COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - When first lady Michelle Obama appeared alongside the president in Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the late King Abdullah, she chose not to wear a head scarf.
There was an outcry among critics who faulted Mrs. Obama for not observing the customs of that Muslim country.
But Michelle Obama is a modern American woman of the 21st century and she made the right choice not to cover her head in Saudi Arabia.
Once, when she visited a mosque in Indonesia, she did wear a head scarf choosing to do so then was also her prerogative.
Saudi women do not enjoy such choices, and they are among the most repressed on earth. Saudi women are forbidden to drive, are not allowed to try on clothes in stores and must get permission from a male guardian to travel anywhere. Restaurants and homes have separate entrances for men and women.
Only this year, in 2015, will Saudi women be allowed to finally vote in local elections - a right American suffragettes earned in 1920.
Only since 2013 have Saudi women been allowed to ride bicycles!
Saudi Arabia is entitled to its own beliefs, and the first lady is entitled to hers.
Mrs. Obama's choice not to wear a head scarf is symbolic of the larger right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - which our founders acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence as freedoms endowed by our creator, not government.
Unfortunately, Saudi women can only dream of that kind of free expression.
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