The Council of Europe was right to withdraw its hijab campaign

This week, the Council of Europe was forced to withdraw an advertising campaign promoting the hijab following a reaction from the French. As part of a campaign to promote respect for Muslim women, the European body published a number of campaign posters, one of which read “Beauty is in diversity as freedom is in the hijab. “.

Shortly after, there was an outcry from French politicians, who called for the campaign to be abandoned. Sarah El Haïry, French Minister of Youth of Moroccan origin, declared that she was vocally ‘shocked‘by the countryside. The posters were also condemned by many Muslim women and secular activists around the world.

Some campaign messages, such as “my scarf my choice”, are relatively uncontroversial. But Council proclamations such as “respect the hijab” and “freedom is in the hijab” suggest the campaign was more interested in promoting sexist codes of modesty than in upholding human rights or opposing anti-sectarianism. -Muslim. Perhaps the Council of Europe should have taken inspiration from its own seminar on “fight against sexist advertising‘ Last week.

While the campaign would have been in bad taste at all times – given that the hijab continues to be enforced millions of muslim women around the world – so that it became that of the Taliban bloody sexual segregation endangering the lives of Afghan women is truly disgusting. The hijab is not a “freedom” for Afghan women kill and threatens for challenging Islamic mandates. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are tear clothes and even target women who are not wearing the “right” type of hijab.

The Council of Europe’s hijab campaign was organized by Femyso, a forum claiming to represent young Muslims around the world. This group clearly did not consider the subjugation of Muslim women, whether in Afghanistan or Iran, where many risk imprisonment to defy the imposition of the hijab. It is not surprising that Iranian feminists, like the Belgian MP Darya Safai found the Council of Europe campaign and its misrepresentation of the hijab as a symbol of feminism particularly repugnant.

The hijab keep on going be imposed on women across the Muslim world, even when it is not codified in law. Transgender woman had to flee Malaysia last month after being accused of blasphemy for wearing the hijab. Women are whipped in officially secular Indonesia for having sex outside of marriage.

The reason Islamist sexism prevails in the Muslim world is not because there is a collective and identical misinterpretation of Islamic scriptures, but because the prevailing codes are derived directly from these texts. The Quran clearly defines contrasting values ​​and modesty outfits for men and women, leaving the latter the responsibility of covering themselves so as not to face bullying. The combination of these commandments, and the ensuing Islamist stranglehold on Muslim states and communities, gives rise to the lollipop error which objects women who do not wear the hijab as “candy” which invites “flies”, even pushing underage girls to put on Islamic headwear.

These are the values ​​of the 7th century, which are today shamelessly shared by Islamists like Imran Khan. Countless Muslim Women Tell How Islamic Scriptures Carry on be used to shame them for shaping their lifestyle choices and to maintain gender segregation.

But many self-proclaimed progressives and feminists in the West are blind to support openly sexist messages, ostensibly to counter “Islamophobia”. The very famous “World Hijab Day”, for example, proclaim loud and clear that wearing the hijab means living a “life of modesty”, which very clearly shames women who refuse to wear it.

As a result of this liberal surrender, values ​​rejected as regressive in the West decades ago are being touted as the epitome of progress for the Muslim world. This is particularly damaging for Muslim women and dissidents, with anyone who challenges Islamist inertia – proliferated by Saudi Arabia and Iran in Sunni and Shia spheres over the past four decades – instinctively deemed “Islamophobic”.

Sections of the left in Muslim countries often imitate Western liberal movements allowing dissidents to be accused of being “islamophobic‘even in predominantly Muslim countries that sanction death for criticizing Islam. And now blasphemy codes are supported by the European Human Rights Courts.

The fight against sectarianism against Muslims is no excuse to endorse the hijab, derailing the daily struggle of millions of women who push back the hegemony of religions in the Muslim world. Those designing the next Council of Europe advertising campaign would be better advised to recognize that any mandated religious code for women, adopted by autocratic regimes, does not mean freedom. And that the freedom to wear the hijab can be defended without flinching without insulting its victims.

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