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#LetUsTalk: Women demand the right to criticize the wearing of the veil in North America


At the end of November 2021, doctor Sherif Emil publishes a letter in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association. He denounces the choice to use, on the cover of the magazine, the photo of a child wearing the hijab. For the Canadian, respect must not alter the fact that the hijab, niqab and burqa are also instruments of oppression for millions of girls and women around the world who do not have the possibility to make a choice “. Faced with the outcry of the country’s Islamic associations, which are indignant at ” islamophobia of this statement, the medical journal quickly decided to remove the publication from its website and apologized.

It is this decision, incomprehensible ” and ” shocking », which prompted two activists, Masih Alinejad and Yasmine Mohammed, one American and the other Canadian and both of Arab-Muslim culture, to share their story and their relationship to the veil. It is Masih Alinejad, who fights against the compulsory headscarf in Iran, who launched the hashtag: “#LetUsTalk” (or “Let us talk”) on social networks. With one objective: to call on Arab-Muslim women to share their experiences and to recall that veiling remains a tool of oppression.

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A very popular hashtag, very popular in Iran, which is a continuation of other digital actions undertaken by Masih Alinejad, at the origin of the “#MyStealphyFreedom” campaign, during which Iranian women are encouraged to post a photo of their unveiled, and “White Friday”, where Iranian anti-veiling activists wear white as a symbol of protest.

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