Saturday, November 01, 2014

Afghan President's Wife Backs Niqab Ban In France

When I first read the headline, I was pretty amazed that an Afghan woman would dare back France's niqab ban. But it appears Afghan's new First Lady, Rula Ghani aka Bibi Gul, is not your typical Afghan woman. Apparently, she's actually a Lebanese-American woman, has 5 languages under her belt, and attended the Sciences Po University in Paris, France in the late 1960s, and degrees from the U.S. and Lebanon. Was a reporter for Agence France-Presse for a few years while living in Beirut, and actually only returned to Afghanistan in 2002. She also happens to have been born a Christian, and there is no confirmation whether she converted to Islam or not.

Afghanistan’s cosmopolitan new first lady has backed France’s controversial ban on the niqab, comparing the full veil to “blinders” as she prepares to campaign for more respect for women in her conservative adopted homeland.
Rula Ghani shocked Afghan observers earlier this year when she appeared with her husband during the country’s presidential campaign, a rare example of a political wife sharing the spotlight.

Ghani says of France's niqab ban:

“Regarding the French law against the niqab and burqa which prevent women from being able to move freely and see, because the niqab is a bit like blinders, I am in full agreement with the government of France."
Regarding women's rights in Afghanistan, she hopes that by the time her husband Mohammad Ashraf Ghani's 5-year term ends:

 “men in Afghanistan will be more inclined to recognize whatever role their wives take”.
"In one word, more respect,” she said.
More on Al Arabiya.

I hope she has a slew of trustworthy bodyguards.  I wish them both good luck.

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