The woman with the headscarf

In debates on integration the headscarf is of seen as a symbol of unwillingness to integrate. However, what about women who wear the headscarf of their own free will, who speak perfect German, and who pursue higher studies? In the case of Esma and Meryem, both born in Austria, students at the University of Vienna, and both of whom wear headscarves, the idea that the headscarf oppresses women is paradoxical, and it is the conservation of their Turkish identity which bothers people. Neither sees the headscarf as an obstacle to integration, and both have difficulty in understanding why their personality must be reduced to their religious affiliation. They believe that people would think differently about them were they to try and get to know them better, and according to them, “if they don’t come to us, we’ll go to them.”

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