DUBAI: Part-Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid took to Instagram this week to speak up about discrimination against Muslim women and urged countries to take action.
The 25-year-old runway star, who is also of Dutch descent, shared a series of posts, the first picture showing cheerful women from different cultural backgrounds wearing the hijab.
She said that although the headscarves are starting to make an appearance in fashion, women who wear them still face “struggles, abuse and discrimination” on a regular basis.
“To each woman’s body, stand their own opinion on what they should do with it. That is NO ONE’s decision except for theirs,” she wrote to her 49.4 million followers.
Hadid said that she has seen first-hand the discrimination against people of color and Muslims in the fashion industry.
“I know many of my Muslim sisters have faced unfair projections of others. It’s biased, prejudiced and straight-up racist,” she said.
Her message went on to address countries around the world. “I urge France, India, Quebec, Belgium and any other countries in the world who are discriminatory against Muslim women, to rethink what decisions you have made or are trying to make in the future about a body that is not yours,” Hadid wrote.
“It’s not your job to tell women what they should or shouldn’t wear, especially when it is pertaining to faith and safety,” she added.
Hadid told her followers that women who wear head coverings in France “are not allowed to wear their hijab to school, to play sports, to swim, even on their ID pictures.
“You can’t be a city worker or work in hospitals with a hijab. To get an internship, most universities will say: ‘the only way to get one is to take off the hijab.’ It’s ridiculous and really shows how Islamophobic the world is without even acknowledging it,” she explained.
Hadid has always been vocal about her viewpoints on refugees, people of color, Arabs and Muslims.
Her posts came after the news of 17-year-old Hoda Al-Jamaa, who was beaten and had her hijab ripped off at a high school in New Zealand while other students filmed her.
“It makes me angry and sick to my stomach,” Hadid wrote in her third post commenting on the incident involving the teen. “[We need to] teach our friends, children, parents [and] families that wearing a hijab, being Muslim or being anything other than white in general, does not equal being a threat or different than anyone else.”