Saudi female minister sparks controversy after removing niqab
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There have always been differing opinions among Muslim scholars when it comes to the face veil. While most believe it is not obligatory, some think it is.

Speaking to ABC News Australia, Dr. Raihan Ismail, a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, clarified a few points about the controversial face veil.

"The Qur'an does not explicitly say you have to cover yourself in this manner," she explained.

"Some scholars argue that it is a religious obligation, particularly the more conservative factions within the Muslim world. There are many variations and interpretations," she added.

When asked why women would choose to wear any kind of veil, including the niqab (full body covering with a slit for the eyes) or the burqa (full body covering with mesh over the eyes), Dr. Ismail said:

"Some women wear it because they strongly believe it is their religious obligation."

She also conceded that others "may be pressured into covering themselves."

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