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Old 28.01.2015, 20:52
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Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...f-saudi-arabia

Michelle goes unveiled during a visit to the country after the death of King Abdullah.

A diplomatic fauxpas?
A statement of women's rights?
Was it appropriate?

It has been stated that women visitors are not required to go veiled in Saudi Arabia but wearing one shows respect towards the culture and the nation. Personally, I admire her courage to go "unveiled". The veil should be a choice and not a law.

Thoughts?
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Old 28.01.2015, 20:55
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

I hope it was on purpose.

More power to her
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:01
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Good for her! I am happy that she didn't bow to any pressure, unlike Hilary or Calmy Rey. What a load of bs to use a veil if one isn't following whatever doctrine that dictates wearing one.
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Old 28.01.2015, 21:07
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Nothing new......so many women did it before her.
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:05
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

It is also probably inaccurate to say that women are forbidden from wearing trousers. More accurately. They wear a long cloak over their other clothing. I quite like her outfit, as a modest but super/modern expression.
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:05
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Saudi.. CULTURE??? Didn´t know you could make that kind of connection in one sentence.
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:18
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

I think it's right… she is not muslim. We allow muslims to cover their heads in the western world. If they can follow their culture/religion here, the reverse should be ok for a non-muslim visiting a muslim country.
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:25
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Americans care way more than Saudis about whether Michelle Obama wears a veil
Updated by Max Fisher on January 28, 2015, 1:10 p.m. ET


New Saudi King Salman, at right, with Michelle Obama at a ceremony in Saudi Arabia

As soon as President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia this week for the funeral of Saudi King Abdullah, it was inevitable that there would be a nonsense media controversy of some kind over the visit, and it didn't take long. There is a growing tempest of coverage over Michelle Obama's decision to not wear a veil to the funeral.

Here's the story, as you will encounter it throughout the American media: Saudi Arabia is an ultra-conservative country where Saudi women have second-class status, which includes mandatory veiling while in public (this is true). Michelle, by not wearing a veil at this high-profile diplomatic event, was either taking a principled stand on behalf on women's rights, or she was openly defying the dictatorial Saudi monarchs, or she was insulting a close American ally. Whatever her intention, it caused an uproar throughout Saudi Arabia, and it probably infuriated her hosts.

But those narratives are all false, on specific factual grounds as well as broader conceptual grounds. Declarations that she made a "bold political statement" don't just exist in a bizarrely fact-free environment, they perpetuate American misconceptions about Saudi Arabia and the Arab world that are fundamentally racist, rooted in the idea that Arabs are such inherently backward cavemen that even top government leaders would be somehow shocked to see an unveiled woman.

Since no one else seems interested in presenting them (the truth doesn't matter when it comes to covering Saudi Arabia, for some reason), here are some actual facts about this story and what they mean:

1. American officials in Saudi Arabia typically do not wear headscarves, including at formal government functions. Michelle was following normal protocol.

2. Former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton did not wear headscarves on similar official visits to Saudi Arabia. Neither did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

3. Saudi Arabia is officially ultra-conservative, but it is also heavily integrated into the global economy; unveiled Western women are extremely common in elite government circles like this one. Unveiled female Western leaders are common sights on Saudi media.

4. I feel very confident that no one at the funeral blinked at seeing Michelle Obama unveiled. Saudi royals are comfortable with the West and with Western customs; many spend long parts of the year in Europe and a number were educated in American boarding schools or colleges. They are accustomed to seeing unveiled women, and to working and interacting with powerful women.

5. Despite reports of a Saudi social media backlash against the first lady for going unveiled, tweets complaining about her appearance appear to have been quite limited. As the Wall Street Journal's Ahmed Al Omran put it, "Saudi has millions of Twitter users. When a few hundred of them talk about something, that's not a backlash. It's hardly a flicker."

6. It is true that there is a powerful ultra-conservative clerical establishment in Saudi Arabia, and that ultra-conservatism has a real constituency there. But it is easy to overstate the popularity of this movement and its causes. In any case, people are aware that Western women don't wear veils.

