The issue of hijab is one of the most controversial and hotly debated issue which has merged in the European, especially French scene with regard to racial and religious and gender based discrimination in the 21st century. It is sensitive religious issue which has impacted the education of a section of religious sect on a very substantial front. This ban got implemented by French government on 2nd September, 2004 and has been taken up by the legal and political activists in various parts of Europe like Germany, Belgium and other nations worldwide. This has brought to the surface the worlds conflict with regard to protection of women in Islam from gender discrimination and imposition of extreme fundamentalist view which reinforces the superiority. As Binnaz Toprak expresses; “The scarf is a symbol of the inferior status of women” (Viewpoint).
It is important for Muslim men not impose such discrimination of gender publicly which reinforces in countries which support equality of status by forcing on young school going children the visible discrimination which is offensive to the society in which they have chosen to immigrate. The national laws and observances need o be respected an integrated whenever there is the possibility and intentional decision to chose a new residence with permanent status. The issue of banning hijab is an ethical issue which can have philosophical as well as ideological touch which makes the issue very controversial and complicated. This is also a very multicultural issue which brings the issue of world conflict into the classroom atmosphere and hence legislation and strong measures taken by the French government has been the triggering the issue which has been supported by many European and western nations even central Asian countries. “French right wing President Jacques Chirac’s policy to impose a ban on the wearing of the Islamic veil (hijab) by girls in schools has split the left – both in France and internationally.”(Workers Power).
The issue is very sensitive issue which addresses the radical belief of very extremist and racist society which has chosen to immigrate in liberal nations worldwide. It is also a strong religious imposition which has been challenged by the secular countries which do not want such open expression to be part of the school atmosphere. The problem related to the ban on hijab should be encouraged as a message to this orthodox community. The extremist nature of such social order and racist belief does need to be addressed with firmness abut sensitive approach which is based on education and awareness rather than strong legal imposition. The issue should be addressed as secular issue which has to be made a fundamental pillar which should be presented as an integrated strategy to support the socialist and political issues which can be addressed by campaigns and education conferences. There should be introduction of programmes which support such campaigns and does not directly challenge the dogmatic beliefs which reinforces religious teaching on and universal platform.
The issue is more a socialist issue which aims to remove any strong religious bias which has been associated with the history of racism. The racist issue is another dimension to this problem of banning hijab, which has been a cultural expression which is indicator of oppressive status of women in certain cultural societies and which has not yet been challenged with force and support which is strong enough to break the dogmatic and extremist imposition. The stricture which provides the details of using veil and hijab in Muslim society has been clearly defined and dictated in Quran and has been an indicator of strong oppression toward feminine gender. It is important that people who take the imitative to move out for economic or social reasons to new liberal country would be open minded enough to embrace the progressive nature of the society and give opportunity to their children and women to have equal rights and respect them with civility. This would also allow for their easy assimilation within the new social network and not make them stand out as different in an inferior sort of manner.
It can also be an awkward situation for people who have not seen such treatment to women in their culture to accept such oppressive and discriminatory display by attire in their tradition. This can also lead to hostile situation in which oppression along with racial bias can make the transition difficult for the hijab wearing masses within the new liberal communities. The issue of hijab especially when dealing with extremist approach of the Muslim community who are staunch followers of the teachings of Quoran should be reinforced by the fact that support should be given to women’s right and religious based bias should not impede their children based on cultural and religious and racial impositions.
The policy and legal support should reinforce tolerance as well as understanding which would go to an enormous way in making individual rights to have free expression as strong phenomenon which can support the issue with sensitivity and force which can help foster understanding and acceptance. It should be stressed that ban on hijab is to reduce the barrier which is an expression of oppression and gender bias, and the objective is to encourage gender integration and discourage gender segregation. The powerful message of integration would be the key to getting cooperation and support which can help the issue of banning hijab.