Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Outrage in Saudi Arabia at appearance of female newsreader without headscarf on state television

    Tuesday, August 05, 2014   No comments

The unprecedented appearance of a female newsreader on Saudi state television without a headscarf has caused a scandal in the deeply conservative Islamic state.

The unnamed anchor, who has previously worn a hijab in clips circulated online, was reading a bulletin from London for the Al Ekhbariya channel.

Strict Islamic dress codes in Saudi Arabia require women to dress “modestly” – usually with headscarves, veils and full-length abayas.

While women do sometimes appear without head coverings in programmes broadcast by state-controlled channels, newsreaders are never seen without the hijab.

Saleh Al Mughailif, a spokesman for Saudi radio and television, told Al Tawasul news the correspondent was reading the news from the broadcaster's British studio.

"She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems," he added.

He promised that all measures would be taken to ensure there is no repeat of the incident after many viewers expressed outrage.

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