Protect Hijab vows to continue campaigning against the ban on Hijab

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Protect Hijab vows to continue campaigning against the ban on Hijab ~ Protect Hijab vows to continue campaigning against the ban on Hijab

March 15th 2005 marks the first anniversary of the French Government's decision to ban ‘religious symbols’. Since last year we have witnessed the oppression of an entire segment of the French society, namely, hundreds of Hijab wearing young Muslim women who have been forcibly excluded from schools by this draconian law. This open discrimination by France and other European countries is an unacceptable position for states that are party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)and makes a mockery of the French declaration of "Liberte, egalite, fraternite...".

Assembly for the Protection of Hijab (Protect Hijab) tireless campaign gained the support of many individuals, groups, MPs and MEPs across the political spectrum. Since its launch in the House of Commons last June, Protect Hijab organised an international conference hosted by the Mayor of London Mr Ken Livingstone, and has undertaken numerous campaigns and continues to go from strength to strength. This is evidence of the legitimacy of this struggle.

In alliances with MEPs and other faith groups, Protect-Hijab is currently campaigning to obtain MEP signatures for a Written Declaration tabled before the European Parliament on the issue of religious freedom. If the written declaration is signed by half of the MEPs by the 21st of May 05, it will be adopted by the European Parliament.

"Women and girls who have freely chosen to wear Hijab as an essential part of their Islamic beliefs and lifestyle should not be forced to endure a directive likely to heighten religious and ethnic discrimination”. Said Caroline Lucas MEP who is one of 5 authors of the Written Declaration.

Abeer Pharaon chair of the Assembly for the Protection of Hijab said: "We vow with the support of freedom loving and justice seeking to continue campaigning against such blatant religious intolerance. The Written Declaration is an attempt to revive the drive towards multiculturalism and tolerance that Europe fought so hard to obtain, which is now being threatened by such extreme measures".

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For further information please contact media liaison officers: 07786257120 or 07947787222,

Action Alert (Freedom of Religious Expression in Europe)

A Written Declaration was tabled before the European Parliament on the 21st of February by 5 MEPs: Green MEP for the South-East Caroline Lucas, London MEPs Sarah Ludford, (Liberal Democrat), Claude Moraes (Labour), Conservative MEP for the West Midlands Phillip Bushill-Matthews and French Green MEP Alain Lipietz.

The Declaration calls for the right to freedom of religious expression including the Muslim Hijab, Sikh turban, Jewish skullcap and Christian cross.

There will be a period of three months starting from 21st February during which MEPs can sign in support of the declaration. In order to be adopted by the European Parliament, half of the all MEPs must sign before it lapses.

Assembly for the Protection of Hijab calls on all freedom loving and justice seeking people to lobby their MEPs to sign the written declaration.

A model letter and all MEPs e-mail addresses can be found on www.prohijab.net
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