Tags: germany | defense minister | burqa | social media | hijab

German Defense Minister Shuns Hijab, Causes Social Media Stir

Image: German Defense Minister Shuns Hijab, Causes Social Media Stir

Ursula von der Leyen (Photo by Volker Harmann via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 06:26 PM

Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen refused to wear a hijab during her trip to Saudi Arabia last Thursday, publicly stating that "the right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike."

Instead, Leyen opted to wear a tailored navy suit while meeting with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud. Her stance comes days after Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a burqa ban in Germany.

The hijab is a veil or a headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modest and privacy. In Saudi Arabia, women must legally wear an abaya, or black long cloaks. If they don't, they can be arrested.

Foreigners aren't mandated to wear it, but when they don't, it gets noticed and criticized. On Twitter, one user asked why Leyen wasn't arrested and another said what she did was an insult to Saudi Arabia. But she's not the first to go without the hijab. Michelle Obama last January didn't wear one during her visit and neither did Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice or Merkel in the past.

"It annoys me, when women are pushed into wearing the abaya," Leyen said.

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Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen refused to wear a hijab during her trip to Saudi Arabia last Thursday, publicly stating that "the right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike."
germany, defense minister, burqa, social media, hijab
195
2016-26-14
Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 06:26 PM
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