THE recent campaign organized by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs prompted women to wear the ‘hijab’ (veil). It was countered by a fierce campaign by thousands of local activists — non-profit organizations and independent activists who took to social media to tell their side of the story.
The Awqaf campaign was organized under the patronage of one of its senior officials, whose name unceremoniously centered on the advert as if he was the one who funded it and not the public.
As it appears, this campaign was against senior officials of the ministry who decided to keep away from the evil and the way to do that was by asking another close associate to organize the campaign instead of them in order to widen the scope of responsibility.
Suddenly, we saw a multi-million ‘dollar’ campaign which spread along the main streets and other areas of the country. It also seeped into some local newspapers complete with pictures of female personalities of diverse age groups promoting ‘hijab’ under the tagline, ‘My hijab: worship … happiness’. This is in addition to other carefully picked and ‘undoubtedly’ paid for slogans.
This alternative campaign was organized perhaps by the richest nonprofit organization in Kuwait and the Gulf and maybe the world, which is the ‘Al-Islah Social Society’, which undoubtedly is the world Muslim Brotherhood group’s right hand when it comes to funding.
We are not against such campaigns which promote the idea of an organization or its members but with or without ‘hijab’ at the end of the day it will be a personal issue in which, everyone will decide based on personal convictions. I don’t remember discussing the issue of hijab with any of my female relatives or my employees whenever they prefer to wear ‘hijab’ or not. This is a personal issue which is determined by concerned individual. In fact, it is determined by moral values and how a person was brought up.
This is in addition to how a woman behaves in society. These, among other things, are what determine the personality of a woman and not a piece of cloth which is put on top of her head.
Here we have a right to ask several questions: Where did the thousands of dinars come from to fund this campaign, whereas other organizations particularly the non-profit organizations may not even get KD 12,000 from the annual government support? Did the money come through collections made by the organization and its branches in Kuwait after ‘putting a veil’ on the sun, such as the collection of alms from individuals in the form of ‘zakat’ and charity for the sake of Allah? Is it permissible for such money to be used for such objectives? These questions are for the theologians who are affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and others.
The questions are also meant for the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor who has the authority to control the activities of these organizations and societies with regard to the huge advertising contract.
Will the Ministry of Awqaf keep a tap on some organizations and close its eyes selectively on others in an unacceptable manner? This is how, Oh! Beloved reader, our brothers in humanity in the land of fanatics do whenever they want something, especially by imposing their will on the society and muscle-flexing to show their strength. They will always find a way by alternating their roles and nothing will stop them, even if they resort to the famous sports tactic.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil