Brussels: First woman with headscarf in parliament

Brussels: First woman with headscarf in parliament

See also Turkish woman wins Belgium vote as first headscaved MP.

Mahinur Özdemir (CdH) is the first woman with a headscarf in a Belgian parliament.

She is a woman, a Muslim, 26 year old, of Turkish origin, and two days ago she was elected to the Brussels parliament. A chatterbox too when it comes to social problems and city development, the projects with which she was busy in the Schaarbeek municipality.

But however much she tried to avoid the issue, everybody begins these days with the 'first woman with a headscarf in a Belgian parliament'. So she appears, meanwhile, on dozens of (news-)sites worldwide. From Belgium to Turkey, but also from the UK to Australia.

The quibbling about her headscarf is most likely the fault of several people from her own party, CdH. when she got the party brochure in March, Mahinur Özdemir was shocked: her photo with a headscarf was the only one enlarged, in order to cut away her headscarf. What remained was colored orange like the background. Gone was the headscarf.

Mahunir says that the party explained to her that they weren't responsible for the intervention. A coworker of the layout or the printer did it of his own accord. She's still disappointed regarding what happened, but she takes the explanation quietly.

The story is barely believable, but she doesn't want to go into it any more. Also not on the question of whether anybody in the CdH has the same ideas on the headscarf debate.

"Do you really think that anybody in Brussels stays awake due to my headscarf?", she says firmly. "Due to employment and affordable housing, yes, but not from this veil? That has no influence on my view of the problems in this country and how I will help solve them, does it? I will work for all Belgian and all Brussels resident in particular. With and without a headscarf."

"I was born and raised in Brussels," says Mahinur Özdemir. "I'm an immigrant of the third generation. I cam from a hardworking family in Schaarbeek. My parents are tremendously proud of my election."

Source: De Standaard (Dutch), h/t NRP

See also: Brussels: On regional elections

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