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Clerics in Saudi Arabia come out to protest appointment of women to Shura Council (VIDEO)

Hardline clerics claim that women's appointment to Saudi Arabia Council is a "dangerous change."

Saudi woman veiled retail Enlarge
Female Saudi Arabian retail employees must be separated from men by a barrier, decreed government authorities. (HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of Saudi Arabian clerics protested outside the Royal Court in Riyadh on Tuesday, railing against King Abdullah's surprising decision to appoint 30 women to the Middle Eastern nation's Consultative Council for the first time ever.

Reuters reports that about 50 clerics showed up to protest the King's decision, but were denied access to both the King and his right-hand-man, Tuwaijri.

Read more from GlobalPost: Women appointed to Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council for the first time ever

Footage of the demonstration shows the clerics protesting what they deemed "dangerous changes in the country and these latest appointments in the Shura Council that do not represent the philanthropists and the good people," writes AFP.

The clerics added that the appointments "are not representative of the whole society," and demanded that clerics as a group be afforded similar proportionate representation.

King Abdullah last week decreed that women must make up 20 percent of the Shura Council from now on, and requested that smaller legislative bodies in Saudi Arabia adhere to the same quota.

Read more from GlobalPost: Saudi Arabia plans women-only city

The European Union congratulated Saudi Arabia on the move, writes Al Arabiya, dubbing it a sign of a "positive trend."

In 2011, the King for the first time permitted women to vote and run as candidates in local elections, indicating that he shares a more liberal attitude towards women then many of his countrymen in Saudi Arabia's deeply patriarchal society.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/saudi-arabia/130116/clerics-saudi-arabia-come-out-protest-appointm