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UK Muslim women criticize imam council advisory to cease wearing headscarves

[JURIST] The London-based Assembly for the Protection of the Hijab [advocacy website], a Muslim women's group, voiced opposition Thursday to a suggestion from the UK Council of Mosques and Imams that women should cease wearing headscarves because of their potential to invite hate crimes. Rajnaara Akhtar, a member of the women's group, said the headscarves were integral to their "identities as Muslims" but a Council spokesman noted the large increase in hate crimes against Muslims in and around London [JURIST report] in the wake of the July bombings and said the council's ruling simply gave Muslim women the choice to remove the hijab if they felt threatened rather than force them not to wear it. Muslim religious headscarves have been at the center of a number of public policy controversies [JURIST news archive] in Europe in recent years, especially over whether they should be allowed in public schools. BBC News has more.

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