From President Nicholas Sarkozy to left leaning politicians, the word these days in France is the wearing of a headscarf automatically indicates one is against secularism and for the oppression of women. Olier Bescanenot, head of the recently formed, “New Anti-Capitalist Party(NPA) has decided to run a Muslim woman in a legislative district despite the fact she wears a headscarf. Ilham Moussaid, argues wearing the headscarf has nothing to do with her political and religious beliefs which include support for abortion rights, secularism and equal rights for women. However, many feminists are furious at the selection because they do not believe any woman who wears a headscarf can be a true feminist.
The headscarf debate reminds me of the sixties when people became furious at individuals who wore long hair and claimed they were anti-American and were attempting to destroy freedom in the country. What in hell does wearing a headscarf have to do with female rights if THE WOMAN VOLUNTARILY CHOOSES TO WEAR ONE!! Yes, millions of Muslim women are compelled by spouse or society to wear one, but Ilham Moussaid wants to wear it. As she puts it, “I am not oppressed.” Ironically, in denying her the right to wear what she desires, I believe feminists are denying her right to be an individual.