'Forcing a 4-year-old to wear the hijab is like forcing her to wear hot pants' says Muslim campaigner

Julia Hartley-Brewer argues against women having to show modesty in a heated debate on the hijab (stock photo)

A school has told pupils they cannot wear a headscarf

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Julia Hartley-Brewer got into a heated debate with the director of the Muslim Women in Education network, who argued that a Catholic school in Birmingham was absolutely right to stop children wearing the hijab.

The school, St Clare’s, told the parents of a four-year-old girl that she should not wear a hijab to school, due to their uniform policy. However her father has argued that his daughter has a right to wear it. 

Rania Hafez told Julia Hartley-Brewer that "the school is right, absolutely, because the school has a uniform policy" ad "a headscarf is not obligatory on a four-year-old girl," because headscarves should be worn only if you are sexually mature.

Hafez added: "A four-year-old being made to wear a headscarf is equivalent to a four year old being made to wear a crop top and hot pants."

Julia agreed that the school was right - although she disagreed with Hafez's suggestion that Muslim women, as adults, have the right to wear the hijab.

Our presenter said she can't understand the need for women to show modesty, when men aren't expected to show modesty. Hafez, however, said it's up to the individual to choose whether they want to wear the hijab or not, saying she chooses to wear one but her daughters do not.

Listen to the full audio above