CAIRO – The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams believes that hijab is a personal choice for Muslim women that can help them “assert themselves” in communities with different cultures, The Week reported.
“She told me how she would wear her veil and yet take part, too, in some of the school’s Christian lessons.,” Williams said at the Sunday Times Literary Festival in Oxford at the weekend, recalling a recent encounter with a teenage Muslim pupil at a Church of Wales school.
“It gave her an understanding of Christianity and yet wearing her veil was also very important for her to assert herself and her religion,” the archbishop, who will step down at the end of this year, added.
|Hijab: What’s It All About?|
Speaking at the event, the prominent archbishop questioned the view that women hide behind their veils and warned against “what we sometimes think of wrongly as stereotypes”.
His opinions echoed a view expressed by Conservative party chairman Baroness Warsi in an opinion piece in 2010, in which she said that the full-face veil does not prevent Muslim women “engaging in everyday life”.
This is not the first time the Archbishop has supported the right of Muslim women to wear hijab.
In 2006, Archbishop Williams warned that a British ban of the face-veil (niqab) and other religious insignia would be “politically dangerous”.