Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who is in Abu Dhabi, wore a headscarf when she visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque this morning out of respect for the customs, traditions and conventions of Islam, says Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal. The queen is on a two-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates.
“Not to have worn one during a visit to a mosque wasn’t an option. In that case, the invitation to visit to the mosque, one of the most important in the United Arab Emirates, would’ve had to have been refused,” explained Mr Rosenthal.
His comments come in response to criticism from the Freedom Party (PVV) about the clothing worn by Queen Beatrix and Crown Princess Máxima who, with her husband Prince Willem-Alexander, is part of the royal party visiting the UAE. The PVV had complained that, by wearing a headscarf, the queen was lending legitimacy to the oppression of women under Islam.
Mr Rosenthal pointed out that Queen Beatrix also adjusts the way she dresses when she visits synagogues and cathedrals.
The democrat D66 party was quick to point out that PVV leader Geert Wilders himself wears a yarmulke when he visits the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Green Left MP Tofik Dibi not only slammed Mr Wilders’ comments about the queen’s dress but also the responses to them as a waste of time.