Islamic Human Rights Commission

2nd August 2003


Please find details below of a new project IHRC will be working on and details on how interested campaigners can take part.


Sisters facing discrimination due to their wearing of hijab, or indeed any type of Islamic dress is not a new phenomenon. As you are aware IHRC has campaigned in the past for sisters in Turkey who have been faced with this type of discrimination. Common scenarios have seen sisters being refused entry into higher education, entry into employment and even refused medical assistance. In one extreme case a family was even sentenced to the death penalty. Alhumdullillah this was averted, see report titled \”Report of IHRC Observer into the Legal Proceedings against Huda Kaya and the Malatya 75\”

Since the events of September 11 2001, the subsequent \”War on Terror\” and the current \”War in Iraq\”, attacks on sisters in hijab have increased dramatically. IHRC documented attacks on Muslims after September 11 in the UK in two reports titled \”UK Today: The Anti – Muslim Backlash in the Wake of 11th September 2001\” published in October 2001 ( and a year later in \”The Hidden Victims of September 11: The Backlash Against Muslims in the UK\” (, published in September 2002. The findings showed that the sisters in hijab, i.e. those most easily identified as Muslim bore most of the attacks, ranging from verbal, psychological and even physical.

Similar findings were also published in the February 2000 report titled Anti – Muslim Hostility and Discrimination in the UK, 2000 (, which indicates that hostility towards many Muslim women is a long-standing phenomenon.

Although IHRC\’s reports focused on attacks occurring in the UK, we also received reports of numerous cases in Europe, Australia and the USA.

It has recently emerged that in France new legislation is being proposed, designed to curb the wearing of all religious symbols in public places. This would have a huge impact on the many sisters in France who choose to wear the hijab.

Hijab Project

The problems outlined above are just a fraction of the cases we hear about. In light of the above, IHRC will be working on a Europe wide project on collecting information about hijab discrimination.

The aims and objectives of this project are summarised below:

1. To collate Europe wide data on discrimination faced by Muslim women with regard to their way of dress.

2. To use such data to inform policy makers of extant discrimination.

3. To use such data to map the needs of Muslim women across Europe and lobby for local, national and regional provision for such needs as are identified.

We have prepared a questionnaire that will be used to collect cases of discrimination and then used in a final report, to be used in parts 2 and 3 above.

IHRC are asking anyone who wishes to participate in this project to email us at We will then forward you a copy of the questionnaire, which when filled in can be returned to us at the above email or faxed at (+44) 20 8904 5183. Alternatively if you are a member of a group and have your own list, you may wish to forward the questionnaire and ask the group to return it to

Please be assured all information given will remain strictly private and confidential. If there are any queries please do not hesitate to contact us at, or by telephoning us on (+44) 20 8902 0888 or (+44) 20 8904 4222.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8902 0888 or (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183

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