Shoura passes dress code law for women TV anchors

Updated 19 February 2015
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Shoura passes dress code law for women TV anchors

The Shoura Council has passed a new law that would make it mandatory for women TV anchors working in the Kingdom to wear modest dress and not show off their beauty.
Ahmed Al-Zailaee, chairman of the media committee at the consultative body, said once the law is passed by the Cabinet it would apply to all women media workers in the Kingdom, including those of MBC and Rotana.
Latifa Al-Shualan, a Shoura member, expressed surprise at the council’s interest in the dress code of women TV anchors, and said there are other more important issues to tackle.
“There are many other pressing issues such as the danger posed by the media activities of the so-called Islamic State terrorist group,” she said.
Al-Shualan called for serious efforts to confront the smear campaigns against the Kingdom by some in the powerful international media. “Our media should highlight the Kingdom’s important role as a moderate political force in the region,” she added.
Before the Shoura decision, the Kingdom’s national television stations asked its women anchors to wear the traditional coverall abaya.
Presenter Budoor Ahmad was the first presenter to appear wearing the new-look black abaya adorned with a blue stripe on Al-Ekhbariya news station.
Noora Al-Adwan, a member of the Shoura, had called for a dress code for all Saudi women working at private television stations funded by Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Abu Obat, another Shoura member, called for a national dress code for all women representing the country, and not just for television presenters.
“We need to have a clear Islamic dress for all women as their national dress,” he said. “The dress code must not be confined to women presenters and news readers on television,” he added.
Abu Obat’s call comes after Manal Radhwan, a senior member of the Saudi diplomatic mission to the United Nations, caused controversy when she did not wear a scarf or abaya while delivering a speech at the UN Security Council on Jan. 30. The pictures went viral on the Internet.
Hailed as the first Saudi woman to address the Security Council, Radhwan, however, was harshly criticized for her “non-conventional” looks.
According to a local Internet-based publication, higher authorities have insisted that those representing Saudi Arabia must reflect the values and social traditions of the Saudi people.
Some bloggers called for punitive measures against the diplomat.
“I wonder who allowed this woman to speak on behalf of Saudi Arabia at an international gathering,” one blogger asked. “She has caused us deep embarrassment. Everyone knows that we are a conservative society and I call for action against those who are implicated in this embarrassment, including those who allowed her to speak on behalf of Saudi Arabia.”


Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemned

Updated 21 May 2019
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Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemned

  • Iran-backed militias have no qualms about attacking the holiest place in Islam, says analyst
  • This is not the first time that Houthi militias have targeted Makkah, having fired on the city in July 2017

JEDDAH: The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed two missiles launched from Yemen by Iran-aligned Houthi militias on Monday. 

The missiles were reported to have been heading toward Makkah and Jeddah. 

A spokesman for the Arab Coalition said that the missiles were destroyed over Taif in the early morning, and that fragments from the first projectile had landed in Wadi Jalil, a valley that extends toward Makkah.

Residents in Jeddah told Arab News that they heard a loud blast early on Monday morning.

This is not the first time that Houthi militias have targeted Makkah, having fired on the city in July 2017.

Videos circulating on social media reportedly show the second missile being intercepted and destroyed in the skies over King Abdulaziz International Airport.

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry denounced the Houthi attack and commended the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces for their vigilance. 

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Riyadh-based Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar, said: “This isn’t the first time that the Houthis and their masters in Tehran have fired missiles close to the holy city of Makkah.” 

They have no qualms about attacking the holiest place in Islam, he added. 

“They care nothing for the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan. What they did today, and what they did in the past, clearly reveal their sinister designs to strike at the heart of the Muslim world,” Al-Shehri said.

“Now is the time for all Muslim nations in the world to come to the defense of the holy land. Our sacred places are under attack from Iran, the Houthis and their militias,” he added.

“Mere condemnation won’t do. Iran and the Houthis have crossed a red line, and this calls for deterrent action against Tehran,” he said.

Yemen’s internationally recognized government also condemned the Houthis’ attempt to target Makkah, calling it “a full-fledged terrorist attack.”

Monday’s aggression came as Saudi Arabia warned that recent drone attacks against its oil-pumping stations by the Houthis will jeopardize UN peace efforts in Yemen and lead to further escalation in the region.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi ambassador to the UN, said “seven explosive drones” directed by the Houthis attacked pumping stations on May 14 in the cities of Dawadmi and Afif “on the east-west oil pipeline that transfers Saudi oil to Yanbu port and to the rest of the world.”

He urged UN Security Council members, in a letter circulated on Monday, “to disarm this terrorist militia in order to prevent the escalation of these attacks which increase regional tensions and raise the risks of a broader regional confrontation.”

Al-Shehri said Monday’s attack is a reminder to Muslim nations about the clear and present danger from Iran.  “Tehran timed the attack just as King Salman has called for a meeting in Makkah to discuss the threat from Iran to the Muslim world,” Al-Shehri said.

Saudi security forces have intercepted and destroyed 227 ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis at the Kingdom since 2015.