Group urging Arab women not to wear veil

March 10, 2008 at 2:20 PM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 10 (UPI) -- Rival Arab Web sites and blogs are battling on the Internet over whether women in the Islamic world should continue wearing the veil.

Organizers of "Take Off the Veil" launched a March campaign calling the practice by strict Islamist groups a form of "intellectual terrorism," al-Arabiya reported Monday.

"Take Off the Veil" encompasses some 30 Tunisian, Arab and Coptic Web sites.

One of the campaign's leaders, Dr. Elham Manea, calls the veil "religious coercion" and says remaining silent allows extremist ideas to infiltrate Arab society.

"Women's veil is a political issue and an ideology Islamists use to garner support and reach power," Manea tells al-Arabiya.

Their campaign is intended to counter an initiative launched by the Digital Resistance Movement or Hamasna that highlights well-known women who don the veil.

Hamasna's Web site recently posted a picture of the wife of the Turkish president and praised her as being the first veiled woman to enter the presidential palace in Turkey since the secular republic was founded in 1923.

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Topics: Al Arabiya
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