A Saudi Arabian news channel and their female anchor have come under fire from citizens who objected to the newsreader's appearance without a veil.
Hold on to your hijabs; there is outrage yet again in Saudi Arabia. For the first time ever in the country's history, a woman has appeared on Saudi state television reading the news without a headscarf, causing a scandal of epic proportions in the deeply conservative Islamic state.
The unnamed anchor found herself the eye of a massive storm when she read a bulletin from a London studio for the Al Ekhbariya channel. At this point of time, it should be no secret that Saudi Arabia has a very strict Islamic dress code, requiring women to dress “modestly,” and although women have appeared without head coverings on TV, they have never done so while reading the news.
Amid the online outrage, Saleh Al Mughailif, a spokesman for Saudi radio and television condemned the incident saying "She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems," assuring concerned citizens that incident will not be repeated.
It is simply sad that the same station that broke grounds for women in Saudi by having its maiden broadcast in 2004 presented by the country's first female news presenter has decided not to take the opportunity to defend their anchor's decision. This could have been the perfect time to push for more freedoms and equality for women. But, alas this is Saudi Arabia; the land where women would be lucky to be considered second rate citizens. Hopefully Saudi Arabian outrage will one day be focused on something that actually concerns Islam.