Leading British Muslim Moderate Tells Women to Abandon Hijab to Avoid Backlash

August 4, 2005

Source: The Hindu

Wire Service: PTI


On August 4, 2005 the Press Trust of India reported, "Amid a wave of race attacks, Dr Zaki Badawi, head of the Muslim College in London and Chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams, has advised Islamic women to stop wearing the 'hijab'(head scarf).

Badawi, a progressive Muslim leader who has advocated integration between Muslims and British society for decades, said a 'woman wearing the hijab... could suffer aggression from irresponsible elements.'

'In the present tense situation, with the rise of attacks on Muslims, we advise Muslim women who fear being attacked physically or verbally to remove their hijab so as not to be identified by those hostile to Muslims,' Badawi said.

'Therefore, she ought not to wear it. Dress is meant to protect from harm, not to invite it,' he said.

There were 269 crimes in three weeks after the July 7 London bombings, compared with 40 in the same period in 2004."