After Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly wore a burqa to avoid detection as she entered a plastic surgery clinic in Paris, Muslims have spoken out condemning her actions as disrespectful appropriation. Bundchen was spotted sneaking into the International Clinique du Parc Monceau for work on her breasts and eyes. At the time, she was wearing traditional Muslim garb, which has been banned in France since 2010, with her younger sister, Rafaela.
In photos released Tuesday by the New York Post, Bundchen can be seen with her younger sister wearing burqas during the holy month of Ramadan to enter a plastic surgery clinic undetected. Both burqa-clad figures are wearing sandals in the photo, which are forbidden by Islamic law.
The photos have elicited an angry reaction from Muslims who claim that Bundchen's actions were insensitive and trivialized the religious garment. “This is a religious garment. It’s not so you can hide when you’re going for a doctor’s appointment,” Shazia Raheel, a clerk at Islam Fashion in Astoria, told Page Six, adding that it was "disrespectful to Islam."
— New York Post (@nypost) July 30, 2015
Muslim garments covering the face have been banned in France after a 2010 law passed by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy targeting burqas and niqabs part of a broader platform marginalizing the Islamic immigrant community in France. The headscarf, or hijab, is more commonly worn among French Muslim women, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The plastic surgery clinic declined to comment on Wednesday, reports Page Six.
French commenters on the gossip site, Public, have also criticized Bundchen's decision to wear a burqa to enter the plastic surgery clinic for violating the law, according to Fox News.
"She's not doing it for Islam. This is very bad," Imam Muhammed Abdullah Kamal Al-Azhari of the Astoria Islamic Center in Queens told the New York Post. "She's wearing a holy thing for a bad purpose."