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Human Rights Organization Launches Campaign Against Veiling Young Girls in Morocco
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An awareness campaign has been launched by a Moroccan rights organization against the veiling of young girls. The group described it as a major form of child abuse. The slogan from the group states, “So that girls won’t live in eternal darkness,” and it was created by the Center for Woman’s Equality. The group hopes that the veiling phenomenon forcing girls from the ages of three to 10 to wear the headscarf can be stopped. A statement released by the human rights organization has asked all organizations along with legislative bodies to enter the campaign against what has been termed a “a flagrant violation of innocence and childhood.”

“Girls at this age know nothing about religion and what is prohibited and what is not,” said the statement. The statement also said that forcing girls to wear the veil so young can threaten the girls’ psychological stability and ruin generations to come and a whole society. The statement also stressed the role that governments and religious entities play into this issue:

  
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“Islamic bodies need to interfere to make things clear and tell people that forcing young girls to wear the veil is not part of Islam.”

A 10-year-old girl named Mariam, whose father is an imam at a mosque, said she was forced to wear the headscarf by her father.

“He said that it will protect me from harassment,” she said.

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Another 10-year-old, Asmaa, said that her mother forced her to wear the veil as a religious obligation. Her mother works as a teacher at an Islamic school.

“She said I have to get used to it while I am still young, otherwise I would go to hell,” she Asmaa said.



Karima Wadghiri, a sociologist, said that forcing girls to wear the veil violates children’s rights and also kills their innocence as children. She also said that wearing the veil also nourishes the girls in a wrong perception of their bodies.

“They will start associating their bodies to shame which has to be hidden and this view contradicts the true essence of Islam,” she said. Wadghiri also said that when the girls grow up they will confuse conservatism with fanaticism and liberalism with immorality. “Their inability to distinguish between those concepts will put them in a constant state of confusion and eventually drive them to isolate themselves from the outside world. Society will later be divided not on class or financial status as is usually the case, but on religious and ideological basis.”



 

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