Sanaa: Yemeni women took out a march on Saturday against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s comments that anti-government protesters in the capital were in violation of Islamic law, because women were allowed to mix with men, which is considered “haram” or sin.
On Friday, Saleh had urged the anti-government protesters at Sana University “to prevent the mixing on University Avenue, which is not approved by Islam.” These statements, however, surged the anger of women against the government.
“The reason why people are upset is that you cannot talk about women’s honour here. That is really a big shame. It’s a black shame. It shames the tribe, the husband, the brother, the whole family,” The New York Times quoted a Yemeni woman raised in the United States, who is now a youth organizer, as saying.
“You tell us mixing is haram,” she added, using the Arabic word for sin. “Killing is haram.”
Meanwhile, other women protestors also expressed similar kind of condemnation, saying: “Oh Ali, you’re a lowlife, the honour of women is not cheap,” and, “Oh Bilqis, oh Bilqis, tell your father we don’t want crazy talk,” in reference to both one of Saleh’s daughters and an ancient queen who ruled Yemen thousands of years ago.
Meanwhile, the state-run Saba news agency claimed that supporters of Saleh also organised a march in the capital, but it was not confirmed independently.