Azar Nafisi: The Turkish Hijab Debate

No one should be forced to do something they don't want to do, Nafisi says.
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TRANSCRIPT

Azar Nafisi: Well always when you deprive people of what they . . . of whatever, they want to do it to begin with. So it is wrong to . . . People should be allowed to do what . . . what . . . I mean as I say, as long as they’re not harming others, they should be allowed to show their faith in ways that . . . I mean Hasidic men wear . . . have a special way of showing it. Why can’t Muslim women? What I object to in Turkey and everywhere else is that this is being used as a political ploy. As my student ... – we used to discuss this in Iran – veil has become a political issue. It has become a political symbol. It is not a symbol of faith. And I think Muslim women who, of their own free will, are choosing the veil should fight against this . . . If they are genuine then they should fight against turning this symbol into a political symbol, you know? So that is my . . . But I think that Turkey should allow women to look the way they want to. Recorded on: 2/22/08