Kim Kardashian is traveling in the Middle East to promote her Millions of Milkshakes franchise and Kardashian Kollection clothing line. From the road, she’s tweeted photos of her meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Matthew Tueller and colorful Kuwaiti beverages, but those pictures don’t tell the whole story about her Mideast jaunt.
Controversy began in religiously conservative Bahrain even before she arrived, when parliament members who say she has a “bad reputation” tried to pass a resolution to stop her from stepping foot in their country. Al Arabiya reports the resolution failed to make its way through the parliamentary schedule.
On Thursday, Kardashian was met by throngs in Kuwait City when she opened a branch of her Millions of Milkshakes and on Saturday is expected to open the milkshake bar in Bahrain.
Before arrival, the reality star said: “It’s my first trip to Kuwait, so I can’t wait to see your beautiful city…”
Kardashian got into hot water earlier this month with supporters of the Palestinian cause when she tweeted support for Israeli civilians facing incoming rockets from terrorist groups in Gaza. “Praying for everyone in Israel,” she wrote. Nasty responses prompted her to quickly pull the quote from the social media site and write her fans an explanation. There’s no indication that the Bahraini effort to bar her entry was prompted by anything other than the politicians’ perception that she conveys an immodest image.
Meanwhile, in the predominantly Muslim nation of Malaysia, an Islamic party urged the government earlier this week to ban Thursday’s concert by Elton John. It says the openly gay musician promotes “immoral” values.
Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, chief of the youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) told AFP: “This concert must be cancelled. Artists who are involved in gay and lesbian activities must not be allowed to perform in Malaysia as they will promote the wrong values,” adding the aim is “to protect our society from social degradation.”
After the legislative failure, Malaysia’s Islamic party said it plans a protest Saturday against Elton John, because it believes the performances of gay stars could “drag [Muslims] into vice” and promote “immoral” and “hedonistic” values, reports The Guardian.
Either by design or not the protest on Saturday coincides with World Aids Day.
The PAS party sits in Malaysia’s opposition. AFP writes that homosexuality is taboo in Malaysia, “where 60 percent of the population is Muslim and sodomy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.” The Guardian adds that it is also punishable by caning.
Watch the YouTube video of Kardashian’s arrival to Millions of Milkshakes in Kuwait City: