Fatwa Authority, the official authority in charge of these matters in Saudi Arabia?"
Al-Ghamdi: "Yes, I do."
Interviewer: "Do you support it?"
Al-Ghamdi: "Yes, indeed. It is essential. My friend, when a woman... A woman is the man's partner in development, in progress, and in the work for the public good. So, when she is being excluded from these aspects [of public life], she cannot fulfill the role that is expected from her. She cannot raise the next generation as required. She must be a real partner in all areas of public life, in accordance with the rules of religion as ordered to us by Allah..."
Interviewer: "Can a woman be a mufti or a judge and deal with all aspects of life, or just deal with certain issues? Just to be clear..."
Al-Ghamdi: "I believe it is completely permissible, from all aspects."