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Model Lily Cole Slammed, Apologizes for Posting ‘Diversity’ Burqa Selfie amid Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan


Model Lily Cole has deleted and apologized for what she called her “incredibly ill timed” burqa selfies that she posted during the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. In the caption of her post, Cole included a call to “embrace diversity,” and promoted her new book about climate change.

“Let’s embrace diversity on every level – biodiversity; cultural diversity; diversity of thinking; diversity of voices; diversity of ideas,” Cole wrote in a caption of an Instagram post showing multiple photos of herself donning a blue burqa.

In her post, Cole also promoted her new book, Who Cares Wins, about the “climate crisis.”

The British model quickly faced heavy backlash for posing in the garment, which many Islamic scholars do not regard as a religious requirement.

Lily Cole & the vacuity of modern hashtag-feminism. Putting Instagram posturing before universal human rights. I bet Afghan women are celebrating the “diversity” of wearing this shroud.

— Janice Turner (@VictoriaPeckham) August 16, 2021

I am horrified.

British model @lilycole should be ASHAMED.

This is not diversity of ideas, this is abuse.

I encourage Lily to go to Afghanistan and see what the Taliban thinks of her inclusivity!

— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) August 18, 2021

“Another rich, brain dead, privileged star with too much ‘diversity’ on her hands,” one Twitter user commented.

Another Twitter user said Cole “thinks it’s cool for straights to come out as ‘queer’ and then dons a burqah in the name of diversity,” and asked, “What does she think happens to gay and lesbian people in Afghanistan?”

Aisha Ali-Khan, a media commentator and women’s rights campaigner, told BBC News that Cole was “playing dress-up,” adding that in Afghanistan, the burqa “will always be used as a tool to oppress and a tool for women to cover up for the sake of men.”

Cole’s Instagram post came as chaos ensued in Afghanistan, with reports of thousands of Americans being left stranded in Kabul as President Joe Biden bungled the U.S. withdrawal from the country.

Meanwhile, people around the world questioned the fate of women’s rights in Afghanistan, and feared that the Taliban would again force women to wear the burqa.

In a few weeks, every woman in Afghanistan will be forced to wear this. They will not be allowed to go to school. That’s what Taliban taking over means for women. That’s what the US withdrawal will do to women

— Ghanem Nuseibeh (@gnuseibeh) August 14, 2021

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid responded to inquires saying that the jihadist terrorist organization will treat women as sharia demands.

Cole responded to the backlash by deleting her Instagram post, and in an Instagram Highlight, titled, “My Mistake,” the model shockingly claimed she “hadn’t read the news at the time” she posted what she called “incredibly ill timed” selfies.

Moreover, Cole even claimed that the photos were “old.”

“This week I posted an old photo of me wearing a burqa loaned to me by a friend,” she explained. “As she pointed out I was undermining it’s original purpose by wearing it with my face exposed, but I understood why the image has upset people and want to sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

One of the photos had shown Cole with the burqa pulled up, so that her face was exposed.

According to Muslim scholar Elham Manea, the burqa is a reflection of “a culture that treats woman as a sexualized object that has to be covered.”

Manea has argued that it is naïve, and even racist, to regard the wearing of a burqa as a sincere act of faith.

Lily Cole attends the launch of ‘Gatwick Runway Models’, the search for Britain’s next supermodels in partnership with Storm Model Management at Gatwick Airport on June 1, 2010 in London, England. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

“The burka is not Islamic,” she told the Religion and Ethics Report.

“It’s a tradition that comes from the heart of Saudi Arabia, a region called Nejd,” says Manea, who added that burqa was not worn by women outside of Nejd until Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi regime came to power in the late 1970s.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

This content was originally published here.

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