Opinion

No one can force a woman to cover her face

December 28, 2017
No one can force a woman to cover her face

Abdulrahman Al-Lahim



Okaz newspaper

The well-known expression, “You are a woman, cover your face,” seems to be disappearing from our society. This is because people today are more aware of their rights and freer than they used to be. However, a recent incident in a Riyadh court was a blast from the past of how extremism used to be the norm and how people’s freedoms used to be curbed.

Some employees believe that they should control women’s appearance at work. In the Supreme Court of Riyadh, a judge called the police to expel a female intern from the building because she did not cover her face. This is inhumane and unacceptable. There is no law in Saudi Arabia that commands women to cover their faces. This is a matter relating to personal freedom. In other words, no judge or anyone in a high position should be allowed to make their own laws and force citizens to follow them.

There are religious institutions in the Kingdom that specialize in forming laws on such issues. This is not the remit of a judge. If the court has its own rules and forces women to cover their faces, then why don’t they post a notice on the court’s gate informing women before they enter?

They are already doing that with men by asking them to come to the court in traditional Saudi dress. No judge or any other employee has the power to forbid a citizen from entering a court due to a superficial reason. Courts are there to dispense justice to people.

All citizens, regardless of what they are wearing, should be served. This judge threw this woman out of the court because she did not meet the standards of his understanding of religion. What type of law is this?

The judge should apply his beliefs to himself and his family, not to strangers. It is unbelievable to witness a judge practicing his own beliefs in a governmental institution that belongs to the Kingdom and not to himself. No one should control another person’s personal choices. Such behavior is a part of the past and will remain there no matter who tries to revive it.


December 28, 2017
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