While Europeans ban the veil, Moroccans campaigns to cover women

unsplash-logoMajid Korang beheshti

​Denmark’s controversial law against the burqa and niqab started being enforced at the beginning of August. Some organizations, mainly Muslim ones, decided to organize protests were only a “few hundred” people showed up, between Muslim women and other, regular women. 

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The ban by Denmark will only affect some 150 to 200 women in the country who wear the niqab or burqa, out of a population of 5.7 million people. Some organizations, such as feminists, Amnesty International, etc, bashed the ban, saying it went against the religious freedom and the liberty of women wearing whatever they want. Meanwhile, the Danish government justified said move by stating that covering one’s face is incompatible with the values of the Danish society.

As these events unfold, this brings to memory the campaign that took place in Morocco not too long ago in July, where, on social media, some groups of integrists launched a hashtag, #kounrajoulan, which in short stands for “Be a man” [and cover your woman] [“Sois un homme” et couvre ta femme, in French]. While media from all over Europe is busy bashing the Danish legislation, it seems only a few rare newspapers covered the events happening in Morocoo, with just one major newspaper (ElPais) doing an article on it, although with a very… interesting [progressist] point of view, with how some feminists were challenging the campaign.

But apart from them? No social rights organization, no European feminists, nothing, no real bashing of Morocco, Islam or the campaign itself. How can a sexist and misogynistic campaign such as #kounrajoulan get away with next to no backlash when it affects thousands of women, while a small ban that affects very few people can get such a widespread response from all over Europe? This is a very good question, and it shows how the priorities of Europeans and European rights organizations are wrongly set, but it also shows how tolerance amongst Europeans has gone out of hand, while nations at the borders of the “West” are still living in, what could be called, the Middle Ages, in terms of civil liberties and rights.

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