German minister refuses to wear hijab during Saudi Arabia visit

20161216636174782332885213ad_229181272German minister refuses to wear hijab during Saudi Arabia visit


A German minister refused to wear a hijab while on a visit to Saudia Arabia.

Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, refused to wear the modest Muslim dress during the trip – saying women should have the same right to choose their clothing as men.

Her comments come less than a fortnight after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’d back an all-out burka ban in the country.

Ms Von der Leyen, who instead wore a smart trouser suit, was in the Saudi capital to meet deputy crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.


Her decision not to wear the burka or full-length robes known as the abaya, seemed to be respected by the prince who smiled and shook hands with the German official during their meeting at the Divan Palace in Riyadh.

German newspaper Das Build reported that Ms Von der Leyen said: ‘No woman in my delegation has to wear the abaya.

‘The right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike. It annoys me, when women are pushed into wearing the abaya.’

It’s not the first time female foreign officials have met with Saudi royalty without covering their hair.

Last year First Lady Michelle Obama didn’t wear traditional Muslim dress while on a visit with her US president husband Barack Obama last year.

And in 2013 the Duchess of Cornwall let her hair down when she accompanied Prince Charles on Saudi during a visit to meet Prince Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud.

source metro


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