Saudi cleric: Women should wear full veil

Oct. 4, 2008 at 3:13 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Women in Muslim societies should be required to wear a full veil that only reveals one eye to the outside world, a cleric in Saudi Arabia says.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan said Muslim women should begin wearing full veils, known as niqabs, to prevent them from attempting to look more seductive, the BBC reported Saturday.

The cleric said by allowing women to show both eyes to the public, they would be more prone to wear make-up that would give them a seductive appearance.

The ultra-conservative sheik, who has numerous followers in Saudi Arabia, made the suggestion during an appearance on satellite television, the BBC said.

The British broadcaster said Muslim societies worldwide are divided over how much of a woman's face and head must be covered in general society.

The niqabs are particularly popular in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, while women in other portions of the Middle East tend to only cover their hair with a headscarf.

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