Pro-Hijab Activists Host Demonstration for European Muslims' Right to Wear Headscarf

July 12, 2004

Source: Reuters

On July 12, 2004 Reuters reported, "Activists launched a campaign on Monday to protect the right of Muslim women in Europe to wear Islamic headscarves. The issue of the hijab -- the traditional headscarf worn round the head and shoulders -- has sparked controversy across the continent and underlined sharp divisions over integrating Muslims. Some 250 delegates from 14 countries congregated at London's City Hall under the banner of a pro-hijab pressure group to campaign over what they see as human rights violations. Among their most vociferous supporters was leading Muslim theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi who called on France to overturn a ban on headscarves in schools, due to begin in September...At the conference, the French headscarf move was also condemned by London Mayor Ken Livingstone who said: 'The French ban is the most reactionary proposal to be considered by any parliament in Europe since the Second World War. It marks a move toward religious intolerance which we in Europe swore never to repeat, having witnessed the devastating effects of the Holocaust.'"