Telegraph…Two female Kuwaiti MPs, Rola Dashti and Aseel Al-Awadhi, are defying the country’s powerful Islamist movement by refusing to wear the hijab, or headscarf, in parliament.
The MPs, who were among the first four women to be elected to the country’s National Assembly in May, have angered their Islamist colleagues, who say they say they are flouting sharia, or Islamic law.
One of the two is going further by demanding the scrapping of an amendment to electoral regulations that says they have to observe sharia in parliament.
“You can’t force a woman going to the mall to wear a hijab and you can’t force a woman going to work to wear the hijab,” the MP, Rola Dashti, told The Daily Telegraph. “This is not Iran or Saudi Arabia.”
The MPs’ stand is part of a backlash against the fashion for stricter dress codes for women across the Arab world.
Last week, the rector of al-Azhar University in Cairo, traditionally the principal seat of Sunni Islamic learning, banned women students from wearing the face veil in women-only classes and student dormitories, and was followed by other academic institutions there.
Students at Khalifa University in Sharjah, the most conservative of the seven city-states that make up the United Arab Emirates, have also reportedly been told to stop wearing the veil, known in Arabic as the niqab. Continue Reading →