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Kuwait court rules that women MPs can shun hijab

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 22:35

Kuwait City: Kuwait`s constitutional court on Wednesday rejected a petition brought by four voters to declare invalid the election of two women MPs because they refuse to wear the hijab headscarf.
The decision of the court, whose rulings are final, was
announced to reporters by the chairman of the court, Yussef
Ghanam al-Rashid.

Two of the four women who became Kuwait`s first female
MPs in May refuse to wear the hijab, which has also been
spurned by the only woman appointed as a minister in the
Kuwaiti government following the May election.

The voters said the two MPs had flouted a clause in an
election law stipulating that women voters and candidates must
comply with Islamic Sharia regulations, including wearing the

Explaining its decision in a written verdict, the court
said the election law fails to specify the type of regulations
women must adhere to or whether that included wearing the

It also pointed out that the Kuwaiti constitution, which
is higher than any law, guarantees personal freedom and
freedom of faith and does not discriminate between people over
their religion or sex.

The emirate`s fatwa department, which issues religious
edicts, ruled in early October that Muslim women must wear the
hijab in line with Islamic sharia law.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 22:35
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