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'Progressive' hijab-wearing gay character on US TV show sparks heated Twitter debate Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

'Progressive' hijab-wearing gay character on US TV show sparks heated Twitter debate

The drama follows three young women working for a glamour magazine [The Bold Type]

Date of publication: 31 July, 2017

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A gay Muslim character featured on a newly-aired TV programme in the US has sparked debate online about the portrayal of Muslims in the media.

A gay Muslim character featured on a newly-aired TV programme in the US has sparked debate online about the portrayal of Muslims in the media.

Adena el-Amin, a hijab-wearing lesbian photographer played by Canadian-Iranian actress Nikohl Boosheri, is a recurring role on The Bold Type that has caused a dash of controversy.

The drama, which aired its pilot last month, follows three young women working for a New York glamour magazine and is based on the life a former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan.

Kat, one of the show's protagonists, finds herself romantically interested in Adena with the pair sharing a passionate kiss in the latest episode to be released.

On Sunday, digital news outlet NowThis released a short video, which was widely shared on Twitter, describing the character as a "progressive" and "much needed" representation of Muslim women.

The response from social media users has been mixed with some hailing the move to show Muslim women in an often unseen light while others slamming it as an attempt to distort Islam to cater to Western tastes.

Homosexuality, which is prohibited by all mainstream denominations of Islam, is punishable by the death penalty and life imprisonment in some Muslim-majority countries.

"Imagine not watching the bold type and not falling in love [with] kat and adena, glad I can't relate," said one Twitter user.

"Started watching The Bold Type for Adena & Kat, was not let down. The whole show's sweet and full of healthy, strong female relationships," said another.

Many Twitter users, however, have not been so enthusiastic about the portrayal.




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