FLOTUS Michelle Obama is receiving some faux ‘backlash’ this week for deciding not to don a headscarf or veil while visiting Saudi Arabia with President Barack Obama to pay their respects after the death of King Abdullah.
Some Saudis took to Twitter and created a hashtag that translates to “#Michelle_Obama_Immodest” or “#Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled” to criticize FLOTUS for being disrespectful to their traditions.
According to the AP, women are required to wear headscarves by Saudi law, but there is an exemption for foreigners. In addition to the FLOTUS, former secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice also did not cover her head as while in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Past FLOTUS’s Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush have also appeared in public meeting Saudi royals without wearing headscarves. But the State Department advises other American women visiting the country to following the rules.
“Women who choose not to conform to this dress code face a risk of confrontation by Mutawwa (religious police) and possible detention/arrest,” the State Department says on its website. “While most incidents have resulted only in inconvenience or embarrassment, the potential exists for an individual to be arrested, physically harmed, or deported.”
— نورة العتيبي (@Riyadh_K_S_A) January 27, 2015
More than 1,500 tweets using the hashtag #ميشيل_أوباما_سفور (roughly, #Michelle_Obama_immodesty) were sent Tuesday, many criticizing the FLOTUS. Some made sure to point out Michelle wore a headscarf on a recent trip to Indonesia, and questioned ‘why not in Saudi Arabia?’ But, many are not buying the ‘backlash’ and calling this whole incident faux controversy.
The office of the FLOTUS has not issued a statement at this time.
Photo Credits: AP