Saudi Women With Beautiful Eyes Should Cover Them up, Says New Sharia Proposal
Reported by Amrutha Gayathri for International Business Times
In yet another sexist and repressive act, a conservative Islamic committee in Saudi Arabia has proposed a law to stop women from revealing their “tempting” eyes to the public.
As of now, Saudi Arabian women are required to cover themselves up from head to toe, with a long black cloak called the “abaya”, except for their eyes and in most cases the eyebrows. The laws on women covering their bodies are strictly imposed and anyone who doesn’t abide by the codes of conduct faces fines and public floggings.
However, Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) found that even women’s eyes could sometimes be too attractive for men and drafted a new proposal.
According to the Daily Mail, a report on the Bikya Masr news site suggested the proposal was made after a member of the committee was attracted by a woman’s eyes as he walked along a street, provoking a fight. The fight culminated in the woman’s husband getting stabbed twice in the hand.
A spokesperson for CPVPV, Sheikh Motlab al Nabet, said a proposal aimed at making it illegal for women to be in public without covering themselves up completely, if they happened to have attractive eyes, had been tabled.
The committee has always been under fire from human rights activists for repressive measures had carried out in the name of Islamic principles. It was widely criticized for its inhuman enforcement of the Sharia law in March 2002, when a public school in Mecca was on fire.
The religious police prevented female students from escaping by locking the doors and barring firemen and emergency services personnel from entering the building because the students had not covered their heads properly. The committee said it didn’t want to invoke the “sexual feelings” of emergency personnel by allowing them see the girls without their head-cover. The CPVPV was held responsible by human rights organizations for a death toll of 14. Though the organization denied the charges, the shocking accounts of witnesses were published by local media.
Incidents of brutal physical torture of women, by religious committees, for not abiding by Islamic laws have regularly appeared in Saudi media. Women are not allowed to drive or travel without male authorization or accompaniment in the country.