Even though #WorldHijabDay celebrated annually of the 1st of February by hijab-wearing Muslim women was meant to "fight discrimination against Muslim women who wear the headcover," the hashtag and its counter-movement #NoHijabDay or #FreeFromHijab launched to protest compulsory hijab, seemed to stir a heated exchange of accusations and hateful comments instead.
#NoToHijabDay#FreeFromHijab— Shaparak Shajari ?️ #FreeFromHijab (@shaparakshjr) February 2, 2020
We can not celebrate something that is tool of repression on many women around the world
Hijab is not a culture nor a sign of empowerment
Hijab is symbol of misogyny and sexual discrimination pic.twitter.com/XrelRjISJh
congratulations to you ma’am, but don’t go spreading around this belief that being able to show skin = freedom. to choose what you want to wear also means choosing to wear a hijab, so yes it’s celebrated because isn’t that the dream ur speaking of ? idiot. https://t.co/GfgmbBArwo— maha (@TVRVNTO) February 1, 2020
There are Muslim women being harassed, abused, and persecuted for wearing the hijab. That's the reason #WorldHijabDay was made to begin with, not to support oppression (as you claim).— Asadullah Ali (@ProjectAndalus) January 31, 2020
People like you simply bolster far-right narratives and increase bigotry against hijabis. https://t.co/hFyEcTnG9n
Being celebrated for the 7th year in a row, World Hijab Day was founded by a Muslim American woman called Nazma Khan. Khan explains on her website that her decision was a response to the rising hate sentiment against Muslims post 9/11, especially women who wear religious symbols like the hijab, saying that they face discrimination because of their Muslim-looking attire.
The main targets of the UK far-right are Muslims— Liam Baxter (@Liam_Baxter31) February 1, 2020
They target those they perceive to be weak, women
Particularly women in hijab
They are wrong. Women are not weak. Especially women wearing hijab
They can stand in their own, but don't need to
Stand with them #WorldHijabDay
Meanwhile, Twitter activists launched counter campaigns calling for women's freedom to not wear hijab especially in Iran, where it's a compulsory practice and taking it off is considered a punishable "violation of law". Even though the hijab isn't required by law in other Muslim-majority countries, many women still report being forced to wear it, in addition to facing abuse and threats when they choose to not to wear it.
Iran: Any woman to remove her hijab?in public is a crime and faces long term jail.— Vinita Hindustani ?? (@Being_Vinita) February 2, 2020
Despite of being at risk these women are taking off their headscarves throwing it up in the air.
No to compulsory #Hijab | #FreeFromHijab ! pic.twitter.com/QL9pxEAXBa
Unbelievable that there are people who celebrate #WorldHijabDay under the guise of “feminism”.— Darya Safai MP (@SafaiDarya) February 1, 2020
Every day I celebrate my freedom because I don’t have to wear it anymore.
Enjoying every moment the wind blows through my hair.
A freedom I will never take for granted!#NoHijabDay pic.twitter.com/kl7pF7xaUO
Using the Hashtags #NoHijabDay and #FreeFromHijab, ex-hijabi women shared personal anecdotes of the times they were forced to wear the headcover and reactions to their decisions to take it off.
People also shared videos of women taking the hijab off in Iran, saluting their courage to stand against laws and social restrictions, while others called on women who wear the hijab to take it off and to stop celebrating "symbols of misogyny and subjugation."
There're currently six women in Iran of the #WhiteWednesdays campaign who've been sentenced to a total of 109 years for removing their compulsory hijab.— Masih Alinejad ?️ (@AlinejadMasih) February 1, 2020
On #WorldHijabDay let's celebrate women's right to choose while demanding that laws forcing women to veil change.
It’s making a point. It’s standing up for women who don’t have that choice, not a funny topic.— ????? ??????????? (@Strange_G) February 2, 2020
Some social media users noted that hashtag users should focus more on celebrating women's right to choose what to wear and what not to wear all around the world, instead of it being a chance for both sides to attack each other for their choices, fueling hatred and racism.
On #WorldHijabDay there's countless people more concerned about telling Muslim woman what they should or shouldn't be wearing, rather than just letting them choose themselves.— Alex Tiffin (@RespectIsVital) February 1, 2020
Freedom isn't just being able not to wear it, but to being allowed to as well.
I see two # trending about Hijab:— هند الإرياني Hind Al-Eryani (@HindAleryani) February 2, 2020
I believe that we should support
“the freedom of choice”
To make sure that women wearing it or taking it off are doing so by choice and not by force.
As simple as that.
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