No Female Visitor Is Allowed To Wear Face Cover (Niqab) – Nigerian Embassy

A Nigerian Female Doctor was refused entrance into the Nigerian embassy in Jeddah because of her insisting on her wearing the full veil.

In spite of this, a Nigerian Female Doctor wrote to complain:
Despite being informed of the sweeping reforms of the host country, the notice posted outside the embassy gate and the fact that wearing of the veil is nowhere in the Holy Quran, she insisted on seeing the Consul General on her fundamental rights!
When on the arrival of the Consul General who insisted on the rules being followed, the lady preferred to wait outside for up to 7 hours until the Embassy closed for the day.
Can You Imagine This Woman Going To Saudi Arabia To ‘Teach Them’ On The Position Of The Veil…?

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The scenario is best captured in her own words….


I ARRIVED at the consulate a few minutes before 10 am on the above-mentioned date with the aim of renewing my passport. The security guard at the gate did not speak English, so another consulate staff who was present attended to me. After asking what my business in the consulate was, he informed me that I had to unveil my face before I could be allowed entry into the premises.

I immediately protested – as this was at least the third time I was visiting the consulate and had never been asked to do this – but he showed me a notice posted on the wall that all women were expected to unveil their faces before entry into, and all through their stay in, the premises. I explained to him that I could not do this, but was willing to be identified at the gate to fulfil any security requirements that may arise. He, the un-named consulate staff, however, told me that this was not about identification.

When I asked what it was about, he said that this was not his job, and he was only trying to help, that I should discuss with the security men, and he left.

Thereafter the remaining men, at least three of them, started telling me that I had to either unveil my face and go in or leave the premises. I asked them to at least wait until my husband – who was still outside settling the taxi fare – arrived, and they relented.

When my husband came, I narrated what happened to him and he asked to see a senior consulate staff to explain my situation to him.

According to him, the man he saw confirmed that this was a new rule of the consulate and that I had to comply or wait for the Consul General (C.G.). As he returned to inform me of the result of this meeting, the security men, again, began to ask us to leave the premises. So, we left the interior of the security post to wait outside for the arrival of the C.G.

The C.G. arrived sometime later and, on seeing us outside the consulate, asked why we were there. The security men told him that I had refused to remove my face veil, and he shook his head vehemently and ordered that I be denied entry. My husband went to talk to him, but he refused to grant him an audience. He – from a distance – told my husband that I HAD TO COMPLY AND UNVEIL MY FACE THROUGHOUT MY VISIT as was stated by the notice. And when my husband asked to be allowed to explain, and possibly negotiate my willingness to undergo identity checks for security purposes – as I’m used to doing in airports and other security-sensitive facilities worldwide – he said he was not interested in listening to anything my husband had to say and asked him to vacate the premises.

Once he returned to me and was giving me the report of this aborted meeting, the security men once again came to us and ordered us to leave the vicinity of the consulate. They said Oga said we had to go away from there. At this point, both my husband and I told them that we would not move from there. We were law-abiding Nigerians who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia peacefully for over seven years now, and we had a legitimate business at the consulate which we have, so far, been unable to transact. They threatened us with police and bodily removal but left us alone when we refused to leave.

Over the next six hours, different members of staff came to talk to us in a guise of goodwill and Muslim Brotherhood.

They had a range of reasoning and arguments;
-This veiling of face is not in the Qur’an,
-It is not compulsory,
-Are you saying that all the other women who have exposed their faces are going to hell?
-We are all Muslims here, so no one is trying to victimise you
-Allaah has seen your intention. Just do what is asked and go inside
-This is the rule of this place, obey.
-This place is under the Nigerian jurisdiction, you must obey Nigerian law.
-They can bring diplomatic police to arrest you.

All these were the things said directly to us, disregarding the taunts and snide comments made mostly by the security men and others who came to spend time with them at the security post, but when they saw that I would not unveil myself unrestrictedly, they all left eventually. However, at least two of these well-meaning consulate staff said a variation of, ‘This man – meaning the C.G. – will not budge on this matter.’
At least one swore by Allaah to that effect.

At about 2 p.m., I asked to speak to the C.G personally, but he sent the message that I could unveil my face then come in to see him.

After that, the bulky security man in all-green uniform came to me in an intimidating stance and asked me to move from where I was at the entrance of the consulate.

As my husband had left by then to bring our children – who had spent over three hours waiting with us in the sun – to the hotel, I was afraid for my safety as a woman alone and did what he asked. He told me to sit at the edge of the kiosk painted green and white, off to one side and away from the entrance or the security cameras.

Notably, only one member of staff – at about 3.30 pm – offered to intercede on our behalf with the C.G. But seeing as the C.G. drove off a few minutes after 4 pm, and we did not see the gentleman again till we left at 4.30 pm, I guess his mission was unsuccessful.

I have tried – all through this narration – to give a factual recollection of something that was, in truth, a harrowing and humiliating experience for me and my family. To stand outside in the Saudi sun for about seven hours – they refused to even let me in to pray salaah – for something as arbitrary as ‘this is the rule here’ without even attempting to listen to my case, or assist me in finding an acceptable solution or middle ground…..

And Allaah is Witness over all that we do.

Dr. Muti’ah Olaide,
BadruKhaybar General Hospital,
Khaybar, Madina Region.
16th January 2018.

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It will seem like we, Nigerians, are being fundamentalist and teaching them (the owners of the religion – so to say), the religion! Whereas, places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, etc are so liberal that many non-Muslims go there for vacation (Our Vice President and his family chose Dubai earlier this month as the place to go for the vacation)
Even Saudi Arabia has recently been relaxing so many of its religious laws and restrictions all in ways to show modern day reformations.

It will seem Nigerian Muslims are really not in the modern train of these reforms. I would rather say, this attitude of Nigerian Muslims seem rather peculiar!

Here is the copy of the notice posted outside the gate of the Nigerian Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


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