We’re all used to controversies about the wearing of veils by Muslim women. In numerous Western countries — Sweden, the Netherlands, France, the UK, Denmark, the USA — legal battles have been fought over whether women and girls have the right to veil or obscure their faces in schools, public transportation, banks, and government offices.
But now the same conflict has come to Kuwait — in parliament, of all places. The two women who were recently elected to parliament caused trouble when they showed up for duty without their veils. According to ANSAmed:
MPs Without Veil, Fundamentalists Walk Out
The appeal to “overcome differences and to turn the page for the good of the country” from the Emir of Kuwait to politicians during the inauguration of the new national assembly found its first hurdle after a few minutes, when 14 MPs left Parliament to protest against the two female MPs who were not wearing veils and the government not presenting their economic programme, reports Kuwait Times.
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Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al Sabah urged members of both the executive and legislative branch, whose differences have cost the oil-rich country six governments and three elections in the past three years, to “contribute to the new climate of political change”, looking towards globalisation, the only way to “raise Kuwait to the position of a modern country”.
The fundamentalist and tribal MPs, two groups that did not do well in the May 16 elections, walked out of Parliament, protesting against a lack of respect for Koranic laws which state that women must wear veils, and a 5-year delay for a strategic economic plan.
What’s interesting here is the fact that the “fundamentalists” did not do well in the elections, and are a minority in parliament.
Can it really be true — does Kuwait aspire to be a modern country?
Hat tip: Insubria.