Bella Hadid Condemns Indian State's Hijab Ban: 'It's Not Your Job to Tell Women What They Wear'
The Indian state of Karnataka issued an order on 5 February making uniforms mandatory at pre-university colleges, thus banning religious clothing. The decision has sparked international furore, with many Islamic nations as well as Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, among others, voicing their concerns. India has rejected the criticism.
Bella Hadid, an American model of Palestinian origin, has voiced her criticism of the "discriminatory" practices of France, India, Belgium and as well as Canada’s Quebec province, which have regulated the donning of hijabs and other forms of religious clothing at educational institutions and other public spaces.
“It’s not your job to tell women what they should or shouldn’t wear, especially when it is pertaining to faith and safety,” Hadid wrote in an Instagram post, as she shared a newspaper clipping on the ban of hijabs at pre-university institutions in the Indian state of Karnataka.
“It’s not your job to tell women whether or not they can STUDY or PLAY SPORTS, ESPECIALLY when it is pertaining to their faith and safety,” the Palestinian-American model further stated.
Hadid lamented in her post that the world was turning “Islamophobic” without even acknowledging it.
“The egocentrics of a man to think for even for one second, that they have enough validity to make decisions for a woman in 2022, are not only laughable but actually sick in the head,” she stated.
“It needs to stop,” Hadid concluded.
While the Karnataka state government’s order
calling for banning of hijabs is currently facing the scrutiny of the court, legal bans on face veils are already in place in Belgium, France as well as French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec.
France first banned the hijab, among other religious symbols, in public places back in 2004. In 2010, it became the first European nation to enforce a countrywide ban on full-face veils.
Currently, the French Parliament is debating a new bill which would ban “religious symbols” at sporting events. The bill, which aims to “democratise sport” has already cleared the country’s National Assembly.
Belgium banned the face veils, including burqa and niqab, in public spaces in 2011.
The French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec through its ‘Bill 21’, passed in 2019, prohibits government employees from wearing conspicuous religious symbols at work. The bill has been criticised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which has accused the province’s centre-right government of propagating “politics of fear”.