Wear A Niqab In Helsinki And Get Stares!

As the world changes its demographics, it becomes increasingly more common for Muslim women to be found in climes that historically were not their destination. A reporter for the Finnish newspaper, Sanomat, decided to experiment by wandering around Helsinki dressed in a niqab, the conservative face covering worn by some Muslim women. She noted how some men stared intently at her and the gaze of one “nearly burned a hole in the chiffon.” Ironically, due to the niqab she stumbled into a man who turned out to be an Arab and was then greeted with kind words and great respect. While on the metro, a drunk shouted, “Hey, that is one hell of a sight” to his fellow drunkards.

A Somali woman told her it was common for Muslim women in Finland to wear brightly covered scarves and urged that she not wear black. A young man almost spilled his drink at the sight of a woman wearing a niqab. She went to a park and sat on a bench. A family with two boys approached and one of the little boys began to shout in terror at the sight of a black covered face.

The good news is that cosmetologist and hair stylists made it a point not to bother her while she wandered the streets of Helsinki in search of reactions to the niqab.