Iraqi Women Forced to Wear Headscarves to Avoid Attacks by Fundamentalists

Since the US-led invasion in Iraq, more and more Iraqi women, both Muslim and Christian, are wearing headscarves in order to protect themselves from attacks by Muslim fundamentalists.

A female student at Baghdad University recently stated that she chose to wear a headscarf so she could “walk in the street without fearing someone will kill me or kidnap meÉI head rumors about killing women without a scarf. Why should I risk my life?” reports United Press International. One student fears that the fundamentalists “want another Kabul” where the Taliban inhumanely forced women to wear a burqa that covered their entire body from head to toe and denied women the right to education, health care, and employment. Another student asserted that “the scarf has nothing to do with faith” and when women can’t walk the streets without being covered from head to toe “will be the end of Iraq as a civilized country,” according to the Washington Post.

For several decades, even under the oppressive rule of Saddam Hussein, Baghdad was considered a very modern city where women could choose to wear clothes that ranged from skirts and blouses to more traditional outfits. However, today, seeing a woman uncovered in the streets of Iraq is a rare occurrence.

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Washington Post 12/30/04; United Press International 12/30/4

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