Khloé Kardashian has 22.9 million followers on Instagram and some of them are offended.
During a current trip to Dubai, Kardashian posted a photo of her wearing a niqab in a selfie with a caption “Habibi Love.”
Although in Arabic, habibi means “beloved” and it’s a term of endearment, many immediately voiced their thoughts regarding the post’s cultural sensitivity.
A niqab is a cloth that covers the face as a part of sartorial hijab. It is worn by some Muslim women in public areas and in front of non-mahram adult males, especially in the Hanbali Muslim faith tradition.
In Dubai, travelers are not required to wear a niqab but Kardashian decided to participate and immediately came under fire. One Instagram comment read:
Women getting killed and beaten up for wearing the niqab, but you keep pretending it’s a fashion accessory, the disrespect,” one comment read.
Another comment read:
I have never been more offended in my whole entire life. My sister wears the niqab and she gets vilified daily. you can wear it and it gets sexualized and praised. I am deeply offended and was a fan of yours, I am disgusted.
Some fans believe that instead of using “habibi,” Kardashian meant to use the word “hjabi” which translates to a girl or a woman wearing the Islamic head-covering.
This isn’t the first time Kardashian has been criticized for cultural appropriation. In a previous episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, she angered many followers by posting an Instagram photo of her sister’s boyfriend Scott Disick dressed in a traditional Arabian garb for Halloween while Kardashian was a cat. The caption of the photo was: Sheik Pussy.
Later, Kardashian apologized for her actions after confronting two Muslim employees working at DASH boutique owned by Kardashian and her sisters Kourtney and Kim:
After talking with Nazy and Durrani, I’m really upset that I’ve offended anybody. I’m even more bothered that the commenters think I’m poking fun at their culture. I didn’t realize how offensive it was. I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong. I really just have to be more aware of what I write, even if I think it’s tongue-in-cheek and I have to be more sensitive to that. I’m sorry to anybody I offended. That was the last thing I ever wanted to do.
If you were traveling in Dubai, would you post a similar selfie?