Saudi varsity warns female students against short hair

Indo Asian News Service

Riyadh, March 14 (IANS) A Saudi Arabian university warned its female students of immediate dismissal for imitating men in haircuts and outfits, a local media report said on Tuesday.

According to the report in the Okaz daily, the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh sent the warning messages on Monday, while the decision will be enforced staring next month.

The university stressed students who violate the warning will be suspended immediately, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

The decision covers women with very short haircuts which are considered by conservative Muslims as a sin for imitating men.

Saudi Arabia follows gender segregation in all walks in life, including education and female students in different education levels study in separate buildings from males.

They are also taught by females, except at universities, while in case of male teachers they are either teach behind partitions or the students should be fully covered.

In 2002, 15 girls killed in a fire at their school in Mecca when religious police stopped them from leaving the building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.