This comes after the British politician likened them to “letterboxes”.
One hundred British Muslim women have sent an open letter to the chair of the UK’s Conservative Party demanding MP Boris Johnson be thrown out.
This comes after the former London mayor described covered Muslim women as “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” in an article published in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month.
“We speak as free women who are able to speak for ourselves and make our own choices. Our decision to wear the niqab or burqa is not an easy one, especially given the hate that many of us experience on a regular basis. Nevertheless we do so because we believe it is a means to get closer to God,” the women wrote in the letter, which was published in the Independent.
“Contrary to what you may have been told by sections of the media and columnists who profess to know what is best for us, we are not forced to make these clothing choices, nor are we oppressed.”
The letter, featuring signatories from Bradford, London and Portsmouth, also pushed for an independent inquiry “into Islamophobia in the Party to tackle this issue once and for all”.
A rally was also organized by Muslim Engagement & Development outside the Conservative Association office in Hillingdon, where women wearing burqas waved placards bearing slogans including “My Dress, My Choice”.
Here is what they had to say: pic.twitter.com/560RnVBh66
— MEND Community (@mendcommunity) August 10, 2018
Following Johnson’s comments, Tell Mama, an organisation which records hate crime in the UK, reported a rise in Islamophobic incidents targeting women wearing the veil. At least four women have reportedly been called “letterboxes” in public.
Here’s to women speaking for themselves.