For some Islamists, freedom to wear Muslim attire is not enough; they also demand that others conform to their definition of modesty. IW refers to them as "hijab bullies," though their focus is not necessarily limited to headscarves. Examples highlighted previously on this blog include a British dentist requiring patients to cover their hair and a teacher in Norway manipulating first graders into donning hijabs. However, these tactics are tame compared to recent revelations.
Consider the experiences of Shiria Khatun, a secular Muslim who serves as a Labour Party councilor in Tower Hamlets, a borough of London and an Islamist stronghold. Police are investigating claims of harassment by locals objecting to her style of dress. She explains:
They're really disgusting. They would talk about my Western clothes, my tight jeans, and my body parts.
One man said — and it sounds much nastier in [the Bangladeshi dialect] Sylheti — "I know where you live and I'm going to come and show you and your kids." I just hung up.
I really thought it was a pervert, but then it started to get more intense. My parents died when I was young and the callers must know that because they said they would dig up their graves and bury me inside. I think they're sick.
Moroccan-born Fatima Ghailan, who works for the government of Cunit, Spain, has had her own run-ins with hijab bullies. Local imam Mohamed Benbrahim and Islamic Association head Abderraman el-Osri now face criminal charges of harassing, slandering, and threatening Ghailan, whose duties as a "cultural mediator" include encouraging "cloistered" Muslim females to participate in the life of the town. As the Washington Post reports, her influence over the community "was something the traditionalists could not accept — particularly because it involved a woman who refused to cover her hair." The Telegraph elaborates:
In a statement to the court in the nearby town of Vendrells, Mrs. Ghailan, 31, said Benbrahim had harassed her and campaigned to have her removed from her job in the town hall's cultural department purely because she had a job, dressed in a Western style, drove a car, and associated with non-Muslims.
Finally, self-appointed "morality police" have been patrolling the Muslim-heavy Grønland district of Oslo. According to Aftenposten, women passing through in Western attire can consider themselves lucky if they suffer only "aggressive looks of rebuke, scorn, and contempt." The unlucky ones are abused by men who "touch their breasts and pinch their bottom, claiming that it's the girls' own fault for not covering themselves." The vigilantes also have taken to tormenting gays and anybody caught snacking on the streets during Ramadan.
Grønland illuminates a vital truth: Islamists may start out as hijab bullies, seeking to enforce dress codes among Muslims. But they do not stop with dress codes — or with Muslims.