In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on all obvious religious symbols and apparel in public schools, including Muslim headscarves, Sikh turbans, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses. However, most of the controversy and impact of the law focused on the banning of Muslim headscarves or hijab. I often wondered how French teenagers felt about not being allowed to wear hijab to school, if they really felt more free as the government asserted, or less free as their parents insisted. At issue is more than dress, but also cultural, religious and personal identity and expression.
The University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS) will be presenting the documentary film, They Call Me Muslim, that answers that question and more, on Monday, April 5 from noon to 12:40 p.m. at the International Institute or School of Social Work Building, Room 1636, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor. From a CMENAS email:
In popular Western imagination, a Muslim woman in a veil - or hijab - is a symbol of Islamic oppression. But what does it mean for women’s freedom when a democratic country forbids the wearing of the veil? In this provocative documentary, filmmaker Diana Ferrero portrays the struggle of two women - one in France and one in Iran - to express themselves freely. (click on link for more)
"They call me Muslim" documentary film at U of M's Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies Monday - AnnArbor.com