Rabat - As part of a preview of its new collection of emojis, set to be released later this year, Apple revealed the new Hijab emoji on Monday.
Rabat – As part of a preview of its new collection of emojis, set to be released later this year, Apple revealed the new Hijab emoji on Monday.
The hijab version was previewed along with eleven other new emojis which include a breastfeeding woman, a zombie, a genie and even a ham and cheese sandwich.
The hijab emoji was the brainchild of Rayouf al Humedhi, a Saudi teenager living in Germany. In September of 2016, she asked a simple question; out of the approximately 1800 emojis in use, “Why isn’t there a headscarf emoji?”
The young woman decided to launch her campaign to see an hijab version created by sending her request to the Unicode Consortium, the body who carries out the emoji approval process.
In a video posted on YouTube by Turkish website, TRT World, Al-Humedhi argued that “Adding different skin tones, adding different couples, will actually promote, hopefully promote diversity and tolerance.” For her, the hijab emoji was an extension of this inclusive thinking.
According to the video, Al-Humedhi soon had the backing of Reddit’s co-founder, Alexis Ohanian. Overwhelmed by the support her idea received, the teen could only say, “I’m speechless.”
According to online news agency, The Grio, while the release of the hijab emoji was met with widespread approval Monday, it also inspired negative reaction. Social media detractors took to Twitter to express their concerns over what they called “creeping Sharia law.”
The reaction ranged from calling the hijab a “symbol of oppression,” to one user tweeting “Any beheading emoji?”