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The Organisation Behind The "Poppy Hijab" Rejects Claims Muslims Are Being "Urged" To Wear It

The Islamic Society of Britain told BuzzFeed News: "No one's being urged to do anything they don't want to."

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This is the "poppy hijab".

Rooful Ali/Aliway.co.uk

It was designed by Muslim fashion designer Tabinda-Kauser Ishaq, 24, a student at the London College of Fashion.

She collaborated with the Islamic Society of Britain and integration thinktank British Future on the project.

Yesterday, the Daily Mail reported on the scarf's launch with the headline: "The poppy hijab that defies the extremists: British Muslims urged to wear headscarf as symbol of remembrance."

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The piece provoked a furious reaction on social media from people who felt Muslims were being singled out.

So, everyone gets to buy a poppy for a ਱ but Muslim Women are urged to pay ꌢ for a headscarf. I swear remembering used to be free?

Tahir@iLykToytlesFollow

So, everyone gets to buy a poppy for a ? but Muslim Women are urged to pay ? for a headscarf. I swear remembering used to be free?

11:02 AM - 30 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

lol ꌢ for a piece of "EXTREMIST FIGHTING" cloth "British Muslims urged to wear poppy hijab as symbol of remembrance http://t.co/TW1XFpecjB

Sérine@SinseriouslyFollow

lol ? for a piece of "EXTREMIST FIGHTING" cloth "British Muslims urged to wear poppy hijab as symbol of remembrance http://t.co/TW1XFpecjB

11:04 AM - 30 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In response, Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, told BuzzFeed News:

Muslim women, especially those of my generation and younger, will choose to wear what they want. Personally I wear a headscarf and I also wear a traditional poppy in November, like many others.

A million British Muslims already choose to wear a poppy in November. Others choose not to. The "poppy hijab" is just another way to mark Remembrance for those who want to. It's a choice: No one's being urged to do anything they don't want to.

The poppy hijab is also a symbol – it's one way to combine Islam and Britishness. I think that says something about the confidence of this generation.

A few tweeters expressed distaste at Muslims marking Remembrance Day at all.

Poppy hijabs?? Coconut Muslims keep sinking lower. 2 of the girls headlining this picture aren't even wearing hijabs. http://t.co/2RVqWMfg1h

Arab Fury@Arab_FuryFollow

Poppy hijabs?? Coconut Muslims keep sinking lower. 2 of the girls headlining this picture aren't even wearing hijabs. http://t.co/2RVqWMfg1h

5:47 PM - 30 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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DAFUQ IS THIS KUFFAR ARSE LICKING British Muslims urged to wear headscarf as symbol of remembrance http://t.co/cQRJDKxxSn via @MailOnline

Colonel Ansar@ansaralummah3Follow

DAFUQ IS THIS KUFFAR ARSE LICKING
British Muslims urged to wear headscarf
as symbol of remembrance http://t.co/cQRJDKxxSn via @MailOnline

6:20 PM - 30 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Sunder Katwala, the thinktank's director, told The Independent:

As they quietly join in our solemn national acts of remembrance, how sick and tired British Muslims must be of the divisive image that the noisy extremists present of their faith.

The poppy hijab project's founders are keen to point out that it was launched exactly 100 years to the day since the first time a Muslim soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.

upload.wikimedia.org

His name was Khudadad Khan, he was from Pakistan, and he fought for Britain on the Western Front in the First World War. His regiment was vital in supporting the British Expeditionary Force near Ypres: Despite being wounded and his team being outnumbered, he held off a German push until Indian and British reinforcements arrived.

Khan, the only survivor of his team, was one of 1.2 million Indian soldiers, and 400,000 Muslims, who fought alongside British troops in the war.

Ahmed told BuzzFeed News:

Remembrance is a time when people in Britain look back at our shared past, particularly now with the First World War centenary. I think it's a shame that many people don't know that Muslims have long been a part of that history. In fact, only 2% of people know the scale of Muslim contribution to Britain's First World War effort.

The centenary of Khudadad Khan's Victoria Cross is an opportunity to tell this story more widely. The poppy hijab certainly seems to have attracted some attention to it and if it's got more people talking about it, that's a good thing.

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