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Saudi cleric calls for rebuilding Holy Mosque

In drastic bid to keep sexes apart

A hardline Saudi cleric called for demolishing the Holy Mosque in Mecca and rebuilding it in a way that would insure Sex segregation.

Sheikh Youssef al-Ahmad told the Saudi-based Bedaya satellite television channel Wednesday that the mosque should be demolished and replaced with a new one featuring "10, 20 or 30" floors.

The floors would then be divided between men and women, al-Ahmad said in video footage posted on the Internet.

The existing Holy Mosque has three floors and is the largest mosque in the world. It is built around the Kaaba, the most sacred place in Islam.

The Saudi cleric is known for his controversial religious views. He once issued a fatwa (an Islamic ruling) calling for the murder of anyone who allows unmarried men and women to mix.

Last month another prominent Saudi cleric, Shaikh Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak, issued an edict calling for those who support co-educational environments to be put to death.

The ruling was following by barrage of criticism from religious scholars in Saudi Arabia and Egypt condemning his fatwa as a call for violence.