Women all across the country of Sweden are protesting against islamophobia by wearing hijabs. The campaign is to show support with a muslim woman, six months pregnant, who was attacked in a Stockholm suburb for wearing one. Actually racism in Sweden isn't something of the past few years. In fact the number of Islamophobic incidents in Sweden is on the rise. All this came to me as a surprise. I always thought of Sweden as a warm, tolerant country.
In the country where I live, The Netherlands, there was a similar action in 2010 of non-religious women who set up a headscarf in solidarity. The reason for this was Geert Wilders (a well known Dutch politician, unfortunately), who in pre-election suggested a 'kopvoddentaks' to enter, or a penalty for women who wear headscarves.
I think that the idea of Wilders is ridiculous. In most cases women decide for themselves whether or not they want to wear a headscarf. Most muslim women in the European countries are more independent and western than they were years ago. Also I think it's absurd to punish one on the basis of religion, culture, orgin or color (like most of us, I hope).
The burqa I find more complicated. It's non-revealing and the woman can't be viewed. Furthermore it is often a sign of women's oppression. (I do not tell that this applies to ALL women who wear a burqa, let that be clear!)
Lady Gaga is playing on dangerous ground with the song Aura of her new, highly anticipated album ARTPOP. In the song Gaga refers to the burqa as a metaphor for hiding her true self from the public eye.
I can live with the lyrics I'm not a wandering slave, I'm a woman of choice. But later in the song she lost me when she sings Do you wanna see me naked, lover? Do you wanna peak underneath the cover? In my opinion she suggests that the burqa is a subject of sexual gratification. Also I get the impression that Gaga sees the burqa as some sort of fashion statement instead of a garment with cultural and religious significance. But in the end Gaga is all about controversy. That explains a lot.