Wassima El, a Moroccan woman born in Belgium, has been struggling for years to get a job. ‘’A lot of work placements refuse to hire women with a headscarf, I have been looking for a job for over a year now. I know it is because of my hijab because I have been asked to take it off during job interviews”
Just like Wassima, many women with Islamic believes face the same problem. Prejudices are made towards these women. “we don’t want to send the wrong message as a company” the employer said to Wassima. Why did the employer make a correlation between hiring someone with a hijab and sending a “wrong message”?
The answer the employer gave to Wassima is most likely driven by prejudices and misconceptions. Misconceptions and Prejudices about the hijab. Misconceptions are often fed by media, discussing certain topics without a filter. Exposing many people to the (sometimes) misleading information. Also Addressing ‘issues’ such as the hijab and why it should be banned. Even Amnesty International itself made a statement as to why the Hijab is considered to be misogynistic and contradictory towards women and human rights in their believes.
Fortunately, many organizations try to counter these misconceptions and prejudices. MVVN is one of these organisations, MVVN, is an anti-racism and feminism group of Muslim women who fight against prejudices and the exclusion of the Muslim community.
I interviewed Samira ben Ahmed an ex-member of the MVVN who was an active member of the organisation for almost 10 years.