Women Rip off Muslimah Hijab in London

Adding to Muslim concerns about safety, another veiled British Muslim mother was attacked and her hijab ripper off by a group of women when she went to collect children from a London primary school.

“They pulled my headscarf off and started punching and kicking me,” the mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Standard on Saturday, June 6.

“One was dragging my head down while the others were hitting me.

“They were being so racist and using derogatory terms.”

Problems started when the mother went to collect her children from school when she met three women who attacked by three women to started “shouting and hurling abuse” because of her hijab in Derby Road, Croydon, close to the private Islamic primary school Al-Khair in south London.Hijab

They allegedly asked if she was hot in the headscarf, before tearing it off and punching her. The attack left her with whiplash and chunks of hair missing, but with no significant physical harm.

World Hijab Day celebrated on February 1st

world-hijabOn February 1st, millions of women, either Muslim or non-Muslim, prepared their headscarf to don hijab for a day, showing solidarity and respect to Muslim women’s choice to cover.

“I think it is important today to try to understand and experience other cultures and belief system,” Elizabeth Croucher, a non-Muslim Londoner, told OnIslam.net.

Muslim and non-Muslim women wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf will march on the streets of 116 countries to mark the third anniversary of World Hijab Day.

The World Hijab Day, held for the third consecutive year, is the brain child of a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding. Suggesting the event, Khan wanted to encourage non-Muslim women to don the hijab and experience it before judging Muslim women.

A Makeover for the Hijab, via Instagram: Muslim Women Add Personal Style to a Traditional Garment

August 17, 2014

A few years ago, Ascia Sarrha tracked the fashion blogosphere with frustration. As a Muslim woman who wears a head scarf, known as a hijab, she rarely saw someone who looked like her. A fashion enthusiast from a conservative culture, she decided one answer was to create a blog of her own.

Today Ms. Sarrha, now 24, has close to 900,000 followers on her Instagram feed, ascia_akf, who watch her model a kaleidoscope of stylish, but modest, outfits from brands such as Diesel and BCBG. (Some of her posts are sponsored by businesses in Kuwait, where she is based.) Not so long ago, it was considered radical for a Muslim woman to put a picture of her face online, Ms. Sarrha said in a phone interview. “I was one of the first personal style bloggers to show my face.”

Muslim women in their 20s and 30s are making their own mark on hijab culture, while propagating it in a way particular to the “selfie generation”: by posting pictures and videos of themselves on various social media sites.

“A lot of Muslim girls who wore the hijab got tired of being told that they couldn’t be stylish or that they had to be frumpy or dowdy,” said Melanie Elturk, 29, the founder of Haute Hijab, a Chicago-based company that sells head scarves and modest clothing. Haute Hijab’s Instagram page, which has more than 29,000 followers, is filled with smiling women in an array of bright and floral head scarves looking anything but dowdy.

In the not so distant past, the hijab had a very different image in the West, one that stoked controversy in countries like France and led to stereotypes of oppressed Muslim women.

The style tipping point may have been the release last year of the music video “Mipsterz,” shorthand for Muslim Hipsters, mixed to Jay Z’s “Somewhere in America” that featured urban women dressed in head scarves skateboarding, juggling and doing handstands. Their clothes were more evocative of hipster Williamsburg than a mosque. The video instantly went viral and has been viewed more than a half-million times since December.

Germany: Dismissal because of headscarf

July 10, 2014

A hospital in the city of Dortmund has nonretained a nurse because of her decision to wear a headscarf. The thirty six- year-old nurse decided to wear a headscarf after returning from her second parental leave. Manager Günther Nierhoff explained that the headscarf ban for hospital staff is well known and openly communicated: “We employ a great deal of nurses and doctors which are Muslims”. The manager emphasized that this procedure has nothing to do with discrimination since the hospital offers a room for silence and a special washroom for Muslims.

Baby Loup: The Court of Appeals Confirms the Dismissal of the Veiled Employee

June 25, 2014

Fatima Afif, the Muslim employee who wore a headscarf to the Baby Loup crèche in Chanteloup-les-Vignes, has lost her fight in the French courts. On Wednesday, June 25 the court delivered an official and final ruling on the case, which has been an ongoing legal battle for four years. According to Le Monde the dismissal was “indeed well justified.”

