Kuwait MP to resign if ‘bikini ban’ approved
Nabil al-Fadl said the new proposal, which does not provide a clear definition for the term ‘nudity,’ is an assault on personal freedom
Kuwaiti MP Nabil al-Fadl announced that he would present his resignation from the country’s Ummah Council if the proposal to ban the nudity of women in swimming pools and public places was approved by the Assembly, the Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Shahed reported Friday.
The new proposal, which does not provide a clear definition for the term “nudity,” is an assault on personal freedom, al-Fadl said.
“If approved, I will deliver my resignation as I do not approve of this regression and out of respect for my electorates who voted for my ideas and thoughts,” he added.
The head of the Kuwaiti National Assembly committee who approved the move, MP Hamdan Al-Azemi, said the ban also applies to women at hotels, according to the Kuwait Times.
While the Islamist lawmaker did not provided a definition for the term “nudity,” a few days ago “he issued a statement strongly criticizing women dressed in bikinis at some swimming pools on beaches and in hotels. The term also includes revealing or improper dress,” according to the report.
To become a law, the proposal must first be approved by the Assembly and accepted by the government.
In 2011, a parliamentary committee in Kuwait rejected a motion to ban bikinis, saying that it was unconstitutional.
The motion would ban women from wearing bikinis, revealing bathing suits and clothes with deep cleavage at the beach. It also stipulated that offenders be sentenced to one year in prison and to pay a fine.
Kuwait is not the only GCC country in which issues of culture and conservatism have come to a head. This past week has seen a Qatari campaign urging tourists and foreign residents to respect the country’s strict dress code sparking controversy among its majority expatriate population.
While some expats seem unperturbed by the campaign, others expressed discontent.
One American man living in Qatar, who preferred not to be identified, said the dress code should only apply to “religious and official places.”
“It is completely understandable to ask expats to dress appropriately in religious and official locations but not in malls, beaches or souqs, commonly known for being the first attractions of expats,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bahraini MPs have backed a proposal to gradually outlaw the sale of alcohol in the kingdom, linking it to “sleaze and prostitution,” Gulf Daily News reported this week.
The sobering proposal calls on the government to set a timeline for the phasing out of alcohol sales until it is no longer available in the country.