“Reflect your respect”, a campaign launched by Qatar, urges people to dress “modestly” in public by covering themselves from shoulders to knees, and forbidding women from wearing leggings.

The campaign uses Twitter and Instagram to spread its message all over the world. It will start officially on June 20, 2014.



Nasser Al Maliki, the centre’s public relations chief, proclaimed that this campaign would help preserving Qatar’s traditions and protecting its children from the foreigner's immodest behaviour.




Mr Nasser’s statement gives you the impression that their children do not watch TV and do not use the internet. Seriously, what kind of danger exposed knees or shoulders may form?

It is not the first time gulf countries use the Sharia law as the main source of their legislations. Even in Dubai, one of the most visited cities in the world, leaflets forbidding people form dressing immodestly are handed out in some places.

Qatar will be hosting the world cup in 2022; it will witness a huge mixture of cultures and I am wondering how they are planning to enforce this “modest” dress code on the huge number of tourists attending the event. Imagine if France decided in 1998 to preserve its culture by imposing an outfit on its visitors! 

Would any Qatari woman accept to put down her Hijab so she can blend in with French people? Would any Qatari man accept to wear shorts in order to protect
 the French culture?

In addition, I cannot see how Qatar is planning to forbid people from wearing light clothes when the temperature reaches 40 degrees. Are they also planning to forbid football fans from celebrating in the streets?

I am not against Qatar’s intention to preserve its culture but that does not mean that the country can force its culture on others. No one should forbid men or women from wearing the Shayla and the Abayha and no one should forbid them from wearing shorts.

 “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Help us preserve Qatar’s culture and values, please dress modestly in public places.”

Dear Qatar, we do respect your culture, but how about respecting ours?

Rihab 


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