Kuwaiti MP, Safa Al Hashem, came under fire earlier this week after she criticized a campaign promoting the hijab, calling on its billboards to be taken down.
The campaign, which was launched by Kuwait's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, is titled "My hijab... makes my life better" and aims to promote the Islamic head veil among women in the country.
On Wednesday, Al Hashem posted a tweet criticizing the campaign and questioning its aims. The MP also stated that she called Kuwait's Minister of Endowments, asking him to end the initiative.
Her tweet went viral just hours after it was first posted, sparking a heated Twitter debate.
It all started when Al Hashem tweeted this out after spotting one of the campaign's billboards
"A bizarre ad campaign!!!! A civil country with a constitution that guarantees personal freedom does not accept such advertisements!! What we need is a campaign that strengthens national unity and renounces divisions!!! I just contacted the Minister of Endowments and asked him to stop this campaign and remove its ads... he promised the billboards will be taken down immediately."
The MP's tweet sparked controversy
Some harshly attacked Al Hashem's reaction
"Freedoms and national unity... nothing's left except you accusing hijabis of being terrorists..! The problem is that you're a person who constantly calls for freedom of speech. If the minister takes down these ads, he's a coward who'll need to be held accountable."
Others were angered by her point of view
"You're upset because the billboard is about the hijab! You're contradicting yourself by talking about it being a personal freedom. The ad has nothing against women who choose not to wear the veil so why did it anger you! What's weird isn't the campaign, it's people like you."
Angered would be an understatement here...
"Is it even possible that an ad like this angered you? Where's the freedom you always call for... give us a little of it at least, or is freedom only made to serve you and your goals?"
Many just didn't get Al Hashem's criticism
"You should be free to do whatever you want as long as you're not hurting anyone and there's absolutely nothing wrong with this ad. It doesn't negatively affect anyone in anyway. Those calling to ban it want to shut down views that oppose their own and that's the worst thing."
However, not everyone was against the MP
"(My morals come before my hijab) This is the title we need."
Some fully condoned her opinion
"The objection is not about the hijab as much as it is about the phrases used in this campaign, which are just a complete failure. Taking a stand against this ad is just like going against the rhetoric and goals of the extremist Muslim brotherhood movements, it doesn't mean anyone is going against Islam. Stop hiding behind religion."
And also attacked the campaign...
"We are not against the hijab! Or any other religious garment for that matter. But for our government to officially support this campaign, which aims to address those who do not adhere to Islamic clothing and to fund it using the state's money is just unacceptable."
Al Hashem has since responded to the backlash
Amid the Twitter storm caused by her initial statement, Al Hashem posted a series of tweets, clarifying her point of view and stating that she stands firm on her opinion.
In one tweet, the MP wrote:
"I did not attack the hijab itself and I still believe that wearing it is a personal freedom. So many of the women I know, whether it's my relatives or acquaintances are hijabis!!! To those who interpreted my words as an attack on veiled women, this is not what I meant at all. It'll be electorally naive of me to attack those who vote for me."