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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Men's fashions under attack in Saudi Arabia

From Arab News:
An official at the Saudi Arabian Airlines once prevented a young man dressed in Bermuda [shorts] to board his Riyadh-bound plane on the grounds he was not properly dressed.

Some youths dressed in Bermudas were prevented from entering hospitals even during times of emergency.

As a reaction to this fast spreading fashion among young men, calls have been made to draft a new law specifying the least minimum specifications for male clothes which could be socially acceptable. The calls were meant to restore the sense of decorum to the outfits men wear in public places.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Shamrani, a teacher at the Scholarly Institute for Islamic Studies in Jeddah, described the tight trousers and sleeveless open shirts as “contrary to men’s ethics”.

“It seems that every age has its fashion. Very often we are confused between men and women because of the dress they wear,” he said. Al-Shamrani stressed that the thobe (Arab garment) and Shumag (head dress) are for men while the Abaya and the skirt and blouse are for women. “If men give up this dress to dress like women they will be damned,” he said recalling the Prophet’s (pbuh) Hadith warning against men acting like women and vise versa.

He called for punishing such kind of men because they drifted away from the natural instinct and recalled another Hadith which says “kick them out of your homes”.

Asked how to treat men dressed like women in public places, Al-Shamrani said they should be taken away from these places to be taught the right behavior and the proper dressing sense.

The alternative punishment like asking them to memorize the Qur’an or attend congregational prayers for a month will be a suitable punishment for them,” Al-Shamrani added.

So according to Saudis, studying the Quran is a punishment?