After the Sweden Democrats proposed a bill in 2018 to go “against the full-covering Muslim veil in all public places”, the local council in southern Sweden, Skurup, introduced a ban on “religious headgear” in primary schools and preschools.
Following this decision, non-Muslim teachers and staff have adopted the headscarf and, in some cases, donned the whole face veil (also known as ‘niqab’) to show their support for their Muslim students.
Marit was one of six non-Muslim teachers to show their support, saying:
“The students get excited when they see that we also have veils. They feel that we support them.”
This action has been taken as a protest against the local council’s decision, but also an objection to ‘ban the burqa’ all over the country.
The chair of Malmo’s Young Muslims, Tasnim Raoof, argues that the ban denies “Muslim women’s right to their…democratic freedom of choice.” After the Skurup council implemented the ban, Raoof went on to say, “this criminalizes Muslim girls.”
The burqa ban in Skurup has allowed a new ripple of racism and hate to take place, which in the wider scale will eventually become a wave that is spread across the whole of Sweden. This ban is not something new, as we have seen the same thing happening in many other countries across Europe such as Belgium, France, Denmark, and Austria.
Most notably, Non-Muslim women went out of their way and risked their safety to fight against this ongoing marginalization of Muslim women.
In light of these events, it is important for Muslim women all over the world to stay strong in their faith at a time where their home and neighboring countries are legislating the removal of that which promotes their identity as Muslims.