Kuwaiti Islamist MP’s Want Minister To Wear Hijab


Several lawmakers said they will take up the issue on Monday when the minister is due to take the oath in parliament to become an ex-officio member in the house.

‘We will urge the minister to comply with Islamic regulations, the customs of society and a law adopted by parliament,’ Islamist MP Abdullah Okash, spokesman for a grouping of six Islamist MPs, told reporters on Sunday.

A number of other Islamist lawmakers also made similar calls.

When MPs passed a law granting women full political rights in May 2005, they attached a precondition requiring women to abide by Islamic Sharia regulations, which have never been detailed.

Sebih, a retired top bureaucrat, became the second woman minister in the oil-rich emirate when she was included in the cabinet line-up announced on March 25.

There was no controversy on Maasuma Al Mubarak, who made history by becoming the first woman minister in Kuwait about two years ago, because she wears a hijab.

Parliament speaker Jassem Al Khorafi however said last that parliament rules do not require Sebih to put on a headcover while she attends sessions.

Islamist and tribal MPs form a majority in Kuwait’s 50-seat parliament.

Kuwait is a conservative religious state but unlike neighbouring Saudi Arabia, there are no restrictions on women’s dress code and they are free to wear the hijab or not.

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