Swedish women from different religious backgrounds are posting pictures of themselves wearing the hijab after a Muslim woman was attacked in Stockholm for wearing one.
Using the hashtag #hijabuppropet (hijab outcry) women posted their photos in headscarves on the social networking sites Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Swedish television host Gina Dirawi and politician Veronica Palm are some of the notable figures who expressed solidarity with #hijabuppropet.
Green Party leader, Asa Romson, went as far as to change her Twitter profile picture, in support of the campaign. She tweeted: “Risk of being beaten and discriminated against for how they choose to dress, everyday life for many women in Sweden 2013”.
Devout Christian, Agda Carlsson from Stockholm said to 5Pillarz: “This campaign to raise awareness is a fantastic initiative. Women of all faiths and no faith are showing their solidarity with Muslim women who are being attacked not only in Sweden, but across the whole of Europe.”
Muslim convert, Amina Dahlberg said to 5Pillarz: “It is very assuring to know that the safety of Muslim women in Sweden is a cause for concern for women in general. It makes me happy that notable Swedish personalities and politicians have also showed their support by posting pictures of themselves wearing the hijab.”
Police spokesman Ulf Hoffman said an unknown assailant had attacked a pregnant Muslim woman in the suburb of Farsta, Stockholm on Friday by banging her head against a car.
Hoffman also stated that the perpetrator shouted racial slurs which have led police to believe the attack was motivated by the woman’s religion.
Personal safety and religious freedom
In an opinion piece published in the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, the organisers of “hijabuppropet” urged Justice Minister Beatrice Ask to take serious measures to “ensure that Swedish Muslim women are guaranteed the right to personal safety and religious freedom, without being subject to verbal and physical attacks”.
They also added: “In addition, we demand that responsible politicians actively draw attention to and fight the structural discrimination that affects Muslim women. We believe that’s reason enough in a country where the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims is on the rise – and where women tie their headscarves extra tight so that it won’t get ripped off – for the prime minister and other politicians to take action to stop the march of fascism”.
Minister Ask said to the Swedish press that “this must be taken very seriously” and agreed to meet the organisers of the campaign later today.