SHAFAQNA – Cherif Choubachi, an Egyptian writer and journalist, has called for a protest against the hijab (headscarf); he urged veiled women to join the protest without their headscarves.
He wrote in a Facebook post that, “I suggest the following; a group of girls would take their head scarves off in a day in the first week of May, in a protest at Tahrir Square. They will be guarded by a group of men and I’ll be one of those men, and the security directorate will be informed about this protest as well.”
He also added that the event would be as strong as Hoda Shaarawi’s, when she removed her head scarf publicly in 1923.
Choubachi also pointed out in an article in an independent newspaper that the hijab is ‘one of the main reasons why we are underdeveloped’.
He said that he hopes all women to join in the demonstration at Tahrir Square – the very heart of the Egyptian revolution which forced Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.
Choubachi’s calls have angered many Muslims as they understood his injunction to women as a direct attack against Islam. Buy beyond a simple critic of Islam, scholars and religious figures have warned that Choubachi has come to represent a growing trend of self-hating Muslims who do not understand Islam and its teachings.
“The hijab is about modesty. It is not an object of oppression …. quite the contrary. It is a protection and a mercy onto women to remain modest and pure of heart,” said Professor Hossam Al Bukheity.
“Islam does not have the monopoly when it comes to the hijab. In both Christianity and Judaism women are too asked to cover their hair and dress modestly. Many of course chose not to do so but it does not mean that it is not asked of them. The hijab has become a symbol of Islam because many Muslim women have chosen to obey God’s commands and advises,” he added.