The following article would suggest that the widespread use of the burqa in Yemen these days is a salafi inspired phenonomen (perhaps encouraged by the ikhwanis as well?). ....
The niqab, with its unrelenting blackness broken only by a narrow slit for the eyes, has become a symbol for the lack of women’s rights in the Islamic world, and in
“I am a Muslim. I pray, I fast, I follow what is in the Koran,” said Ramzia Aleryani, head of the Yemeni Women’s Union in
Aleryani arms herself and her visitors with photocopied packets of Koranic passages and the prophet Muhammad’s sayings defending women’s rights. She says the niqab was imported to
Thirty years ago, many Yemeni women wore traditional dresses or Western attire, and shared meals with men. The current vice governor of the southern port city of
To accept the niqab, Aleryani said, would be to accept many more often intolerant and regressive edicts.
“We are at war with the Salafists,” she said, unblinkingly. “It us versus them.”
Salafists and conservative political groups in
“Our women are cared for, respected and protected according to the Koran,” said Sheik Ali Werafi, a Salafist and a conservative member of parliament. “We cover them up to protect them. They have everything they need. The world comes to them. We do not need Western ideas imposed on our culture.”
(excerpt from “The Bridal Shower”, by Haley Sweetland Edwards, in the L.A. Times)
To read more on the burqa and hijab in Zaidism, see the July post "Zaidism and Women's Liberation"