« | »

Saudis Ban Photos Of Women In Papers

From the Associated Press:

Saudi Arabian women wearing abayas. France’s famed international fashion school ESMOD is teaming up with an institute in Riyadh in its first foray in the conservative Gulf region.

Saudis Nix Pictures of Women in Newspapers

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – King Abdullah has told Saudi editors to stop publishing pictures of women as they could make young men go astray, newspapers reported Tuesday.

The king’s directive, made in a meeting with local editors, caused surprise as the monarch has been regarded a quiet reformer since he took office in the ultra-conservative country last August.

In recent months, newspapers have published pictures of women — always wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf — to illustrate stories with increasing regularity. Usually the stories have had to do with women’s issues. The papers have also started publishing a range of views on causes that are not generally accepted in Saudi Arabia — such as women having the right to drive and vote.

The king told editors on Monday night that publishing a woman’s picture for the world to see was inappropriate.

"One must think, do they want their daughter, their sister, or their wife to appear in this way. Of course, no one would accept this," the newspaper Okaz quoted Abdullah as saying.

"The youth are driven by emotion … and sometimes they can be lead astray. So, please, try to cut down on this," he said.

Although the king has broached topics — such as women eventually acquiring driving licenses — that were previously seen as nonstarters, his instruction to editors indicates that Islamic conservatives remain a powerful force in the kingdom and brake on reform.

The country adheres to a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Women are not allowed to vote and stand in municipal elections — the only type of election permitted in the kingdom.

The king also called on editors to stop printing stories that portray the country in a negative light.

"Don’t write anything that can be harmful to the country. Some reporters, they want to stand out and they end up going too far and this should not be allowed to happen," Abdullah said according to Okaz.

The king added that newspapers should ignore the foreign press, especially when what it publishes is "against Islam or against Arabs."

All media in Saudi Arabia are either state owned or state guided.

Luckily, I only read the Saudi papers for the articles.

By the way, the Saudi’s seem to be backpedaling on their earlier madcap reforms.

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Muslim clerics’ anger delays Saudi plan to let women sell lingerie

By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor

Saudi Arabia has postponed plans to replace male sales staff in lingerie shops with women.

The move had been its first cautious attempt to bring more women into the work-place.

But even minor reforms have incurred the wrath of ultra-conservative religious leaders, such as the Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdel-Aziz al-Sheikh, who has denounced them as "steps towards immorality and hellfire".

In a country that requires women to cover up in public, and bans them from driving, shop assistants are invariably men – even in stores selling women’s underwear and cosmetics. The kingdom’s sole exceptions are the few all-female shopping centres.

King Abdallah’s government last year ordered lingerie shop owners to hire all-female sales staff by next month. In 2007, the policy was to have been extended to stores selling dresses and abayas (the black robes worn by women for modesty).

The policy is being pushed by the Saudi labour minister, Ghazi Algosaibi, a former Saudi ambassador to Britain. But Mr Algosaibi has become a hate figure among puritanical Wahhabi clerics.

In an audio message last month, Osama bin Laden said he was a leading "heretic" who should be killed.

Still, why is it that our one party media only ever reports on such stories from Saudi Arabia?

Why don’t we ever have this kind of news about Iran or any of the other foes of the US in the region?

Of course that is a rhetorical question.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 16th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

26 Responses to “Saudis Ban Photos Of Women In Papers”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »