- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

“Leggings are not pants.”

It’s a thought many Americans have had, but now Qatar has adopted it as part of a campaign urging tourists to dress modestly out of respect for the country’s strict Islamic culture.

The “Reflect your Respect” campaign, led by the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, is set to kick off June 20, just in time before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, the Huffington Post reported.

Women and children will pass out leaflets with the message: “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Help us preserve Qatar’s culture and values, please dress modestly in public places.”

“Leggings are not pants,” the fliers read. “These principles are in the text within the Global Tourism Ethics Law.”

Inappropriate attire, as illustrated on the leaflets, would be any clothing that shows the knees, shoulders or midriff.

“We want to preserve our traditions and our values,” campaign spokeswoman Umm Abdullah told Doha News. “[Expats] have their own places where they don’t have to be covered — but we have the right to go to hospitals, to the market, to the malls, to the beach, without seeing these things.”

The dress code campaign is not officially sponsored by the Qatari government, but the state’s tourism office advises that people should “dress modestly” when visiting the country, the Post reported.

Also, Article 57 of the state’s constitution says, “[A]biding by public order and morality, observing national traditions and established customs is a duty of all who reside in the State of Qatar or enter its territory.”