Hi­jabs as school uni­form for nine-year-olds

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor -

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

Lon­don SW20

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