Antigua: Debate over ‘Hijab’ costume

The use of what some are claiming is a hijab, a head scarf worn by Muslim women, as part of a carnival costume in Antigua has triggered an intense debate on social media.

The debate over the weekend came after popular mas’ band Insane Carnival released photographs of the costumes for a section of its 2017 Carnival troupe.

According to Antigua Observer, several persons communicated their disapproval with what appeared to be a representation of the hijab in Insane’s “Persia” costumes while others on Facebook and Twitter lamented the controversy that the costume would cause to the country.

Insane Carnival released a statement on Facebook saying that the head scarf was not intended to portray Islamic symbols but elements of Persian culture.

“The costume is depicting elements of the Persian people who at first were nomads of the desert, nomads living under those conditions would often cover their heads and much of their face to protect them from the elements,” the statement said.

It also  said that while conducting research, no correlation between the head covering and religion was found.

However, former director of Culture Heather Doram was quoted by Antigua Observer as saying that designers must be sensitive when depicting the culture of others.

“I think an artist should be sensitive. We should be sensitive about what you’re using, what you’re wearing, if you’re taking it from somebody else’s culture. I don’t know about being controversial when you’re using someone’s religion, but if they said that’s not what it is, I don’t see the problem,” Doram said in an OBSERVER media interview.



  1. Abdhi Malhortah
    March 20, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    This is a disrepectful slap in the face to those of faith.

    Tourists everywhere should boycott Antigua and all businesses associated with their Carnival for their disgraceful behaviour

    Hurtful to all of us. How dare they disrespect Cod.

    No surprise. Caribbean countries too often disrepect certain faiths yet we still fund businesses there and invest in their citizenships, and we bring more of our families from the homeland to work at our businesses and contribute to the economy because all too often and most too bad we find locals are lazy in their work ethic and not willing to put in the sweat needed to make and honest day’s wage.

    As we bring more of the faithful to the islands a wonderful land will emerge, one with a philosophy of hard work, entrepenneurism, and rock solid moral and societal values.

    It is with great pride that the land transaction has been completed and that construction will soon start on a shining and oh so gloriously generous and wonderful and large place of worship with its own school as well. Yes, truly wonderful for our people.

    All glory to Cod.

  2. Terry johnson
    March 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Lol really I disagree with they using the head price soon they will impose their religion on others look what’s happening.. If you have never lived among these so call people get your facts straight#HYPOCRITE

  3. Anonymous
    March 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Wiii mama. Muslims have to wine down too.

  4. Sarah Ansari
    October 24, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Being professionals associated with Islamic wearing we have been hearing about hijab bans. Not only western countries are against wearing hijab these small countries often disrespect Islamic beliefs. Clothing industries have to play a role here such as they should make hijab legal to wear anywhere as this is an imperative wearing of an Islamic woman.