British Muslim woman hopes to end abuse faced by veil wearers

Published: July 5, 2015


LONDON: A British Muslim woman is campaigning to raise awareness of the abuse she and other women face while wearing a niqab.

Twenty-two-year-old Joni Clarke, resident of southeast London, has decided to raise awareness of the abuse and discrimination that Muslim women face by making a short film. The film, My Freedom, My Right, features Clarke reciting a poem that recalls comments made to her because of her niqab.

Speaking about the film she said, “I made the video to prove a point – I wanted to highlight that people who go through struggles and discrimination every day, but are rarely talked about by the media.”

Read: Muslim family ‘saddened’ by former houseguest British PM Cameron

Clarke wants everyone to be treated as ‘individuals’ and urges people to stop ‘judging a book by its cover’. She turned to Islam when she was only 17 and chose to wear a niqab after studying the history of Islam.

“I was reading about the women of early Islamic communities,” she said. “Many of the Sahabah (RA) [companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)] are revered women in Islamic history, so I tried to follow what they did, including wearing the niqab.”


“Some people look up to people like Rihanna or other celebrities, but for myself, I look up to those women and chose to do things like they did.”

Since she started wearing a niqab, she has been insulted, threatened, and even attacked in public, she said and added, “When I was pregnant I got followed up the road by a bin man who shouted at me, ‘Terrorist, go home!’ and I’ve been told several times to go ‘back to my country’”.

Read: UK Muslims condemn move to host Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) exhibit

Clarke maintains there are many Muslim women who receive worse treatment because they choose to wear the veil.

“I’ve had people flicking cigarette butts at me to try set my niqab on fire, and I’ve almost been run over a few times.”

My Freedom, My Right is not only a step towards creating awareness among the people about the sufferings of the Muslim women but also aims to alleviate their sufferings.

This article originally appeared on BuzzFeed.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (17)

  • babar
    Jul 5, 2015 - 3:33PM

    If I need to facebook share one picture, the option is not available.Recommend

  • mantharia
    Jul 5, 2015 - 4:12PM

    Bb come to Pakistan for good , be a roman in romeRecommend

  • fappy
    Jul 5, 2015 - 5:06PM

    Move to a muslim country where you are free to practice your religion. Recommend

  • Ajax
    Jul 5, 2015 - 6:17PM

    If you don’t like the fact that the UK gives women the right to wear Niqab you are the one who needs to leave this country. Idiot.Recommend

  • Dd
    Jul 5, 2015 - 7:36PM

    Hijab should be banned.Recommend

  • powvow
    Jul 5, 2015 - 9:13PM

    Better raise the awareness of those regressive folks in Muslim countries, who try to cover up all women – including the ones not ready for it.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jul 5, 2015 - 11:10PM

    It is her choice what she wants to do and practice what she thinks is right. Why do people have a problem with it? Does the freedom of speech and expression only apply when someone makes Cartoons against Islam? Isn’t this freedom of speech and expression that she wears what she wants?Recommend

  • a
    Jul 5, 2015 - 11:58PM

    To all those idiots commenting here, she is a UK born White women, why should she leave her hometown and move to Pakistan or another Muslim country? She has the right to dress anyway she wants. If women are allowed to be 95% naked on the streets by law in these western countries, why can’t a woman choose to were the niqab and wear what they want?

    E.T please publishRecommend

  • Bablu
    Jul 6, 2015 - 1:16AM

    hijab or niqab?Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 6, 2015 - 2:53AM

    Muslims need to make films about abuses faced by minorities in Arab countries.Recommend

  • Ronin
    Jul 6, 2015 - 4:32AM

    There is very little abuse of veiled women in the streets of UK. Stop this drama and playing the victim. Focus on real problems, like honour killings, FGM, forced marriages, polygamy, grooming gangs and terrorists travelling to Syra that are happening among British Muslims. This is just drama.Recommend

  • jay
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:11AM

    UK born muslim?? then what about her parents? migrate to western countries and produce kids there. so over?Recommend

  • Liberal
    Jul 6, 2015 - 7:32AM

    The answer is to stop wearing the full-face veil. It is offensive and it is scary. You don’t know if there is a man or a woman inside.Recommend

  • Animal Farm
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:29PM

    More non veiled women are threatened in areas like Bradford,Birmingham,Oxfordshire by your pious muslim brothers….

    Do you want us to refresh your memory about Rochdale,Rotherham,Oxfordshire scandals???Recommend

  • a
    Jul 6, 2015 - 11:53PM

    I think she is “white” and convert. her name is Joni Clarke. Get it?Recommend

  • Asok
    Jul 7, 2015 - 1:34AM

    What about those for whom the abuse is being forced to wear the veil?Recommend

  • Asif
    Sep 3, 2015 - 7:37PM

    Is it will do some thing good for muslim women, more freedom or diginity? why a human being hide his or her face?Recommend

More in World