World Hijab Day 2022 #HandsOffMyHijab

Today marks World Hijab Day 2022. What is clear, is that the importance of this day has only increased since its inception – FEMYSO alongside our civil society partners would like to reiterate the clear statement #HandsOffMyHijab 

The constant attack on the Hijab is centred in a patriarchal view that those in power have the right to legislate on women’s bodies. What a woman chooses to wear (and not to wear) is her own decision and those that seek to undermine this basic fundamental right should be seen as pariah.  

It is hypocrisy of the highest order to governments that seek to rightfully condemn other countries for human rights violations, to enact their own when it comes to the choice a Muslim woman makes whether to wear religious clothing 

The recent decision by the French Senate to ban the Hijab in sports is one of many clear human rights violations that our region has seen. Sport is a unifying platform where one’s talent and work ethic should be the only consideration made. Instead, Muslim women now have to make the choice between wearing religious clothing and engaging in the sport they love.  

In July 2021, a political decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was passed which once again gives a free pass to employers to ban the headscarf. This saw the ECJ prioritise the financial interests of employers and prejudiced customers as more important than the rights of those who are perpetually made vulnerable and kept in a vicious circle of discrimination. 

FEMYSO President Hande Taner said ‘My choice to wear the Hijab was my own and one that has led to numerous barriers being placed in front of me in my pursuit to help shape a more just world. The efforts by many across our region to limit Muslim women like myself due to this aspect of my faith is a shameful endeavour that the generations to come will look upon with shame – #HandsOffMyHijab and the Hijabs of all the incredible young women I represent across our region.’  

As part of our work to tackle Gendered Islamophobia, FEMYSO has launched a survey that seeks to tackle the issues faced by Muslim women in the job market, translated into 8 languages, please take part here.  

We once again call upon EU Member States to stop their obsession with Muslim women’s bodies. We call on the EU and all its institutions to recognise the impact of Gendered Islamophobia on its citizens and to work alongside civil society to implement impactful and holistic policy to tackle this human rights violation.

  1. FEMYSO (est. 1996) is a network organisation for 33 Muslim youth and student organisations across 20 European countries, and is the leading voice for European Muslim youth, developing and empowering them, and working to build a more diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.     
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