7. The American media's assumption that Saudis are all cavemen whose faces would melt on seeing an unveiled woman is not just overly simplistic, but is rooted in racist assumptions about Arabs and Muslims as inherently and universally backwards. Unsurprisingly, many in the US have seized on this to perpetuate Islamophobic fearmongering about Muslims, such as when US Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "Kudos to @FLOTUS for standing up for women & refusing to wear Sharia-mandated head-scarf in Saudi Arabia."

8. Further, the glee with which the American media praises any supposed defiance of Arab or Muslim social norms should be unnerving. In this story, as with past stories such as the American praise of Emirati fighter pilot Maryam al-Mansouri, even stories ostensibly about empowering Arab women end up emphasizing the degree to which that empowerment matters because it humiliates Arab men, in this case Saudi monarchs.

9. Consider how this story would have gone if Michelle Obama had worn a veil. As Nidal Diaz, an Ottawa-based analyst, pointed out on the Facebook wall of a Middle East-based journalist who had posted about the controversy, the first lady "was in fact standing in front of the world, and any analysis should take this into consideration." Diaz continued:

In this light, the First Lady's choice to very visibly not make any attempt to cover her hair was, for all thing considered, the safest and least bravest option. The unfortunate truth is that this had little to do with her making a stand for a woman's right to not wear a veil and/or the Saudi government's institutionalized sexism but more to do with attempting to avoid further perpetuating the American Right's obsession for stigmatizing Obama and family as Muslims, and, approaching an election year, to prevent the Democrat administration from appearing to submit to the way of life of the vilified Saudis/Wahhabis. Beyond that, I highly doubt that whatever vitriol she got on Saudi social media and blogosphere would have even compared to the backlash she would have gotten had she been pictured wearing a veil at Abdullah's funeral.

In other words, an American first lady went to a Muslim country and followed completely normal protocol by going unveiled. There was very little reaction within that country, and no reaction among her hosts. The American media completely freaked out, got a number of basic facts wildly wrong, and did so all in a way that insulted that country and its citizens by perpetuating racist stereotypes. Meanwhile, the first lady's decision was probably a simple effort to follow protocol, and if anything else influenced her it was likely fear of American extremists who hate Muslims and see any sign of disrespect to Muslim cultural norms as laudable.

The Saudi government is indeed a despotic dictatorship and horrific human rights abuser — it has beheaded three people in the week since the king died — particularly when it comes to women. It is unfortunate and ironic that, in an attempt to highlight this problem, much of the American media has instead only perpetuated the different but very real American problem of Islamophobic and anti-Arab stereotyping.

Source
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:43
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

And no mention of the lady behind her in the picture ALSO not wearing one so whats the big deal!
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Old 28.01.2015, 22:48
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

She's setting up the Kingdom's financial support for the Bush Presidential campaign rather nicely.

Jeb Bush must be looking forward to reacquainting his family with the Saudi Royal Family.
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Old 28.01.2015, 23:44
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

She's still UGLY!

Tom
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Old 28.01.2015, 23:47
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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And no mention of the lady behind her in the picture ALSO not wearing one so whats the big deal!
See the anger in the face of this Saudi Royal.... Grrrrr, cover up woman!!!

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Old 28.01.2015, 23:51
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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Americans care way more than Saudis about whether Michelle Obama wears a veil
Updated by Max Fisher on January 28, 2015, 1:10 p.m. ET


New Saudi King Salman, at right, with Michelle Obama at a ceremony in Saudi Arabia

As soon as President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia this week for the funeral of Saudi King Abdullah, it was inevitable that there would be a nonsense media controversy of some kind over the visit, and it didn't take long. There is a growing tempest of coverage over Michelle Obama's decision to not wear a veil to the funeral.

Here's the story, as you will encounter it throughout the American media: Saudi Arabia is an ultra-conservative country where Saudi women have second-class status, which includes mandatory veiling while in public (this is true). Michelle, by not wearing a veil at this high-profile diplomatic event, was either taking a principled stand on behalf on women's rights, or she was openly defying the dictatorial Saudi monarchs, or she was insulting a close American ally. Whatever her intention, it caused an uproar throughout Saudi Arabia, and it probably infuriated her hosts.

