‘Hijab Day’ at Paris University: Is the Hijab Now a Symbol of Feminism?

Philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy vented his frustration on twitter: “Hijab Day at Sc Po. When will there be a sharia day? Stoning? Slavery?”

BY Bruce Cornibe · | April 22, 2016

A group of students at Sciences Po in Paris caused a commotion Wednesday after encouraging fellow classmates to wear the Muslim veil for a day to “demystify” a highly controversial practice in France. The student organizers had a list of reasons for starting Hijab Day, below are some of their quotes,

“If you too think all women should have the right to dress as they wish and have their choice respected.”

Those participating would “experience the stigmatization experienced by veiled women in France.”

“It is to raise awareness, open the debate and give the floor to women who are often debated on in public but rarely heard.”

A feminist group on campus, Politique’elles, even supported the move, uttering,

“Whatever they wear, whether a miniskirt or a veil, (women) are criticized.”

“Feminism must remain universal to defend all women, independent of their religion, origin or social class.”

The opposition was not shy in voicing their disgust for the event on Facebook. For example, the student branch of the right-wing National Front (FN) characterized the initiative as “nauseating” and stated that it emanates from a “Parisian middle class disconnected from social reality.” Furthermore, they added,

“this initiative is particularly nauseating when women all over the world are fighting to throw off their shackles. In Iran, for example, women have acid thrown in their faces if they don’t wear the veil.”

Philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy vented his frustration on twitter: “Hijab Day at Sc Po. When will there be a sharia day? Stoning? Slavery?”

France’s divide in opinions is indicative of the clash of worldviews between France’s secular-enlightenment ideals which are hostile to religion in general, and the Islamic worldview that sees submission to Allah as supreme. Also, there is a sense among Muslims that they are being specifically targeted in France (ex. banning of full face veil) because of their religious beliefs, while a larger segment of the French view Muslim immigrants as defying French society (ex. failure to assimilate). A report called “Banlieue de la République,” published by the French think tank L’Institut Montaigne in 2011, confirmed this divide by showing how Islamic enclaves in Parisian suburbs such as Seine-Saint-Denis are turning into “separate Islamic societies,” where Sharia law is replacing French civil law. All this does is create a sort of ‘powder keg,’ type scenario for the French.

One thing I found particularly troubling while covering this specific ‘Hijab Day’ was the claim of ‘Islamophobia.’ Multiple sources, such as The Times of Israel made it imperative to state that France is “grappling with rising Islamophobia after a wave of terror attacks by jihadists.” Don’t phobias deal with irrational fears? Is it irrational to show apprehension towards the French Islamic community when you have experienced the largest terrorist attack in recent memory (November 2015 Paris attacks) or the Charlie Hebdo shooting or the Kosher supermarket attack, etc. carried out by radical Islamists that derive in large part from that same community (as well the Belgian Islamic community)? With constant terror threats against France from groups like ISIS it is easy to see why there has been an increase of French resentment against Islam.

I found it interesting that the organizers used feminist arguments for validating their demonstration, appealing to women’s right to dress how they see fit and empowering the marginalized to be heard.

Does this sound familiar? The same type of presentation happened a couple months ago on World Hijab Day (February 1st) when women were encouraged to wear the hijab to show “solidarity” with women. Doha Medani, a supporter of the event said,

“People see a veil, the hijab, but people don’t understand why we wear it.”

“My hijab is how I represent myself to the world: as a Muslim, first and foremost.”

The World Hijab Day event was supported by MSA (Muslim Student Association), a Muslim Brotherhood front group. Two Muslim women named Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa reveal more of the darker political agenda behind the event, stating,

“Muslim special-interest groups are feeding articles about ‘Muslim women in hijab‘ under siege.”

“Staff members at the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], which has pressed legal and PR complaints against U.S. companies including Disney World and Abercrombie & Fitch, have even called their organization ‘the hijab legal defense fund.’”

In fact, there is a greater movement behind these ‘World Hijab Days,’ and whether the backers of the recent Paris incident were behind this craze, one can only speculate. In 2013, the World Hijab Day was started by a New Yorker, Nazma Khan, who wanted to change the image of the hijab from an object of oppression of Muslim women. The movement has spread throughout a number of colleges and universities. The aim for this year alone is to have ten million participants worldwide.

The agenda of the Islamists are quite clear: to subtly institute Sharia law. Right now the West is in a state of identity confusion, largely due to multi-culturalism. The Islamists know this and the fact that in order to be accepted one has to speak the language of tolerance and understanding. These are exactly the themes that have been promoted by the supporters of these ‘Hijab Days,’ whether it’s better understanding the hijab or standing in solidarity with women. The crazy part is that Muslim activists are not only changing the image of the hijab from a sign of oppression, but are making it into a symbol of liberation. How is that for insanity. It’s important that we are not duped into believing these deceptions.



Truces & Dual Messages

Under Islamic law, the maintenance of a peaceful status quo cannot serve as the basis for a truce when the milestones favor Islamic success in Jihad.

Taqiyya, Trust & Debating Shariah

According to Islamic law, one of the areas in which lying is permitted, and sometimes required, is where it will be advantageous in dealings with attempts to gain the submission of non-believers.


Child Brides in Germany

Sharia treats girls as marriageable at very young ages, following the example of Muhammad himself.


Muhammad “History’s First Feminist”??

An article claims that Muhammad was history's first feminist. Let's look at a few examples of why this is a silly thing to say.


Domestic Violence and Sharia, the UK versus Saudi Arabia

The UK's system of sharia courts seems to be undermining the criminal law against domestic violence among British Muslims, while the Saudis introduce a new innovation in whipping.