By: Sophia Deen
Recently, on the 4th of June this year, the Belgian Constitutional Court authorized the ban of the hijab; the Islamic headscarf, channeling the flame of a current rise in protests consisting of many college students against the ban. This ban has also included that all other visible religious, political and philosophical signs are not to be worn- but this is why hijab women across Belgium, and the rest of the world, are outraged.
This ban has been placed upon muslim women as a direct violation of human rights, enforcing rules to control their expression, appreciation and beliefs for the religion. For years and years, muslim women have been falsely accused of being oppressed by the hijab many times, yet what many people don’t see is that for most hijab women, wearing the hijab is a choice which is not forced upon them- and by taking away their basic right to be able to dress the way they wish to seems like it could be classified as oppression itself.
prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
The Islamaphobia tied to the justification of the ban has been relentlessly present, the exaggerated hostility against Muslims and the religion of Islam has been dragged across by the negative stereotypes presented upon them. Many countries in Europe have taken their religious freedom away, and the 4th of June has not been the first incident of this happening. Since 2004, public servants in France were not allowed to wear the hijab and in 2011, France passed the ban on the burqa/niqab (the full-face veil) and in 2016, France introduced a ban on women’s full bodied swimsuits directed to muslim women who prefer to dress modestly, yet could be worn by anyone, commonly known as the ‘Burkini’. North America have also contributed to the discrimination against muslim women with their notice in which women in the public servant sector are prohibited from wearing the hijab in Quebec, introduced in 2019. The ban on hijabs will not and never be justified by Belgium’s secular values.
Banning the hijab in schooling facilities deliberately prevents muslim hijab women's access to a proper education. there has been a rise in comments regarding the comeback of the “headscarf” as a fashion statement, yet many muslims have stated that when muslim women wear the hijab it is considered “oppression” yet when it is in the name of fashion, it’s considered “exotic” and “trendy”. Prohibiting a woman from dressing modestly has the same connotations of asking another woman to cover up, yet the removal of a woman’s hijab- an article of clothing- is still not considering a hate crime.