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Oman proposes ban on niqab veils for women drivers

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May 21, 2013 10:00 AM EST | AP


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi online newspaper says Oman is proposing that women be banned from wearing face veils when driving.

Al-Watan said Tuesday Oman made the proposal at a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council police traffic department heads. It singled out the niqab, a mask that covers a woman's face, leaving only a slit for her eyes.

The Oman delegate said that wearing a niqab while driving should be a traffic violation, indicating that the garment restricts vision and represents a hazard.

The traffic police chiefs met in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia to discuss unification of traffic laws. They are referring proposals back to their governments.

In Saudi Arabia itself, such a regulation would have no immediate effect. Though almost all Saudi women wear a niqab – women are forbidden to drive there.