Spare us the World Hijab Day tokenism

February 13, 2018

Published in The New Arab


On 1 February, the UK Foreign Office marked World Hijab Day by inviting  all employees to wear the hijab for a day. 

In the week that followed, the government department headed by Boris Johnson faced growing criticism that taxpayer money was spent on the event. Meanwhile in Iran, women were protesting the mandatory hijab.

In an internal email, staff were asked "Would you like to try on a hijab or learn why Muslim women wear the headscarf? Come along to our walk-in event."


Employees were told that "Muslim women, along with followers of many other religions, choose to wear the hijab. Many find liberation, respect and security through wearing it. #StrongInHijab. Join us for #WorldHijabDay."


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