Ardahan Kamal Khalil responds to critics

Kirkuk election candidate defends niqab as personal choice amid criticism

KIRKUK, November 16 — Kirkuk Provincial Council candidate Ardahan Kamal Khalil has defended her decision to appear in public wearing a niqab, stating that it is her right and that the face covering is legitimate Islamic attire that does not offend public decency.

She responded to critics, asserting that no matter what she does naysayers will find fault with her actions.

In an interview with NRT Arabic’s Anas Al-Badri, Khalil emphasized her commitment to wearing the niqab despite her candidacy, considering it within the realm of personal freedom. She stated that she always takes into account public decency in her attire but acknowledged certain psychological hurdles for specific individuals who seek flaws.

Responding to a question about the ease of impersonating a candidate when wearing the niqab, Khalil said it was no easy matter, as facial features are still visible through the eyes. She shared an incident where a member of the Asayish (security forces) recognized her as the election candidate, demonstrating that the eyes can reveal one’s identity.

Khalil expressed her vision for building a greater Iraq, with Kirkuk as her focal point, emphasizing the richness of its natural resources and diverse population. As a candidate, she pledged to focus on the healthcare sector, drawing from her perspective as the wife of a doctor who sees challenging cases. Additionally, as a school principal, she aims to contribute to the fight against drugs.