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Half of Europeans oppose headscarf, support crucifix in classrooms


(hat tip: Islamophobia-watch)

Nowadays, racists and bigots usually come up with justifications to cover up their racism and bigotry, to give cover to it and to package it in something nicer.  Bans on the Muslim headscarf (hijab) were no doubt a reflection of deep-seated Islamophobia, yet we heard politicians claiming that the bans were not targeting Muslims.  Rather, we were told, it is a reflection of Europe’s secularism, and would apply equally to religious gear of all faiths.

A recent poll, however, says otherwise: over fifty percent of Europeans favored banning the hijab from schools, but were meanwhile perfectly fine with (and in fact supported) the placement of crucifixes in classrooms.  To us Yankees, that seems downright backwards.  The hijab is something the individual chooses to wear, not the state–and therefore does not at all impinge on secularism.  Meanwhile, the crucifix is placed in the public school classroom, thereby breaching separation of church and state.

Belgium and France lead the pack when it comes to hijabophobia, and France even seems to be considering a law banning hijab in public altogether.  Secularism my ass (forgive my French).

50% of Europeans opposed to Islamic veil in schools: Study

MADRID – Just over half of Europeans surveyed opposed allowing Islamic headscarves in schools but backed the presence of crucifixes in classrooms, according to a Spanish study obtained by AFP Wednesday…

Opposition to the veil was highest in Bulgaria with 84.3 per cent against and France with 68.7 per cent opposed and it was lowest in Poland with only 25.6 per cent against followed by Denmark with 28.1 per cent opposed.

By contrast 54.4 per cent of those polled were in favour of classrooms displaying crucifixes.

In Spain and Italy, two nations with a strong Roman Catholic tradition, support for the use of crucifixes in classrooms stood at 69.9 per cent and 49.3 per cent respectively.

Support for the use of crucifixes in classrooms shot up to 77 per cent in Britain and 78.8 per cent in Denmark.

The issue of the use of Islamic headscarves has been thrust into the spotlight once again in Europe due to controversial moves by France and Belgium to ban Muslim full face veils.

Last week France announced it would seek a law to ban Muslim residents and visitors from wearing a burqa or a niqab in public, while Belgium was poised to pass a similar ban until its ruling coalition collapsed on Thursday…


Apparently, many European Christians don’t like this headscarf thing too much, but love the crucifix.  I’m pretty sure that’s a bit strange considering that the man who they believe died on the crucifix was born to this woman here:


If the Virgin Mary was alive today, Europeans would say to her: you have to take that heathen headscarf off!  You can keep the crucifix, though.

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  • George Carty


    “As to the painting of the Virgin Mary it is important to understand that the Virgin Mary as well as Jesus Christ are often depicted as European royalty.”

    That isn’t actually a rebuttal — if you’re right then female European royals must have dressed “hijabi” style — in other words this manner of dress was viewed as something worthy of respect…

  • nat

    @ Ferret

    “I thought headscarfs were to discourage Muslims from getting bad thoughts about the opposite gender.”

    Te reasons for hijab are multidimensional. Some have to do with gender relations, others carry transcendental meaning. Muslim women pray with their hijabs on, in the privacy of their homes, even when they are all alone. In that context, the hijab has nothing to do with the ‘male gaze’, and everything to do with piety and religious practice.

  • Asma-bint-Marwan

    Erratum: the militias of Kamal Ataturk went everywhere,on the streets, from Istanbul to Anatolia, and stripped the veils off the faces of the women. By the way, I know that, after what you call “moderation”, neither this post, nor the precedent one will be published. The contrary would be surprising! Anyway,I made my point.Please, learn democracy and respect for the opinions of those who do not share your credo.That would be the beginning for your arabo-ultranationalist and essentially anti-jews party disguised in cult ( in order to seize the Kaaba), to become a real religion.

  • Asma-bint-Marwan

    It is not about headscarfs, but about women completely masked, just like gangsters preparing a hold-up, in public places.If you were working at the shalter of a bank, and saw such vampire silhouettes coming in, would not you call the police? Muslims did not invent the veils.Before The Virgin Mary, whose holy name you should keep out of your propaganda,the antique greek, roman,yemeni,indian,ethiopian(the list will be too long) women used to wear veils, as a protection against dust or sunburns, or just because they found it feminine.In preislamic Arabia too!But they were not forced into it.The problem with the muslim veil,is that even if a woman claims that she is wearing it voluntarily (Taqqiya!), there is always a man behind such a choice: a big brother, an uncle, a father, a husband, even a fiancé, liberal while courting, but jealous after the first kiss. In France and other european countries, there have always been laws which prohibit to go on the streets or in public offices with a mask or any kind of “travestissement”,out of the period of carnaval.Unless one has been invited to a masked ball!They apply to men and women. It would not be necessary to create new law if muslims were not using the head scarf as a political mean. In arabic french colonies too, some women wore scarfs and veils, but they were peasants,illiterate, or…militants carrying bombs under their “safsaris” in order to let them explode in front of the cafés. We know how it ended, especially in Algeria. Besides, Kamal Ata Turk,alias Mustapha Kamal, the father of the turkish modern nation, used to send militia men through the streets of Ankara,to strip the veils from the faces of the women. There a film documentations about that. Ask the turks.In Syria, last week,the parliament just voted a law against the Hidjab. So, stop acting as if you did not know what the whole fuzz and buzz around the hijab are about.For muslims,alas, everything that is not forbidden,can become compulsory. That is why all the people who cherish freedom have to react firmly against them. You want to conquer the world by all means, as you always did. Not the hearts, but the fear of the people!