But those narratives are all false, on specific factual grounds as well as broader conceptual grounds. Declarations that she made a "bold political statement" don't just exist in a bizarrely fact-free environment, they perpetuate American misconceptions about Saudi Arabia and the Arab world that are fundamentally racist, rooted in the idea that Arabs are such inherently backward cavemen that even top government leaders would be somehow shocked to see an unveiled woman.

Since no one else seems interested in presenting them (the truth doesn't matter when it comes to covering Saudi Arabia, for some reason), here are some actual facts about this story and what they mean:

1. American officials in Saudi Arabia typically do not wear headscarves, including at formal government functions. Michelle was following normal protocol.

2. Former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton did not wear headscarves on similar official visits to Saudi Arabia. Neither did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

3. Saudi Arabia is officially ultra-conservative, but it is also heavily integrated into the global economy; unveiled Western women are extremely common in elite government circles like this one. Unveiled female Western leaders are common sights on Saudi media.

4. I feel very confident that no one at the funeral blinked at seeing Michelle Obama unveiled. Saudi royals are comfortable with the West and with Western customs; many spend long parts of the year in Europe and a number were educated in American boarding schools or colleges. They are accustomed to seeing unveiled women, and to working and interacting with powerful women.

5. Despite reports of a Saudi social media backlash against the first lady for going unveiled, tweets complaining about her appearance appear to have been quite limited. As the Wall Street Journal's Ahmed Al Omran put it, "Saudi has millions of Twitter users. When a few hundred of them talk about something, that's not a backlash. It's hardly a flicker."

6. It is true that there is a powerful ultra-conservative clerical establishment in Saudi Arabia, and that ultra-conservatism has a real constituency there. But it is easy to overstate the popularity of this movement and its causes. In any case, people are aware that Western women don't wear veils.

7. The American media's assumption that Saudis are all cavemen whose faces would melt on seeing an unveiled woman is not just overly simplistic, but is rooted in racist assumptions about Arabs and Muslims as inherently and universally backwards. Unsurprisingly, many in the US have seized on this to perpetuate Islamophobic fearmongering about Muslims, such as when US Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "Kudos to @FLOTUS for standing up for women & refusing to wear Sharia-mandated head-scarf in Saudi Arabia."

8. Further, the glee with which the American media praises any supposed defiance of Arab or Muslim social norms should be unnerving. In this story, as with past stories such as the American praise of Emirati fighter pilot Maryam al-Mansouri, even stories ostensibly about empowering Arab women end up emphasizing the degree to which that empowerment matters because it humiliates Arab men, in this case Saudi monarchs.

9. Consider how this story would have gone if Michelle Obama had worn a veil. As Nidal Diaz, an Ottawa-based analyst, pointed out on the Facebook wall of a Middle East-based journalist who had posted about the controversy, the first lady "was in fact standing in front of the world, and any analysis should take this into consideration." Diaz continued:

In this light, the First Lady's choice to very visibly not make any attempt to cover her hair was, for all thing considered, the safest and least bravest option. The unfortunate truth is that this had little to do with her making a stand for a woman's right to not wear a veil and/or the Saudi government's institutionalized sexism but more to do with attempting to avoid further perpetuating the American Right's obsession for stigmatizing Obama and family as Muslims, and, approaching an election year, to prevent the Democrat administration from appearing to submit to the way of life of the vilified Saudis/Wahhabis. Beyond that, I highly doubt that whatever vitriol she got on Saudi social media and blogosphere would have even compared to the backlash she would have gotten had she been pictured wearing a veil at Abdullah's funeral.

In other words, an American first lady went to a Muslim country and followed completely normal protocol by going unveiled. There was very little reaction within that country, and no reaction among her hosts. The American media completely freaked out, got a number of basic facts wildly wrong, and did so all in a way that insulted that country and its citizens by perpetuating racist stereotypes. Meanwhile, the first lady's decision was probably a simple effort to follow protocol, and if anything else influenced her it was likely fear of American extremists who hate Muslims and see any sign of disrespect to Muslim cultural norms as laudable.

The Saudi government is indeed a despotic dictatorship and horrific human rights abuser — it has beheaded three people in the week since the king died — particularly when it comes to women. It is unfortunate and ironic that, in an attempt to highlight this problem, much of the American media has instead only perpetuated the different but very real American problem of Islamophobic and anti-Arab stereotyping.

