James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Marks And Spencer Criticised For Selling School Hijabs For Three-Year-Olds
11 October 2018, 14:30 | Updated: 13 October 2018, 18:27
Maajid Nawaz has criticised Marks and Spencer for selling school uniform hijabs for children as young as three.
The LBC presenter labelled the store's decision to sell the headscarf, which is listed in the "essential" school section as "facilitating medievalism".
Maajid sparked a Twitter row by saying: "Marks and Spencer facilitates medievalism by selling children’s hijabs in the school-wear category."
Speaking on his LBC show, he continued his criticism of M&S.
"If it's not for you to have a view on the morality of stocking headscarves that are designed to preserve the modesty of fully sexual adult human females, it's not for you to take a view on stocking these for children, why don't you stock Confederate flag t-shirts as well. If there's a demand for it, why not stock it?"
"The same standards that you would apply and the reasons for why you would not stock a confederate t-shirt because you know that that would get you into trouble over race-relations, are the very same reasons that you should not be stocking hijabs for three-year-olds."
On Twitter, Maajid said: "Marks and Spencer facilitates medievalism by selling children’s hijabs in the school-wear category.
"It’s their right to choose profit over values. But it’s our right to shame them for doing so. Little girls are told it is “immodest” to show their hair. And blessed be the fruit.
"To be clear, these are stocked for little girls as young as 3 years old.
"Hijab is still imposed (only on women) by law in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and many other countries. This is gender apartheid. Marks and Spencer are free to sell confederate flag tee-shirts too, but I bet they never will."
A Marks and Spencer statement read: "We provide bespoke uniforms for 250 schools across the country and they tell us which items they need as part of their school uniform list.
"For a number of schools this year, they requested the option of the hijab."
People on social media backed up Maajid's stance.
Hey @marksandspencer, you are selling the ultimate cultural medium of oppression, an artefact of slavery, an instrument of dehumanisation, a symbol of female shame for 3yr-olds. The word you’re looking for isn’t “schoolwear“, its child abuse. Shame on you!!! https://t.co/ZZFbogUcWC— Julie Lenarz (@MsJulieLenarz) October 10, 2018
I'm happy to have a conversation with them about being sexualised at such a young age by being forced to wear hijabs... 🙄 https://t.co/D1VfL8Xt6j— 🇬🇧Soutiam Goodarzi🇬🇧 (@Soutiam21) October 11, 2018