Aliaa El Mahdy, an Egyptian university student, created a facebook page called “Resounding Cries,” which asks Egyptian men to post photos of themselves donning the hijab (Muslim veil). Mahdy feels that it is unjust that only women are required to wear the hijab, which reflects the unequal status of women in Islam.
For me, the veil is not a personal choice in Egypt, but the result of social and religious pressure. The girls I know who wear the veil do so because of their families or to avoid being hassled in the street. I don’t see why we should always dictate what women must wear and never what men must wear. Asking guys to put on the veil, if only for the time it takes to take the photo, is a way of saying to them ‘See how this feels!’
The other reason I launched this page is because society still considers women as sex objects. [83% of Egyptian women claim to have been victims of sexual harassment. Some women feel that the veil is a necessary form of protection against assault.] Many people, even on television, denounce the harassment of women in Egypt, but in my opinion this is not enough.
Mona Kareem reports that the Alla and her group has also launced an event calling for men to wear the hijab (at the time of writing this article we were unable to locate both the Facebook page and the event if you have a proper link please contact us!) Several men posted photos to the Facebook page and event.
According to Kareem one of the photos came from a 2009 Iranian campaign in support of a student who'd been arrested for dressing like a woman (which he was doing to show solidarity with women in Iran). Here is a video from that 2009 campaign: