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Algeria-France: « Hijab Day » at the Paris Institute of Political Sciences : « in the name of all the Algerian women who were assassinated for having refused to bend to the fundamentalist dress code diktat »

Sunday 24 April 2016, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Source: siawi.org 24.04.2016

April 21, 2016

By Lalia DUCOS,
Féminist activist,
President of the Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights (WICUR)

In the name of :
Katia Bengana, secondary school student
Leila Kheddar and Amel Zenoune, law students
Zhor Meziane, school director

In the name of all the Algerian women who were assassinated for refusing the dress code diktat, i want to scream my revolt against this ‘day’ organized by the very students who are supposed to become the elite in our country.

True enough, twenty years passed since the Algerian tragedy and some people put a cover over memories – this is why i can understand that students may not have any knowledge of this period of time, during which we lived in isolation and faced international hypocrisy.

In the name of a generous idea of freedom ad tolerance, some female students legitimize a veil which is supposed to be Islamic, while only obscurantist theologians support it. Moreover, they banalize it.

Is it a delirium on the veil, on the seducive woman, reduced to her sex, exposed to men who are unable to control themselves ? Is it a response to this insult made to men ?

The veil is conceived of, first and foremost, as a flag that makes fundamentalists more visible : it is mostly political, just as the clothes worn by those men mimiking the Taliban are.

Islamist fundamentalism is a totalitarian ideology that manipulates Islam towards political ends. We saw it at work in Algeria, over a ten year-long war against civilians (not a civil war, as is often said) in which were eliminated women, journalists, intellectuals, medical doctors, the modernist elite as a whole.

Fundamentalists were defeated militarily but their project of ‘re-islamisation’ of society succeeded, thanks to the Arab satelite TV channels from the Gulf that, as we know, have the financial means to do so. One just needs to listen to their preachers who are engaged into a true destruction of minds.

It is important to face the fact that they are reproducing in Europe today what they started in our countries of origin. This truth is difficut for some progressive anti racist- people to grasp, and it divided feminists, but the net result is the abandonment of women struggling against the fundamentalist agression.

It is not acceptable that veiled women be discriminated against, however, by confusing religion and culture, by considering veiled women as the only ‘representatives’ of Islam, one runs the risk of discriminating against the vast majority of Muslim women who do not veil and who struggle for the separation between religion and politics, i.e. for secularism, and for the universality of rights.

Translated by marieme helie lucas