Netherlands Queen Beatrix lashed out at condemnation from a far right anti-Muslim party for wearing a headscarf during a visit to mosques in the United Arab Emirates and Oman on Thursday.
She called the criticism “nonsense” and said she would always respect the wishes of the local community in places she visits.
The queen made her unusually forthright comment to Dutch reporters covering her state visit this week to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, National broadcaster NOS reported.
Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islam leanings and firebrand attacks on the faith, called the Queen’s decision to cover head in a mosque in Abu Dhabi a “sad exhibition” and one that “legitimizes the oppression of women.”
Although rarely acknowledging public criticism, the Queen spoke directly to Wilders’ comment, saying it was unacceptable.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday also jumped to the queen’s defense.
“When Her Majesty visits a house of worship, the dress requirements are respected,” Rutte said in written answers to Wilders’ parliamentary questions.
By Sharifa Ghanem