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Kuwaiti Education MInister warned: "Wear the Hijab or else..."

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  • Tarek Fatah
    April 01, 2007 Hijab-less Subeeh can be cause of next crisis By B Izzak The Kuwait Times http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MTM0MDk4MDgwMg
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2007
      April 01, 2007

      Hijab-less Subeeh can
      be cause of next crisis

      By B Izzak
      The Kuwait Times
       
      KUWAIT: Islamist MPs are targeting new Education Minister Nouriya Al-Subeeh because she does not wear a headscarf, or hijab, as they insist that this violates sharia regulations cited in the elections law.
       
      When MPs passed the women political rights in May 2005, they voted on a recommendation requiring women to comply with "sharia regulations" which have never been explained or detailed. A number of Islamist MPs insist that wearing the hijab is one of the regulations that female members of the Assembly must comply with.
       
      Sabih is the second Kuwaiti woman to be appointed minister. With the first, Health Minister Maasouma Al-Mubarak, the issue of hijab was not raised because she already wears a hijab. Islamist-tribal MP Dhaifallah Buramia called on Subeeh in a statement yesterday to wear the hijab, insisting it is an essential part of sharia regulations.
       
      The first test of the hijab issue will arise when Subeeh, along with all Cabinet ministers, will take the oath in the National Assembly on Monday to become members in the house. Buramia said he will raise the issue during a meeting of the 17-MP Islamic Bloc today and will urge his colleagues to adopt the issue and raise it during the session.
       
      Last week, Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae also advised Subeeh to wear the hijab in compliance with sharia rules. The fundamentalist Ummah Principles Alliance, a group of Salafists, called on Sabih last week to abide by Islamic teachings by wearing the hijab, saying this is an essential requirement by Islam.
       
      Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi last Wednesday denied that the wearing of hijab was required by the internal charter of the Assembly or other laws. He said that if wearing hijab was required in the Assembly, it must become mandatory everywhere else in the country, which is not the case.
       
      The minister herself got into the controversy and said that she was a religious woman but not a hardliner and she thought that wearing the hijab was not necessary. The issue could snowball into another crisis between the new government and the conservative bloc in the house which consists some two-thirds of the 50-member Assembly.


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      "Morality is doing what is right, regardless what we are told. 
      Religious dogma is doing what we are told, no matter what is right."
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