Glamorous Muslim Political Women

In a blog, “Hijabs on Western Political Women,” I displayed a brood of queens, princesses, first ladies, members of congress, foreign ministers, journalists, and even movie stars looking anywhere from faintly ridiculous to outlandishly bad as they wear some variant of a hijab.

It then occurred to me, what about Muslim political women – are they all in hijabs, chadors, jilbabs, niqabs, and burqas? A little research found that at least some of them not only avoid any Islamic apparel but fit a Western standard of beauty and glamor, making a sharp contrast to those Europeans and Americans in their tatty hijabs.

Beyond making this contrast, offering their pictures here suggests that, at least in the highest political circles, the Islamists will meet strenuous opposition from women. So, bring on the sequinned gowns, jeans, jewelery, curling irons, and make-up.

Let’s start with Khadiga el-Gamal, wife of Gamal Mubarak, daughter-in-law of Husni Mubarak, and possible future first lady of Egypt.

Khadiga Mubarak.

Queen Rania of Jordan:

Queen Rania of Jordan.

Sheikha Mawza, wife of Hamd bin Khalifa, ruler of Qatar:

Sheikha Mawza of Qatar.

Mehriban Aliyeva, wife of the president of Azerbaijan:

Mehriban Aliyeva.

Asma Al Assad, wife of Bashar Al-Assad, ruler of Syria:

Asma Al Assad

More Asma Al Assad.

Princess Consort Lalla Salma, wife of Muhammad VI, king of Morocco:

Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco

Sheikha Hiya, wife of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai:

Sheikha Hiya of Dubai.

Aesha Qaddafi, daughter of Mu’ammar:

Aesha Qaddafi of Libya.

Princess Amira Al-Taweel, wife of Saudi prince Waleed bin Talal:

Princess Amira Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia.

Farah Diba, former empress of Iran:

Farah Diba of Iran

Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister of Pakistan:

Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan

Daniel Pipes


Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, including Militant Islam Reaches America and In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (Transaction Publishers), from which this column derives.

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