Danish designer uses runway to make statement on burqa ban

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MUF10 fashion show in Copenhagen, Denmark August 8, 2018. (Reuters)
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MUF10 fashion show in Copenhagen, Denmark August 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Danish designer uses runway to make statement on burqa ban

  • “I have a duty to support all women’s freedom of speech and freedom of thought,” Reza Etamadi said
  • A law banning the full-face coverings worn by a number of women in Denmark took effect in the country

COPENHAGEN: An Iranian-born designer made more than a fashion statement in Denmark on Wednesday by showcasing models wearing the conservative Muslim niqab, and others dressed as police officers, days after a law banning the full-face coverings worn by a tiny number of women in Denmark took effect in the country.
Denmark’s much-debated “Burqa Ban” is mostly seen as being directed at the conservative Muslim dress known as burqas, which conceal the entire face, and niqabs, which only show the eyes, in public places since Aug. 1. Both are extremely rare in Denmark.
“I have a duty to support all women’s freedom of speech and freedom of thought,” Reza Etamadi said of his MUF10 streetwear brand’s Copenhagen Fashion Week show in a statement.
The government says the law is not aimed at any religion and does not ban headscarves like the more-common Muslim hijab, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.
The Danish law allows people to cover their face when there is a “recognizable purpose” like cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, such as using motorcycle helmets. Anyone forcing a person to wear garments covering the face by using force or threats can be fined or face up to two years in prison.
Austria, France and Belgium have similar laws.
By enforcing the ban, authorities are violating women’s rights and “the free choice we in the Western world are known for and proud to have,” he said in connection with the semiannual fashion industry event.
“In Iran where I was born, women fight to freely choose what to wear,” Etamadi said, adding “In Denmark, where I grew up, (...) women were free to choose how dressed or covered they wanted to dress.”
“I have no unanimous attitude toward the ban in general but I have a principle: No man should decide what women should wear,” Etamadi said the statement.
On Sunday, a woman wearing a face veil became the first person in Denmark to be penalized for violating the new law, and was fined 1,000 Danish kroner ($156). Police asked her either to remove the veil or leave the premises. She opted to leave.


Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

Updated 19 February 2019
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Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

  • The film is set during the reconstruction of post WWII Germany
  • The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943

LONDON: Keira Knightley said her new film “The Aftermath,” set in the bombed-out ruins of Hamburg just after the end of the Second World War, had important lessons on building bridges that were very relevant for today’s divided societies.
The romantic drama sees Knightley play Rachael Morgan, who moves to Germany to be with her husband, a British colonel who has a leading role in the reconstruction effort in Hamburg. They move in with a German widower and his troubled daughter.
Her co-stars, Australian Jason Clarke who plays her husband Lewis and Swedish Alexander Skarsgard, who plays a German architect also attended the world premiere at London’s Picturehouse Central on Monday.
“It’s very relevant for now. It’s about building bridges, it’s about how we see each other as human beings and we don’t demonize each other and that’s obviously something that we need to do right now,” Knightley said.
The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943, known as “Operation Gomorrah,” that killed some 40,000 people and caused the destruction of swathes of the city.
“I knew nothing about the rebuilding of Germany ... I haven’t thought about how unbelievably difficult it must have been to not only physically rebuild these places but also mentally for English and German people ... who had been enemies, who had literally killed each other for six years, to suddenly forgive and move forward,” Knightley said.
Clarke said: “We’ve benefited so much from the Lewis Morgans who put Europe together ... guys like him built it up and made Germany and Europe what it is today, we all stand on the threshold of wanting to tear it down.”
“The Aftermath” opens in cinemas in Britain on March 1, and in the United States on March 15.