Muslim, hijab wearing women in certain European and Eastern countries are facing more discrimination as of late following headscarf bans and mistreatment in the countries they live in. In 2021, the French Senate voted in favor of banning women under the 18 from wearing the hijab in public, and Switzerland, Austria and Belgium followed suite in the same year.
Seen as a religious symbol, a hijabi school teacher in Quebec, in French Canada, was removed from her position due to the province’s Bill 21 that states that some civil servants including teachers can’t wear religious symbols while at work.
Hijabi women are also facing political discrimination in the Indian state of Karnataka as authorities have banned “religious symbols” in classrooms and have been turning away headscarf wearing students at the school gates.
These unjust and discriminatory laws have raised alarms all over the world and a number of celebrities have been using their platforms to speak out and stand by the women who have been affected by these bills.
The likes of Bella Hadid, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Huda Kattan have been taking to social media to express their outrage. Huda Kattan has around 50 million followers across all her social media platforms and took to her Instagram stories to share screenshots and images of news articles, as she captioned, “I’m at a loss for words right now! It’s shocking to see such a huge human rights violation happening in 2022 (and by countries like France & Canada that are supposedly progressive). It’s absolutely crazy and backwards! Freedom of choice to cover up and wear Hijab is a basic human right and no one should dictate someone’s ability to express themselves! What’s next?! I find Hijab so beautiful and powerful, and I always wanted to wear Hijab one day because I love what it represents and I think women who wear it are extremely powerful.”
Part Palestinian supermodel, Bella Hadid also took to Instagram, as she often does when she wants to highlight causes that matter to her, shared three posts and captioned her feelings about the challenges that hijabi women are facing all over the world. In her first post, she captioned, “Although different forms of the hijab and head coverings are starting to make an appearance in fashion, let’s still remember the daily struggle, abuse, and discrimination Muslim women face on a regular basis because of their faith and what they stand for. To each woman’s body, stand their own opinion on what they should do with it. That is NO ONES decision except for theirs.”
In her second post, Bella called for those countries to put a stop to the sometimes violent, discrimination as she continued her caption, “I urge France, India, Quebec, Belgium, and any other countries in the world who are discriminatory against Muslim women, to rethink what decisions you have made or are trying to make in the future about a body that is not yours. It’s not your job to tell women what they should or shouldn’t wear, especially when it is pertaining to faith and safety. We need to change this mindset of immediate judgment. Teach our friends, children, parents, families that wearing a hijab, being Muslim, or being anything other than white in general, does not equal being a threat or different than anyone else. Teach them to love before hate. To educate before judgment. To protect before bullying.”
Other high profile Muslim women also shared her sentiments and liked, commented on and shared her posts such as Somali model Ikram Abdi Omar, Moroccan model Imaan Hammam and Libyan-American writer, Noor Tagouri.