  • Danios


    Muslim boys will often wear a cap, and girls the headscarf during mosque observance. Furthermore, according to orthodox Islamic belief, a Muslim female–no matter what age–should wear the headscarf when performing her five daily prayers. The intention here would be to be modest in order to promote a state of piety in front of God.

    In the picture above, the answer is simpler: she is attending a rally protesting the headscarf ban. 🙂


  • Ferret

    The child in the picture wearing head scarf….how old is she? I thought headscarfs were to discourage Muslims from getting bad thoughts about the opposite gender. She must be about 5 years old. Why does she need a scarf? Is she playing?

  • Durendal

    Also it might be interesting for your readers to know that in regard to renaissance period European paintings of the Virgin Mary one can even find examples of paintings with her wearing expensive silk garments with Arabic calligraphy spelling the shahada in golden embroidery.
    As at the time the trade in these expensive silk garments was monopolized by the Muslims as they controlled the trade routes with the east.
    European nobility paid huge sums to own these garments and at the time they were considered a status symbol.

  • Durendal

    I follow Loonwatch because sometimes there are articles that makes one think and further ones understanding.
    But this is such a cheap and old argument.
    There is a very simple reason Europeans support crucifixes in school but want to ban hijabs.
    And the reason is that Christianity, unlike Islam, does allow the separation of Church and state.
    Islam simply doesn’t have anything like the separation of Church and state.
    In Islam the Sharia is the law and the law is binding for all eternity if a Muslim wants to reach Islamic heaven.Also of course a crucifix is a lot less visible then Islamic hijabs.
    So I completely understand why Europeans see no problem with crucifixes but do with Islamic veils or symbols in schools. Also there is a further problem with Islamic veils and that has to do with gender discrimination and oppression of woman.
    As to the painting of the Virgin Mary it is important to understand that the Virgin Mary as well as Jesus Christ are often depicted as European royalty.
    Expensive silk garments were something only the nobility could afford it has no relationship to the real Virgin Mary or the real Jesus Christ they are but artistic interpretations of the artist.It also has nothing to do with the cultural concept of woman only being virgins,modest, and proper if they wear veils.

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  • Abdulmajid

    @ Les: That’s right, I have read of cases where a Muslim girl wearing hijab was told in the subway by some middle-aged woman “You are being oppressed”; to which she replied “No, I’m not” – and was asked to take it off. As if she really were too dumb to know better.
    How about if such busibodies just would mind their own business and leave Muslims in peace.
    Besides that, in Russia, Serbia and Greece today, Orthodox women wear a headscarf too. It is even part of many German, Dutch, French, Scandinavian and Spanish traditional dresses. (of course, young people wear them seldom these days. But whenever there is a village feast, you can see them.) Hindu women also cover their head. And nobody complains about that.

  • Les

    Nice find George. I liked it.

    I always wonder how Europeans would react if the Virgin Mary was around today. I recall an Italian politician who stated, paraphrasing here, “Our Virgin Mary wore the headscarf, why should I attack Muslims for wanting to wear the same thing?”

    For me, the most disappointing aspect with the hijab debate is the belief among many Islamophobes that Muslim women are too dumb to know any better.

  • George Carty

    Oh, and speaking of the Virgin Mary, has anyone here heard the Poetic Pilgrimage rap “Modern-Day Marys“?

    In 2006, she too would be
    Walking with a hijab and jilbab
    And praising her Rabb
    In masjids adorned with Arabic calligraphy…

  • George Carty

    Oh, and I’m not really surprised that the strongest anti-hijab sentiment was in Bulgaria. With a rapidly declining population, I guess they fear the Turks may want to avenge 1878.

  • Ustadh

    Enlightened Europe for you. Give me a break. Another enlightening article DAnios.

    I thought Europeans were against all religious symbols but this reveals that it has mainly to do with ISlam. Hypocrisy at its worst.

    @Justin, nice comment.

  • George Carty

    The word “secularism” means “separation of religion and the state” in the English-speaking world, but in mainland Europe it means something closer to “irreligiosity”. And in these terms, hijab most certainly is a threat.

    I don’t regard myself as religious, but seeing a beautiful headscarved woman usually makes me wonder whether there is something to religious faith after all! Or in the words of Japanese Muslim convert Nakata Khaula, “the hijab reminds people who see it that God exists.”

  • Justin

    Good point about Virgin Mary. Are there any pictures of her where she is not wearing Hijab? It is also worthy of note that American and European Islamophobes betray their own “values” (freedom of religion, human rights, etc.) when it comes to Musims. Case in point: Geert Wilders only believes in freedom for white people. Hypocrisy much?

  • arshi

    ouch Zing!

  • Unimpressed

    Shame on Europe, and it’s bigoted hypocrisy. More proof that western secularism is a sham.

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