Bosnian women protest against hijab ban in judiciary


UPSET: Hundreds of women in hijab protest in Sarajevo on Sunday. (AFP). The Muslim Times has most extensive collection on the subject of Hijab

Source: Arab News and AFP

SARAJEVO: Some 2,000 people, mostly women, protested on Sunday in downtown Sarajevo against a recent ban on wearing a hijab head scarf in the majority Muslim country’s judicial institutions.

“We gathered to protest against prejudices, discrimination and marginalization,” Samira Zunic Velagic, one of the protest organizers, told the crowd.

“The ban of wearing hijab in judicial institutions is a serious attack against Muslim honor, personality and identity, a violation … aimed at depriving them of their right to work,” she added.

The protest was sparked by a recent decision of Bosnia’s high judicial council, a body tasked with supervising the functioning of the judiciary, to ban “religious signs” in judicial institutions.

The decision, which concerns judges and other employees in the sector, but does explicitly mention hijab, was strongly condemned by Bosnia’s Muslim political and religious leaders as well as numerous local Muslim associations.

The protestors marched for around an hour through the capital’s center carrying banners that read “Hijab is my Daily Choice,” “Hijab is my Right” or “Hijab is my Life.”

“We came here to say that we are not the victims of this scarf. We came to defend our rights. It is our crown, our liberty, our honor,” Elisa Hamovac, a 33-year-old stay-at-home mother, wearing a light blue hijab, told AFP.

Muslims make up around 40 percent of Bosnia’s population of 3.8 million and are mostly moderates. The others are mostly Christians.

Hijab was banned by the communist authorities while Bosnia was still part of the former Yugoslavia until 1992 when it proclaimed independence.

Today many Muslim women wear hijab, with some being completely veiled. However, most are not veiled.


Mother Mary praying

Mother Mary is always with a Hijab in artist’s imagination

2 replies

  1. It is a tough question. Muslims are only 40% in the country and we do not want any practices that creates discrimination against the rest of the 60%.

    After all we promote secularism in the non-Muslim countries and are very jealous of our individual rights, when it comes to ‘Christian’ Europe, Americas and Australia.

  2. Islamic Hijab or purdah (head covering and a coat) is not a restriction on women but is a symbol of modesty. Islam awarded Muslim women the right to seek an education and a job while wearing the hijab more than 1,400 years ago. There are Muslim women who are lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, and even heads of states and they do this while wearing a hijab!

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