Bella Hadid shows support for Muslim women who wear the hijab

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Supermodel Bella Hadid showed her solidarity with Muslim women by using her platform to raise awareness of discrimination for those who wear the hijab.

Hadid shared a series of posts to her Instagram on Thursday detailing some of the struggles affecting Muslim women across the world today.

One post showed support for Hoda Al-Jamaa, a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Otago, New Zealand, who was hospitalised this month after three other students allegedly ripped her hijab off and beat her.

“It makes me angry and sick to my stomach,” Hadid wrote in the caption.

“We need to change this mindset of immediate judgement. Teach our friends, children, parents, families that wearing a hijab, being Muslim, or being anything other than white in general, does not equal being a threat or different than anyone else.”

As current fashion trends such as the balaclava grow in popularity, Hadid also urged the public to “remember where the hijab resonated from and why it is so important to Muslim women worldwide”.

“Although different forms of the hijab and head coverings are starting to make an appearance in fashion, let’s still remember the daily struggle, abuse, and discrimination Muslim women face on a regular basis because of their faith and what they stand for,” she said.

“If we are seeing more and more appreciation of hijabs and covers in fashion, we have to also acknowledge the cycle of abuse that Muslim women of all different ethnicities in fashion get met with on a regular basis within fashion houses, especially in Europe and America.”

Hadid shared a photograph from a recent project by French publication Yard which aimed to challenge widespread stereotypes of hijabi women.

The photograph shows seven Muslim women smiling and dressed in brightly-coloured outfits by Jacquemus.

“This photo is by a good friend of mine,” she said, tagging French model Taqwa Bint Ali in the caption.

“She said to me ‘I remember I decided to do this shoot because I never saw pictures of Muslim women smiling and colorful. I needed so much to create these images’.”

In a third post, the model called on leaders of France, India, Quebec and Belgium to end “discriminatory” laws against the hijab and other religious coverings in their countries.

Protests have been taking place across the Indian state of Karnataka since early this month after a government-run college barred six teenage girls from wearing the hijab in classrooms.

In January, the French Senate voted in favour of banning the wearing of “religious symbols” – which would include the hijab – in sports competitions.

The ban, which was proposed by right-wing group Les Republicans and opposed by the Emmanuel Macron’s government, was approved with 160 votes in favour, and 143 against.

The draft bill will now pass on to France’s National Assembly after the Senate declined to vote on the legislation this week.

“I urge France, India , Quebec, Belgium, and any other countries in the world who are discriminatory against Muslim women, to rethink what decisions you have made or are trying to make in the future about a body that is not yours,” Hadid wrote.

“It’s not your job to tell women whether or not they can STUDY or PLAY SPORTS, ESPECIALLY when it is pertaining to their faith and safety.”

Muslim women’s right to wear the hijab has been a point of contention in France since 1989 when three students were suspended from a school in Creil for refusing to remove their headscarves.

Since then, at least 100 girls have been suspended or expelled from schools for wearing a hijab in class. In nearly half of these cases, the exclusions were annulled by the French courts. (Source: Independent UK)

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