Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saudis crackdown on adorned abayas

Saudi Arabia’s religious police have ordered shopkeepers in downtown Riyadh to get rid of all adorned abayas, the black robes worn by women in the kingdom, as shopping picks up ahead of the Eid religious holidays next week.

Salesmen in Al-Maagaliah market, just across the block from the headquarters of the religious police, or mutawa’a, this week were turning away frustrated shoppers who wanted abayas with a hint of colour or decoration, telling them that shopowners could face fines or prison.

In recent years, the signature flowing robe that covers Saudi women from head to toe started to show some form with trimmed sleeves, beads or colour, a sign of relaxation of the strict social norms in the conservative kingdom.
“They [the mutawa’a] want women to be faceless, nameless and shrouded in blackness,’’ said Samar Falan, a women’s rights activist and writer based in the city of Jeddah.
“They should focus on fighting vices, not women,’’ says Buthaina Nassr, another activist. “I do not understand why they force us to wear black in such a hot country while men can wear white.”
Here's an earlier post of mine on trends in abaya fashion.

Here's one of many blogs devoted to the abaya. Lots of pics.


Blogger heraish said...

They are just obsessed with controling women as they cannot have a say in other types of public affairs.

If you are oppressed you either fight back or look for a group weaker then you to oppress unforunatly.

This has little to do with islamic rules.

7:55 PM  

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