The court ruled that according to labor law, a private enterprise, or an association as in the case of the Baby Loup crèche, can “limit an employee’s freedom to display religious beliefs,” in certain justifiable cases. Baby Loup had its own set of internal rules, which state, “The principle of the freedom of conscience and of religion of each of its personnel cannot interfere with the principle of secularism and of neutrality that applies to the performance of its activities.”

Afif’s lawyer argued that “the Court of Appeals did not solve the question of Islam through the veil in France, it solved the problem of the Baby Loup crèche.” In contrast, Baby Loup’s lawyer Patrice Spinosi stated that the outcome represented “a big decision” that will have lasting effects on other organizations.

Hidden discrimination

May 21

Young female Muslims, for instance those wearing visible religious signs such as the headscarf are subjects of discrimination in everyday life. When looking for accommodation, applying for jobs, apprenticeships or internships female Muslims report discriminating gestures and rhetorics by potential renters and employers. Once facing discrimination, they have the option to ask for advice. The anti-discrimination network of Berlin (ADNB) is a project under the sponsorship of the Turkish Union Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB) and is financially supported by the Federal State program against right-wing extremism, racism and anti-semitism of the Senate of Berlin. The goal and tasks of ADNB are to increase equal treatment, sensitization of the public and advisory service and support for discriminated individuals.

The ADNB advices and supports clients who consider legal measures against potential employers. One of the major challenges that remain are to prove discrimination by gathering facts and evidences. Most employers deny any attempt of discrimination. With regards to risks and opportunities of a trial, clients can address lawyers, which are provided by ADNB.

Racism Prevails In France: Report

April 4, 2014

 

France’s annual report on racism has revealed a dramatic increase in intolerance among French people, reaching its highest level since 2002, amid concerns among anti-racism groups of the growing anti-immigration sentiments in the society.

“The commission’s report presents figures that are very worrying for French society,” wrote Louis-Georges Tin, president of Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN) for the Nouvel Obs website.

Commissioned by the government’s National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), the annual racism report for 2013 was based on survey results by the French institute conducting opinion polls.

According to the bleak report, nearly 35% of surveyed people acknowledged being “racist”, compared to 29% in 2012.

Out of 1000 respondents, ninety identified themselves to be “quite” racists, while 260 said that they are “little” racists.

The most vulnerable races to discrimination in the French society are the Roma and Arab Muslim minorities, as 87% of respondents agreed that they are “separate groups in French society”.

The annual report, which aims to fight racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, found that “levels of intolerance were apparently on the rise for the fourth year running and the number of French people concerned by immigration stood at 16%”.

The rise of Racism in France can be linked to the recent victories by the far-right National Front (FN) party that won local elections in 11 towns. About 63% the French people believe that immigrants are not working.

More than two-thirds of the respondents said that hijab poses a problem for the French community.

The annual report has also found that racial language became more common over the past year, mainly targeting Muslim and Roma minorities.

Racism Decreased

Although the results of the public survey found a critical increase in racism among French people, members of the CNCDH claimed that racism in France “was decreasing over the long term”.

“The time of ratonnades (violent attacks on North African immigrants) has passed, but the racism that exists today is more underhand and it is no longer reserved for the extreme fringes of society. It penetrates all levels,” Christine Lazerges, President of CNCDH told a press conference this week.

“The scapegoats today are primarily the Roma, who have been stigmatized, including by the government and then North African Muslims.”

According to Lazerges, CNCDH president, the survey results reflect a “growing lack of intolerance and acceptance for those who are different”.

France is home to a Muslim community of nearly six million, the largest in Europe.

French Muslims have been complaining of restrictions on performing their religious practices.

In 2004, France banned Muslims from wearing hijab, an obligatory code of dress, in public places. Several European countries followed the French example.

France also outlawed the wearing of face-veil in public in 2011.

Last December, a French government report has proposed ending the ban on Muslim headscarves, teaching Arabic and emphasizing the ‘Arab-Oriental’ dimension of French identity.

The report stressed that France, with Europe’s largest Muslim population, should recognize the “Arab-oriental dimension” of its identity.

Yet, in the same month the French minister of education has maintained 2004 ban on hijab for Muslim volunteers in school trips, ignoring a legal advice from France’s Council of State.

