The Council of Europe was right to pull its hijab campaign

This week, the Council of Europe was forced to pull an advertising campaign promoting the hijab following a backlash from the French. As part of a campaign to promote respect for Muslim women, the European body released a number of campaign posters, one of which read ‘Beauty is in diversity as freedom is in hijab’. Shortly afterwards there was an outcry from French politicians, who called for the campaign to be dropped. Sarah El Haïry, France’s youth minister who is of Moroccan descent, said she was vocally ‘shocked’ by the campaign. The posters were also condemned by many Muslim heritage women and secular activists around the world. Some of the

Indonesia’s mandatory hijab ban is a triumph for women

Last week, Indonesia banned schools across the country from forcing girls to wear the hijab, after the parents of a 16-year-old Christian schoolgirl uploaded a video of their daughter being forced to wear the headscarf in Padang, in West Sumatra. According to the Education Minister, schools that now fail to comply with the order will face sanctions. Before the ban, around 20 of Indonesia’s 34 provinces had mandated religious attire for female students and teachers in public schools. Millions of women in Indonesia, including non-Muslim minorities, have had to wear the hijab, with those who refuse facing intimidation and the possibility of expulsion. Public schools in Indonesia have now been