Kuwaiti MP criticizes campaign promoting hijab, sparks controversy

A Kuwaiti MP has stirred nationwide controversy by criticizing a ministry advertisement aimed at encouraging women to wear the Islamic headscarf.

MP Safa Al-Hashem, the only female in the 50-seat National Assembly, tweeted a few days ago against a billboard carrying the slogan, “My Hijab … makes my life better.”

The advert is part of a pro-Hijab campaign by the country’s Ministry of Endowments. Al-Hashem described the billboard as “strange,” despite noting that she is not against the notion of wearing the Islamic headscarf.

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In a tweet, she argued that it is unacceptable for such ads to go on display in a “civil state” like Kuwait, which has a constitution “that guarantees personal freedom.”

Al-Hashem said she would rather see the country run a campaign to strengthen national unity instead, adding that she had requested the ministry to remove the roadside billboards on the topic.


Her comments landed her in hot water with religious-minded people and conservative lawmakers, who strongly lashed out at her and threatened the ministry if it agrees to take the ads down.

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They responded to Al-Hashem by reminding her that Islam is the state’s official religion as per the constitution. They also added that the headwear is mandatory for Muslim women according to Islamic teachings.

 

Source Credit: Arab News

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