Source: Independent Letters
Maajid Nawaz’s tweet that Marks and Spencer “facilitates medievalism” by selling children’s hijabs in the schoolwear category is deplorable. Comments like Nawaz’s fuel the flames of antagonism against visibly Muslims women and are sowing the seeds of hatred in society.
Yesterday a security guard in a reputable and well-known department store behaved in a bullying manner with a Muslim woman leaving the store, following up by moaning loudly with his colleague and making comments about Muslims. I ignored him as I thought he was highly incompetent and unprofessional. However, shockingly, he aggressively stood in front of me outside the store with his arms crossed and was disrespectful. He may have wrongly assumed I am an oppressed Muslim woman in a hijab without a voice who he could bully and disrespect. I assertively told him that I would not allow him to insult me and immediately went back into the store and reported the incident to the manger, who seemed sincerely apologetic.
The hijab has never been a hindrance to our education or careers and we do not suffer any inferiority complex because of it. As Muslim women we are aware of our rights in Islam and in society. If Nawaz wishes to promote the views of feminists and activists, he should do in a manner which will not jeopardise Muslim girls and women who choose to observe the hijab, turning them into a target of ridicule and harassment.
Navida Sayed; London