The local government in the Australian city of Greater Dandenong is planning what is called a social experiment in conjunction with the celebration of the "National Youth Week" and encourage non-Muslim women to wear the hijab. According to the municipal management it will promote "understanding and insight," while fighting Islamophobia.
The event, which will also be filmed, has been designed to ‘provide awareness, insight and education’ for the community, the municipal management says.
The local authorities contrivance comes after the violent clashes between supporters of the organization Reclaim Australia - which in several cities have demonstrated against Sharia law, halal tax and Islamization - and flag burning "anti-racist" activists.
The proposal has not been well received and critics believe it does not encourage integration, but division and segregation.
Keyser Trad Islamic friendship associated reckoned that the project would be attacked, but believes that the call to non-Muslim women to wear the hijab is a way for "people to engage positively with the Muslim community and get a different perspective."
Director of the Institute of Public Affairs John Roskam, mention the conditions in the Middle East and parts of Africa, where Christians are currently the world's most persecuted religious group - and asks the obvious question:
- If we want people to dress like Muslims for three hours, why doesn't the municipal management also encourage Muslim people to dress as Christians?
This kind of reciprocity, however, Roskam can forget about, as Trad not surprisingly emphasizes, that Muslim women obviously can not walk around without hijab: "It is part of our religion for women to cover their hair. It is an expression of their religious affiliation as saying: I am a dedicated Muslim woman. "
The Herald Suns' Rita Panahis was furious over the proposal:
«What absolute harebrained idiocy to encourage empowered Western women to subjugate themselves in the name of diversity.
Could you imagine the enormous uproar if a council put forward a plan for devout Muslim women to remove their head covering.»
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