RIYADH: A Muslim World League (MWL) official has reiterated the position of its Secretary-General Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa that Muslims abroad must respect the laws of the land they live in, reported Arab News.

The official told Arab News, in light of what he described as recently published inaccurate reports by a number of media outlets, that Al-Issa’s position on wearing the hijab in non-Muslim countries has always been clear and has been repeated and published several times.

“A Muslim must respect the constitutions and laws and culture of the countries in which they live,” the official said.

“Should the laws not allow head-covering, a request to wear the hijab must only be made through the proper and legal channels and if such a request was rejected, Muslim residents have the option either to abide by the state’s regulations or leave the country.”

This in no way should be interpreted as a statement encouraging women to remove their head cover, as some media outlets chose to portray the MWL secretary-general’s words, the source explained.

The MWL official called upon journalists to “verify the news from its sources before publishing it and not take statements out of context.”

“We are ready to provide answers to all inquiries and have the original copies of any statements made by the secretary-general or on behalf of the MWL,” the official told Arab News.

To support its statement, the MWL released through its social media channels a video dating to the beginning of March that shows Al-Issa at a function in Brussels.

During his speech, which called for coexistence and tolerance, he clearly urges Muslims to respect the laws and regulations of the countries where they happen to reside. The function was attended by a large audience, which included representative and religious leaders of the different Abrahamic faiths.