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Should Michelle Obama (and others) have worn a head scarf?

(151 Posts)
CrazyTights Wed 28-Jan-15 16:57:52

Should she (and other females from the west) have worn a head scarf in Saudi or was going without one acceptable?

mrsruffallo Wed 28-Jan-15 17:00:01

She shouldn't have worn one if she didn't want to.

Caronaim Wed 28-Jan-15 17:03:15

No she shouldn't

Chocolateteacake Wed 28-Jan-15 17:03:18

BBC website says that there wasn't a fuss at all about the lack of scarf. Merkel didn't wear one either.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 28-Jan-15 17:03:33

I think you should follow local custom in a place of worship - so if you're in a mosque, you should cover your head. Out on the street - she should wear what she damn well likes . She should have driven herself there and sent a few tweets at the same time too!

CrazyTights Wed 28-Jan-15 17:15:02

Lonny smile Completely agree about her driving.

rinabean Wed 28-Jan-15 17:18:17

As far as I have heard what's actually shocking is the lack of abaya and the visible trousers. Most western women don't wear a scarf and that's not actually a big deal

I don't think it's disrespectful. She's wearing modest and smart clothes, just like everyone else there. If they don't like her hair or her trousers that's their problem.

Heels99 Wed 28-Jan-15 17:20:56

No, she shouldn't pander to religious fundamentalists of any religion

Behooven Wed 28-Jan-15 17:22:48

She's not of that religion, so no, obviously.

Chocolateteacake Wed 28-Jan-15 19:40:38

Its not exactly pandering to religious fundamentalism, as culturally/traditionally a scarf is worn in such parts of the world by women.

I'm usually a 'when in Rome' person (cuts both ways - so why the hell wear a scarf/cover face in the UK?) but in this instance I think she chose the right approach. She/her team must've agonised over this choice though. Wear or not wear, risk offence or be herself?

SilverHawk Wed 28-Jan-15 20:03:02

If you watch the clip, there is another Western woman (with blond hair) not wearing a head covering.
It is a last minute State visit not a religious occasion.
She was right not to wear any head covering.

Marmiteandjamislush Wed 28-Jan-15 20:42:06

I think she should have tbh. 'When in Rome' and all that. I think it is very disrespectful and bordering on the colonial to disregard local custom. I am not for a second saying that women in SA should be forced to wear a headscarf if they do not wish to, but there has been no mass move to change that yet, so we, as people outside of the country should not automatically assume that all women find it oppressive, or that if they do, they cannot speak for themselves. I also find it very hard to get on board with condemnation of sentencing there as well. I am not Muslim, but I think that adults know the law and if they choose to break it, they should suffer the consequences, whatever those maybe. Lastly, I think that as a closed country, SA does not comment on the actions of other countries, and as such other countries should not seek to dictate to them. Support people who ask for it, but don't preach when not invited.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Wed 28-Jan-15 20:45:08

No she shouldn't.

SoMuchForSubtlety Wed 28-Jan-15 20:47:41

I don't think she should have, but then I'm disinclined to be respectful of the customs of a country that legally designates women as second class citizens.

tribpot Wed 28-Jan-15 20:50:51

Lest we forget.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 28-Jan-15 20:53:47

Michael (according to the dearly departed Joan Rivers) grin
shouldn't have had to wear a scarf, its not his religion.

purits Wed 28-Jan-15 20:54:19

I think she should have tbh. 'When in Rome' and all that. I think it is very disrespectful and bordering on the colonial to disregard local custom.

Here is a picture of Abdullah visiting America in 2005, wearing clothes that accord with local custom. Oh, wait a minite ...

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 28-Jan-15 20:56:04

No - and I love her a bit more for it

lem73 Wed 28-Jan-15 21:01:05

Good for her. I never understand this 'when in Rome' thing. We don't expect Saudi women to abandon their burkas when they come to the UK. I'm not saying she should have been flashing our cleavage but if she covered her hair it would be hypocritical of her because that is not something she believes in. Btw I have lived in muslim countries and I dressed more conservatively when there but this is because when you're living and working with people you feel more comfortable if you fit in with how they dress.

Heels99 Wed 28-Jan-15 21:07:30

Chocolate tea cakeI believe it is religious fundamentalism to require women to cover their heads. Others may not think so.

Marmiteandjamislush Wed 28-Jan-15 21:07:44

She has form for breaking protocol though, remember when she 'hugged' the Queen, I'm now Royalist, but that was really, really rude and disrespectful and patronizing to take such a personal liberty with a woman over 80, who shares equal professional rank with her husband, not her.

Marmiteandjamislush Wed 28-Jan-15 21:08:51

I meant 'no royalist' btw.

SisterStickEm Wed 28-Jan-15 21:10:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Wed 28-Jan-15 21:14:53

If she goes to Saudi Arabia she should respect the laws and customs of the country she is visiting and cover her head.

If she doesn't want to do that she should stay away.

I abhor the idea that American values should prevail whichever country the American visits. So arrogant. So ignorant. So dangerous.

Marmiteandjamislush Wed 28-Jan-15 21:18:39

Exactly, Bonsoir

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