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ProHijab: ’Hijaab = Our Freedom + Our Choice + Our Right

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The Assembly for the Protection of Hijab (Protect-Hijab) was launched in February 2004. Its vision is to campaign nationally and internationally for the protection of every Muslim woman’s right to wear the ’hijaab in accordance with her beliefs and for the protection of every woman’s right to dress as modestly and as comfortably as she pleases.

In achieving this, it has the following aims:

  1. To bring an end to the ’hijaab ban wherever it has already been imposed;
  2. To prevent the spread of the ’hijaab ban developing any further;
  3. To co-ordinate the various efforts being made to end or prevent the Hijab ban;
  4. To provide a platform for Muslim women to express their views;
  5. To expose and discourage any false stereotypes which present Muslim women as being oppressed;
  6. To liberate Muslim women from any form of race, religious or sex discrimination whether it be state, institutional, organisational or individual discrimination.

Since its inception, Protect-Hijab has been busy organising numerous events, campaigning and networking to raise awareness and appreciation of the severe damage that the ’hijaab ban in France and elsewhere in Europe is causing as a violation of women’s human rights.

Initial projects included campaign letters to M.Ps and M.E.Ps, and a launch event at the House of Commons on Monday 14th June 2004. The launch was initiated with a gathering of prominent M.Ps, M.E.Ps, human rights organisations and other supporters. Fiona McTaggart M.P. officially helped launch the campaign.

August 2004 saw Protect-Hijab’s Chair, Abeer Pharaon, present a paper at the Second Session of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Brussels. Several other papers have been presented by Protect-Hijab representatives in forums across Europe. These have included the British Labour Party’s Conference, the Eleventh Annual International Law and Religion Symposium in the U.S.A., the Headscarf Conference in Turkey, the European Social Forum in London and the National Assembly Against Racism’s Annual General Meeting.

In July 2004 a hugely successful pan-European conference themed ‘Hijaab: A woman’s right to choose’ was hosted by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone at London’s City Hall. With high profile speakers from the Muslim, Christian and Sikh faiths, government officials, civil liberties and human rights groups; attendees were able to discuss the implications of the ban and to build coalitions to combat it, as well as to portray an honest picture of the reality of the ’hijaab to the wider public.

4th of September 2004 was marked as the International ’hijaab Solidarity Day. Muslims and non-Muslims around the globe participated in demonstrations, to mark their empathy and support for French school girls who were returning to school with the ban in force.

Protect-Hijab extensively promoted the day with heavy television campaigning in prominent networks and news channels such as Aljazeera and Iqraa. Debates were held in Iranian talk-shows. Most recently, a successful press conference was held to launch a Written Declaration in Strasbourg, on 23rd February 2005. Hosted by M.E.Ps Caroline Lucas and Baroness Sarah Ludford, the conference marked the launch of the campaign in support of the Written Declaration presented before the European Parliament on Monday 21st February 2004.

The campaign for this Written Declaration against the ban of religious symbols is Protect-Hijab’s most pressing current project.

The pressure is now on to reach the 367 signature target for the Written Declaration to be adopted by the European Parliament. The Protect-Hijab website www.prohijab.net has been dedicated to the campaign, and contains contact details of all M.E.Ps, up to date list of signatures, model letters and suggestions on how to campaign.With the dedication of the five main signatories, Protect-Hijab and its supporters, from all nationalities, faiths (and no faiths) are working tirelessly to generate diverse and innovative ideas to raise awareness and to encourage citizens to get involved in lobbying their M.E.Ps, to ensure we reach out target figure (367) before the 21st May 2005. 

How You Can Help!
Letters to M.E.Ps are available on the Protect-Hijab website, as are other resources and campaign ideas.

If you would like to help in any other capacity contact us on:
+44 (0) 208-908-9109
alternatively contact our media department on;
+44 (0) 778-625-7120 o r +44 (0) 794-778-7222

E-mail: info@prohijab.net
Website: www.prohijab.net

I-MAG Team -
Furthur information is available at the Editorial Team page

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