Daily Mail | March 26, 2019
New Zealand women who wear a headscarf in solidarity with Muslim women have faced a backlash from campaigners who say it is not ’empowering’.
Some women including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have covered up in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings which killed 50 people on March 15.
Ardern won widespread praise for putting on a headscarf when she met members of the Muslim community after the terror attack.
But women’s rights advocates said it was a sensitive issue for many women who campaign against the obligatory wearing of headscarves.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, wears a headscarf at a gathering for Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 22
Critics pointed out that women in conservative Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia were forced to cover up for the sake of modesty or risk public rebuke, fines or arrest.
‘When we see non-Muslim women wear the hijab in solidarity of Muslim women it is very ironic and contradictory because our experience with the hijab is not empowering or uplifting in the political sense,’ said Maryam Lee, a Muslim women’s rights advocate and author in Malaysia who chooses to not wear a hijab.
‘I wish [Ardern] hadn’t but I understand where she is coming from because she is not a Muslim and not from a Muslim majority country.’