Five Al-Jazeera news presenters have walked out on the Middle Eastern news broadcaster after being accused of not dressing modestly enough.
The women claimed deputy editor-in-chief Ayman Jaballah made 'offensive remarks' about them, but an internal inquiry said the Qatar-based channel had the right to dictate how presenters dressed to demonstrate its 'spirit and principles'.
The five journalists are among the best-known faces in the region. They are Joumana Nammour, Lina Zahr al-Din, Jullinar Mousa, Luna al-Shibl and Nawfar Afli. They hail from Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia.
The women appeared on television wearing make-up and with their hair uncovered.
A source at Al-Jazeera said the conflict had escalated, with Mr Jaballah commenting repeatedly on the women's 'clothes and decency'.
Arab bloggers have thrown their support behind the women, with one claiming the TV station's management was 'attempting to impose one political and ideological' standpoint on its staff.
A staff journalist said: 'This collective resignation is not motivated just by the growing pressure on the presenters concerning their dress code, which was evoked by the media. The conflicts run much deeper.'..No kidding. So much for A-J being all modern and Western-like. Just goes to show that the urge to turn back the clock and force women into the role sharia has assigned them can be awfully compelling, even for the most "modern" of Arabs.