Women vow to protect Muslim hijab

Muslim women have launched a Europe-wide campaign to protect their right to wear the hijab headscarf.

The international network Assembly for the Protection of Hijab, or Pro-Hijab, was formed in response to headscarf bans in France and parts of Germany. Pro-Hijab aims to reverse bans already brought in and prevent more “abuses of democracy” being imposed.

“As Muslims we are proud of the hijab, we are not oppressed,” said co-ordinator Abeer Pharaon.

The group, launched in London on Monday, wants to banish the “negative sterotypical image of the hijab which lies at the root of this discrimination” and to offer Muslim women a platform from which they can speak out.

The group has the support of a number of prominent groups such as the Muslim Association of Britain, National Assembly Against Racism, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe and human rights group Liberty.

MEP Caroline Lucas, Fiona McTaggart MP, and George Galloway MP and London Mayor Ken Livingstone have also supported the founding of the campaign.

BBC News, 14 June 2004