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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Sondos Al Qattan says criticism of her is akin to attack on Kuwait and the hijab in latest video 

The beauty influencer also said she would get her fans to boycott the brands that are cutting ties with her

An image from Sondos Al Qattan's Instagram page 
An image from Sondos Al Qattan's Instagram page 

Far from being apologetic for the negative comments she made about the new labour laws regarding the working conditions of Filipinos in Kuwait, Sondos Al Qattan has returned with a bizarre counterattack.

Several brands that the beauty influencer was associated with have since stepped forward to renounce her views and cut ties with her, notably Max Factor and Mac. However, Al Qattan has retaliated by saying that she will reveal all the brands that have severed collaborations with her, so that her 2.3 million followers can, in turn, boycott them.

In the same video that she posted on her now-private Twitter account, the influencer and make-up artist also goes on to say that the criticism she's facing is an attack on Kuwait, the hijab and Islam as a whole, and is part of an intentional effort to damage her country and the wider Gulf region. She goes on to demand why her critics are so outraged over her remarks instead of talking out against the humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq and Gaza.

What she said ...

Here's an excerpt of Al Qattan's tirade, courtesy of The National's translator Liza Ayach:

"Here sounds off the azan. I trust in God. He will deal out every single person who is trying to defame another. I trust in God. He will deal out all the enemies of Islam.

I've been reported by 90 press agencies, and 90 people inquired [about me], 90 magazines, 90 newspapers, these keep talking about the same subject.

There are a couple of things I need to say to you, because all the people here support the people in the Gulf, most people, even Arabs who have maids, are supportive of me.

Nevertheless, in a bid to clarify the matter, I have posted on Instagram yesterday. Of course I did not have to offer any apology because I was telling the truth, but this was only to make things clear.

They wrote, 'The Kuwaiti fashionista, the veiled [woman], the Muslim.'

After seeing all this, I felt there's an attack on Islam, [with those people] saying, look she is wearing the hijab, look at the Muslims, of course [look] at the Kuwaitis in particular, and similarly the people of the Gulf region, look at the Arabs.

Keeping a domestic worker's passport is deemed an enslavement and racism. Why judge me [this way] when I keep my servant's passport with the aim to ensure my safety?

Where are the humanitarian people? These express more outrage over my remarks than they have over humanitarian crises and massacres in Syria, Iraq and Gaza. Are these humanitarian values?

Humanity [for them] was busy focusing solely on the passport?

We say that this is intentional in order to damage Kuwait, and Kuwait is known for its humanitarian values, and we do not need anyone's testimony.

As Muslims, Arabs and Gulf nationals, it is crystal clear when Hijab, Hijab, Hijab, Islam and Kuwait represent a target [for slanderous people].

In the name of God, I call on my followers to boycott the brands that have severed relationships with me via their messages on email...

In all cases they relate it to Islam, Arabs and those wearing the hijab.

Why? What is your problem with Muslims? What did you learn about Muslims?

Our [Kuwait's] donations have reached the entire world. We have never been neglectful of anyone.

This is not a personal issue. No! They intend to target hijab-wearers, the Muslima, the Gulf nationals.

Islam is [driving them mad]. Hijab is [frustrating] them.

We have respected all the places we have visited including those that serve alcohol, or allow bikinis despite the fact that we have nothing to do with that.

We have shown respect to all religions and nationalities."

Other social media posts

In addition to this video, Al Qattan also put up two new Instagram posts after the controversy erupted - one in which she's posing with a new line of fragrances by Kuwait-based Al Jazeera Perfumes, and another from the same shoot, which she's captioned as "Do what you find is right and not what is commonplace".

The posts have received more than 70,000 likes, with one follower commenting "Keep going Sondos, we love you".

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Read more:

Kuwait and Philippines strike domestic worker deal

Rihanna feels the burn: singer criticised for 'orientalism' over make-up

Social media star Jessica Kahawaty on using her influence to raise awareness of humanitarian issues

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