Source
while it is true that heads of state in Saudi Arabia are more than happy to look the other way while western women whose countries supply those Saudi heads of state with billions of dollars and military muscle refuse to wear a veil, whomever wrote that article has clearly never been with an unveiled western woman when trying to enter through any of the thousands of checkpoints that exist in the country outside of industrial or urban zones. the new king might have been happy to look the other way, but the typical caveman 17 year old Saudi guard carrying an automatic weapon inside a sniper hut at one of those checkpoints is more often than not NOT happy to look the other way. that is not "stereotyping" or "islamophobia", by the way, it is the voice of experience from someone who has, on multiple occasions, spent hours with a gun pointed at him because someone in his business party was foolish enough to be a woman without her face covered.
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Old 28.01.2015, 23:54
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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while it is true that heads of state in Saudi Arabia are more than happy to look the other way while western women whose countries supply those Saudi heads of state with billions of dollars and military muscle refuse to wear a veil, whomever wrote that article has clearly never been with an unveiled western woman when trying to enter through any of the thousands of checkpoints that exist in the country outside of industrial or urban zones. the new king might have been happy to look the other way, but the typical caveman 17 year old Saudi guard carrying an automatic weapon inside a sniper hut at one of those checkpoints is more often than not NOT happy to look the other way. that is not "stereotyping" or "islamophobia", by the way, it is the voice of experience from someone who has, on multiple occasions, spent hours with a gun pointed at him because someone in his business party was foolish enough to be a woman without her face covered.
Never been there myself, but have friends/neighbors who have, and have heard from them such stories.

Tom
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Old 29.01.2015, 01:20
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

........ Stop Press ........

"US President unveils latest First Lady to an expectant Saudi populace"
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Old 29.01.2015, 04:55
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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I think it's right… she is not muslim. We allow muslims to cover their heads in the western world. If they can follow their culture/religion here, the reverse should be ok for a non-muslim visiting a muslim country.
a) it is a funeral not some fun visit. If I go to a funeral I am invited to will I personally go out of my way to do whatever is customary for the family who is grieving, not myself. If I do not like it... I'd simply not go. It's not like the Saudis really cared if Michelle was there or not.

b) "their culture"? According to the bible do women have to cover their head when praying... and that's what you typically do at a funeral. Maybe not followed these days anymore, but that's something very new in the 2000 years of Christianity as my grandmother never went to church without a hat as the bible told her so... so it certainly was our culture till a few years ago.

Corinthians 11:4-7
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Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.…
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Old 29.01.2015, 08:12
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Treverus makes a very good point: Mrs O' Reilly should have worn a hat.

The fact that she didn't bother to cover her head at all demonstrates exactly what kind of people the O' Reillys are.

It's nothing to do with "making a stand", and everything to do with "not dressing properly for the occasion".
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Old 29.01.2015, 08:33
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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a) it is a funeral not some fun visit. If I go to a funeral I am invited to will I personally go out of my way to do whatever is customary for the family who is grieving, not myself. If I do not like it... I'd simply not go. It's not like the Saudis really cared if Michelle was there or not.

b) "their culture"? According to the bible do women have to cover their head when praying... and that's what you typically do at a funeral. Maybe not followed these days anymore, but that's something very new in the 2000 years of Christianity as my grandmother never went to church without a hat as the bible told her so... so it certainly was our culture till a few years ago.

Corinthians 11:4-7
True, tis mentioned in the bible, but who in their right mind takes the bible seriously, except for old ladies and some funny whack-jobs. "Our" culture has moved on and if the trend holds true religion will be consigned to the scrap-heap, where it belongs, in a few generations.
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Old 29.01.2015, 08:39
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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True, tis mentioned in the bible, but who in their right mind takes the bible seriously, except for old ladies and some funny whack-jobs.
One might imagine that Mrs O' Reilly would take the Bible seriously, her being a practising Christian and that...
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Old 29.01.2015, 08:44
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Re: Michelle Obama unveiled in Saudi Arabia

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One might imagine that Mrs O' Reilly would take the Bible seriously, her being a practising Christian and that...
I'd say we need to shave her head.
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