Canada (Quebec) has been the latest country in the world to have banned the niqab, or the face veil worn by some Muslim women as a religious practice. Around forty countries of the world have banned it for one reason or another.
In the light of all this, artists and bloggers on Instagram are displaying their immense talents in showing their discontent against such bans.
A collaboration between many such creative people was recently held on Instagram, resulting in a hashtag full of creative protest. Instagrammers have, and still are using #HandsOffHerNiqab to say all they have to say against niqab bans worldwide. Alongside digital art, canvas paintings of niqabis also have a considerable share in the hashtag.
Bloggers across the social media have also participated by writing blogs on the subject. “If [you thought the] talks of the driving ban being lifted for women in Saudi last month was too progressive a step for the world to take in regards to women’s rights — you were right. This month Quebec takes a step back by passing a law that bans the burqa in public,” blogger Rimsha Rasul wrote in her Instagram caption.
Blogger Muneeza Shah wrote in her blog: “The only thing about this entire situation that is a threat is the fact that those in charge can force you out of your clothes without your own consent to do so.”
Poets have also employed their wonderful skills to creating poetic masterpieces for the hashtag. Some of the most appealing ones include:
“Her daughter saunters,
unapologetic of her black cloth
as a deviant mass
and liberation for women
cannot keep their talons
off her niqab.”
— Rahla Mohammed (@papermasks____)
“She is not forced to wear it,
except if she wants to.
but she is forced not to wear it,
even if she wants to.
i wonder, what is privilege
and what is persecution.”
— Huda (@umsahl)
Photographers are contributing by taking photographs of Niqabis and posting photos of themselves holding the hashtag.
Many non-Muslims are also showing support for the hashtag.
A non-Muslim Instagrammer, Lycka, participated by writing: “I’m not a niqabi, I’m not even a Muslim .. If you want to wear the niqab because of your religion, you should.”
This hashtag has also attracted the attention of public figures such as Kainat Ali Khan who contributed by writing, “Take away my veil and you call that equality? Go shove your equality.“
Another social media influencer, Areeba Siddique posted a photo of herself wearing the niqab and wrote, “Our freedom is different than yours. Taking away a Muslim woman’s right to practice her religion properly is a violation of her rights. This needs to stop.”
Although #HandsOffHerNiqab started as a collaboration between Instagram artists and writers, it’s also taken off to Twitter where people continue to tweet against the niqab ban and post photos of themselves wearing the niqab under the hashtag. Open for all, this hashtag continues to gain support on Instagram and Twitter from Muslims, non-Muslims, Niqabis and non-Niqabis alike. If you too have something to say against niqab bans, there’s ample space for you to join in on both the platforms.