Hijabs as school uniform for nine-year-olds
SIR – Marks and Spencer, you report (October 12), is selling hijabs in the children’s school uniform section.
Islam has absolutely no rule or law which would even suggest – let alone force – the wearing of the hijab by little girls. The hijab should no longer be up for debate; instead, we must engage in open dialogue with Muslim women to learn why they wear it.
For young girls to wear the hijab is a matter of trying to emulate their mothers. As a young girl, I would play with my mother’s hijabs in the same way that I played with her lipsticks and high heels. Unless we decide to ban all make-up that is marketed towards young girls and high-heeled shoes in children’s sizes, I don’t see why the hijab should come under such vicious attack.
The hijab is a comfort for many women, including me, and I am tired of it being polemicised into something that is so far from its true meaning. By politicising it, we fuel hate crimes and social discord.
Freedom of religion is a great asset to our democracy. I believe Marks and Spencer has taken a brave step in the route to social cohesion and understanding. Iffat Mirza