Austrian President Asks Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslim Women

Austrian President Alexander Van Der Belen made an unusual proposal by calling on all Austrian women to wear Islamic headscarves to show solidarity with Muslim women. Although this idea has been criticized, the President stressed the importance and symbolism of this action.

The Austrian president who took office on January 26, 2017, made his proposal during a TV interview in Vienna with ORF. His call was met with mixed reactions on social media, according to a report by the German newspaper Welt.

Earlier this year Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastien Curtis said he wanted to prevent female civil servants, including female teachers, from wearing headscarves.

The statement, made by the Federal President of Austria, triggered a wave of heated debates and reactions, immediately after its publication in the media. He was criticized by some opponents, who expressed their opposition to the proposal and called him a disgrace to Austria. "This is the true face of the Greens," one of them said. Other reactions were more extreme, with some calling for the resignation of the president-elect, less than 100 days after his victory against right-wing populist Norbert Hoover of the Austrian Freedom Party in December 2016.

Source: German newspaper www.welt.de