A report in Le Monde on the 10th anniversary of French headscarf ban: ‘Ten Years After the Headscarf Ban: New Tensions’

March 15, 2014

 

A report in Le Monde on the 10th anniversary of French headscarf ban: ‘Ten Years After the Headscarf Ban: New Tensions’

 

Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2014/03/15/voile-apres-dix-ans-d-interdiction-de-nouvelles-tensions_4383602_3224.html

 

(Note: needs a subscription to Le Monde to access full article)

French Muslims Protest Islamophobic Laws

March 16, 2014

 

Marking the tenth anniversary of banning hijab in public places in France, hundreds of Muslims and rights activists have protested in Paris to demand abolishing Islamophobic laws and offering more protection to the religious minority.

“All political parties contribute to the current climate of Islamophophia, but so does the media,” a El Hamri, a Muslim activist, told Press TV during the protest held on Saturday, March 15. “They all create a false reality which creates real problems.”

Saturday’s protest was organized by the Campaign of Elimination of Islamophobic Laws which urged French Muslims and rights activists to take part in the anniversary march in Paris. Campaigners aimed to overturn Islamophobic status in France by highlighting Muslim rights to freedom of expression and religious practices.

Citing anti-Islam campaigns led by difference factions of French politicians, Muslim activists expressed concerns that with a broad political backing of anti-Islam laws, it’s not easy to counter what they dubbed as ‘discriminatory laws’. These political groups include the far-right National front, the conservative UMP and even the ruling Socialists.

Lamenting the anti-Muslims polices in France, El Hamri asked:  “What will be the next Islamophobic law; the law which bans Muslims from living here? I’m exaggerating… but it will be another law which tries to make Muslims even more invisible! And we want to be visible. Not to create differences, because we have to define our dignity and identity.’’

France is home to a Muslim community of nearly six million, the largest in Europe. French Muslims have been complaining of restrictions on performing their religious practices. In 2004, France banned Muslims from wearing hijab, an obligatory code of dress, in public places. Several European countries followed the French example. France also outlawed the wearing of face-veil in public in 2011.

Last December, a French government report has proposed ending the ban on Muslim headscarves, teaching Arabic and emphasizing the ‘Arab-Oriental’ dimension of French identity. The report stressed that France, with Europe’s largest Muslim population, should recognize the “Arab-oriental dimension” of its identity. Yet, in the same month the French minister of education has maintained the 2004 ban on hijab for Muslim volunteers in school trips, ignoring a legal advice from France’s Council of State.

 

Source: http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/470305-french-muslims-protest-islamophopic-laws.html

EEOC details employer rules as religious worker complaints rise

March 6, 2014

 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new, detailed guidelines for employers Thursday (March 6) as the number of complaints and million-dollar settlements for cases of religious workplace discrimination neared record levels in 2013.

An EEOC spokesperson, Justine Lisser, said Thursday that the 20-year trend shows “a persistent uptick in religious discrimination charges that continues unabated.” Complaints have more than doubled since 1997. Lisser also said that representatives of religious groups have asked for more EEOC outreach in this area.

There have been guidelines in the past but the EEOC spelled out workplace rights and responsibilities in a new question-and-answer guide and accompanying fact sheet.

The new guidelines detail how businesses with more than 15 employees must accommodate workers with “sincerely” held religious beliefs — and unbelievers who “sincerely” refuse religious garb or insignia. Businesses cannot refuse to interview a Sikh with a turban or a Christian wearing a cross. Neither can they limit where employees work because of their religious dress.

In 2013, Umme-Hani Khan won her case against Abercrombie & Fitch, filed in 2011, after a supervisor said she didn’t fit the model look for their San Mateo, Calif., store because she wore a headscarf.

Title VII, which is enforced by the EEOC, “defines religion very broadly to include not only traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or may seem illogical or unreasonable to others.”

The rules apply to the sincerely unreligious as well, as long as these views relate to “what is right or wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”

According to the EEOC, in fiscal year 2013, the commission received 3,721charges alleging religious discrimination, more than double the 1,709 charges received in fiscal year 1997.

RNS.com: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/03/06/eeoc-details-employer-rules-religious-worker-complaints-rise/