The designer has made more than just a fashion statement
In protest of Denmark’s ban on Islamic face coverings, Iranian-born designer Reza Etamadi, of the brand MUF10, sent models down the runway at Copenhagen Fashion Week wearing burqas and niqabs, while others were dressed as police officers.
“I have a duty to support all women’s freedom of speech and freedom of thought,” explained Etamadi. “By enforcing the ban, authorities are violating women’s rights and the free choice we in the Western world are known for and proud to have.”
The much-debated “Burqa Ban”, which came into effect on August 1, prohibits the full-face coverings worn by some Muslim women in the country in public places. However, it does allow people to cover their face when there is a “recognisable purpose” like cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, such as using motorcycle helmets. Anyone forcing a person to wear garments covering the face by using force or threats can be fined or face up to two years in prison.
Austria, France and Belgium have similar bans, claiming they are not aimed at any religion in particular, and don’t ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.
Only a few days ago, a woman wearing a face veil became the first person in Denmark to be penalised for violating the new law, and was ordered to pay 1,000 Danish kroner (572.40 AED). Police asked her either to remove the veil or leave the premises. She opted to leave.
While some countries might be banning the burqa, San Francisco’s de Young Museum of Fine Art is gearing up to host the Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition, which explores the complex and diverse nature of Muslim fashion and current modest dress codes.