Michelle Obama causes outrage in Saudi Arabia by not wearing headscarf


In a show of solidarity with Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama cut short his visit to India and led a parade of American dignitaries in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay respects after King Abdullah’s death.

But it was the presence – and attire – of his wife Michelle which drew the most attention in the ultraconservative desert kingdom.

The First Lady dressed conservatively in black trousers and a long jacket, wearing loose clothing that fully covered her arms, but did not cover her head.

It is forbidden for Saudi women to appear in public without their heads covered, and most Saudi women wear niqabs.

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2 thoughts on “Michelle Obama causes outrage in Saudi Arabia by not wearing headscarf”

  1. The problem is the nebulous area of nudity taboos.
    For a woman to dress western style in this conservative country of Muslims during a funeral is a social problem.
    The facial covering of women in this area is a nudity taboo on a social level.
    It would be like coming from Tahiti where partial nudity is common and dressing that way here. So her breasts are totally exposed if she were dressed like in Tahiti? That would be offensive to a lot of people here. Much less a puritan culture of women in Saudi Arabia.
    Balance this with the enormous influence of the American Leadership and you have an insult to the people of Saudi Arabia at this funeral.

    They will not forget nor forgive this obvious lack of sensitivity to their nudity taboos. Mrs. Obama has insulted them.
    But what about the protocol department at the White House? Did no one explain the taboos to her and image she is projecting here?

    What Mrs. Obama wears or not wears in this country is not at issue. The way she dressed would not be a problem here.
    But in that part of the world her attire gives her the appearance of being low class. I am sure nothing could be further from the truth. She is a very beautiful woman. But I think the diplomatic corp. needs a little critical review if they have allowed this social blunder to occur at this time.

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