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Women’s day is burka day, says professor

It is women’s day Monday, and a professor provokes a debate by encouraging women to wear a headscarf »any way they like«

Juni Arnfast, a professor in Danish as a second language has unleashed an event through Facebook that promises to see headscarves everywhere.

A Danish debate on the Moslem headscarf, the burka, reached a high point with recent government-sponsored research to count the number of women wearing them. With International Women’s Day this upcoming Monday 8 March, the professor calls on women, all women, to steal the burka debate’s agenda:

Humanistic integrity

»The burka debate, especially after the well-known counting of women wearing burkas in Denmark, has been puzzling for a long time. I feel that there is too much focus on the very visual and cultural differences in the immigration debate: clothing, food et cetera,« Juni Arnfast says.

The aim of the event is to put back focus on the person behind the scarf, not what people look like, she explains.

»We all judge when we see other people, but it is a part of my humanistic integrity to be open rather than prejudiced,« she says.

533 extra headscarves in the streets

The Facebook group has 533 attendees at the time of writing. And the debate on the page is long – covering several wall-pages. However, not all of them are positive.

»Don’t you feel Muslim women may feel mocked?« is a characteristic quote from those that are dissatisfied.

But you can never make everybody satisfied, Juni replies.

Wear what you like

»I think it was (Danish right wing politician, ed.) Pia Kjærsgaard who stated in January that wearing a headscarf is not a part of Danish tradition. So I thought: why can’t people wear what they like?«.

Juni Arnfast describes herself as a daughter of the feminist movement.

»But this is my first feminist event,« Juni says smiling.