Unbeknown to almost everybody until today, February 1st is apparently World Hijab Day. This is one of the latest creations of the liberal feminist swamp and has its very own hashtag: #StrongInHijab
As usual, this is a day which gives rise to the most sickening displays of virtue signalling. Privileged middle-class Western feminists are lining up to display their multicultural credentials by donning a hijab as a fashionable symbol of liberation. They are willfully ignorant of the brave women in Iran and other places in the Middle East where women are literally risking their lives to remove the hijab. To them it a hated symbol of oppression. The Iranian regime has decreed it compulsory for a woman to cover every part of their body apart from their face, and wearing a hijab is thus compulsory.
British Prime Minister Theresa May joined in the chorus of the self-righteous last year, telling the House of Commons that “a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants”. However, she makes absolutely no mention of women who do not want to wear a hijab and are regularly arrested or imprisoned for not wearing one.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 16, 2016
Punishments for removing a hijab can be brutal – Islamist regimes are known to physically beat women for non-compliance with their dress codes. This is true not only in the Middle East but increasingly on a local level in the West.
A brave headteacher in a London primary school recently took action to ban children under 8 from wearing hijabs in her school. The school is in an area of east London which has undergone almost total population replacement from white working-class 50 years ago to mostly people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslim origin today. The response of the local community was to organise a campaign of intimidation against her until she backed down.
In these cases, the women and girls in question have no choice to wear what they want. Unsurprisingly, Theresa the Appeaser has little to say about that.
School Reverses Hijab Ban for Small Children After ‘Islamophobia’ Accusations https://t.co/7OnSeJrMr2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 21, 2018
The behaviour and pronouncements of Western feminists have become increasingly bizarre. They have complete freedom already but use their freedom to don a symbol of oppression which Middle Eastern women long to remove. They are locked in their own bubble proclaiming the wonders of being able to wear what they want – a hijab, maybe a niqab, or even burqa — but say absolutely nothing about women in Muslim countries who are denied the choice of wearing jeans or skirts or showing their hair. They even stay silent when young girls are forced to cover their hair, a disturbing practice which even in strict Islam is not required for girls who have not reached puberty.
On this World Hijab Day, let us remember the brave women of Iran who are willing to publicly remove their hijabs in protest against totalitarian Islamist regimes and their oppressive dress codes. They are willing to risk punishment so that other women can have real freedom to choose what they can wear. They are worth ten thousand Western feminists whining in their safe spaces about rights they already have.
David Kurten is a member of the London Assembly for UKIP.