17:25 GMT04 April 2020
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    Netizens believed that wearing the Islamic veil was not only uncalled for but also legitimises the oppression of women.

    National Swedish broadcaster SVT's lengthy report on Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria has sparked strong reactions on social media.

    The reason is not so much the conflict itself and its interpretations, which triggered divisive reactions across the globe, but the fact that SVT's Middle Eastern correspondent Stina Blomgren was wearing a hijab.

    Many were mortified by the Islamic “modesty veil” on the Swedish reporter, which they interpreted to lend support to the oppression of women.

    “Why has your Swedish journalist veiled herself when reporting on Turkey / Syria from an indoor studio? Do you support women's oppression?”, an angry user inquired, posting a screenshot.
    ​“Why does Stina Blomgren have a headscarf on when she speaks in Swedish TV? Has she converted to Islam?” another viewer wondered.

    ​“All while pretending to support political engagement that will improve the women's situation in the Middle East. What a joke. A veil in an indoor studio. How is that even possible?” another user scoffed.

    ​Another one, in a nod to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's recent scandal, joked that the reporter was overzealous to do an impression of Aladin and “Arabian Nights”.

    “I believe she just takes the custom where she comes. Just like everyone who comes to Sweden leaves the veil and the prayer mat at the border and swears oaths to follow Swedish customs, laws and respect Swedes, the church, the Swedish culture as long as they are in the country”, another one smirked.

    ​“Stina Blomgren turns her coat to the Islamic wind”, yet another one suggested.

    ​Some went so far as to call SVT “infiltrated by Islamists” and called for it to be privatised.

    Several people pointed out that the SVT reporter is currently in Iran, where the headscarf has been mandatory since 1979.

    Still, many were unconvinced.

    “There is absolutely no need to wear a veil in Iran when standing in a studio/hotel/roof terrace”, a user stressed blankly.

    ​“The law only applies out on the streets but not in private homes or during TV broadcasts to Sweden”, another one stressed.

    ​Some recalled the Swedish government's visit to Iran in 2017, when all Swedish representatives, including current Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who proudly maintains her predecessor's “feminist policy”, donned hijabs.


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