Burkas Helsingin Sanomat islamofashion Katja Kuokkanen


Katja Kuokkanen:
Gee, how Islamophobic are Finns?

Yeah, sorry to bother you all with yet another journalist walking around in a burka, trying to experience for herself, just how terrible it might be for Muslim women to wear their anti-male warding off devices”. What’s amusing is that she fails to find any outward hostility or “racism” from the Finnish population, so she’s forced to describing the reaction of a couple of drunks, as well as the “intense attention” she gets from some Muslim males attracted to her outfit.

It borders on corny, and leaves the reader wondering whether the journalist, Katja Kuokkanen, a product of the anti-Israel Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak) which has extensive projects with the Palestinian Authority, is dissapointed that her project is not going her way. She admits that the burka is not easy to wear but in the end, she finds something worthwhile about it, saleswomen are not eager to run her down and badger her with their sales pitch. KGS

H/T Esther from Islam in Europe

HS journalist in full burka turns heads in the shopping malls of Helsinki

The black chiffon in my eyes causes a mishap. I bump into the shoulder of a black man as I turn away from the counter in an ethnic shop.
The man gives an apology – in the usual way. Then he really sees me: a dressed woman in a black abaya-niqab from head to ankle, a decorated black cape and veil that also covers the face.
The man nearly bows and renews the apology in an Arab dialect. I have never been honored in such a way.
When you visit the ethnic shops on Helsinki’s Hämeenlinna road there are all kinds of covered women coming from the direction of Hakaniemi’s subway corridor.
The aim is to try to understand what covering up feels like and how other people react to it. I go to the eastern center (of Helsinki), because it seems natural to: Islamic dressed women are often seen travelling east on the metro.
The first reaction on the orange car comes immediately.
“Hey, that is one hell of a sight,” cries out a drunken man to his three druken buddies on the congested metro. Other people skillfully avoid my face.
“Hey, you left this.” My hair was tied in a shiny donut under the veil, but it fell on the metro bench.
I didn’t know whether I should say thank you to the considerate middle-aged woman, when I couldn’t decide whether to speak Finnish in the experiment and reveal my cover.
Placing the scarf on my head, a young Somali girl in the Hämeentie store pointed out, that, few Muslim women wear the outfit I have on.
She said she avoids black, because it only raises attention and adds to the drama. Cheerful multicolored scarves are better, and a young woman in Finland decides herself how much she wants to hide.
There are a lot of gawkers in the shopping center. A youth with a can of Rainbow cider goes around a column back and forth and spills his drink from being startled.
Okay, black is really dramatic. I get used to the dress itself, it is light and warm. On the other hand, for example, it is difficult to pay at the cashier with black gloves on. Nor can you see properly behind the veil, only shapes can be distinguished in the evening lights.
A family of three has bought icecream and is about to sit next to me. An approximately five year-old boy is going to be amused by my appearance.
The parents are hesitant. I could imagine the mind truggling between the child being scared of a person, and tolerance. They sit however. Poika ei päästä minua syrjäkareestaan jäätelöä lipoessaan. The boy was not let near me with the ice cream being licked.
I decide to go outdoors to the Puhonen flea market. On the Turunlinnan road crossing I had an unexpected contact.
An elderly Somali pronounced in a low voice “salam aleikum,” Peace be with you.
I become more sensitive. I do not normally have contact with Muslim women.
This is repeated many times: Muslim women of different ages and from different ethnic origin wearing the veil utter something that is a greeting, but I do not understand it.
I get a reaction from the Muslim men in the front of flea market. Perhaps an Iraqi or Turkish man with his friends comes up – and stare. They stare with an incredible intensity. I stare back but he doesn’t know it from behind my veil. He also looks at my behind.
Later, at the door of an ethnic market another man shouts. “Hello! Hey, Wait.” I don’t wait. It seems that a fully covered Muslim woman does not answer to that kind of an invitation.
Such things like that are not heard in Finland.  Living in France, sometimes I got those kind of shouts after me. I don’t answer.
A few hours later I decide to take the metro to the downtown Kamppi Center.
There are always eager cosmeticians or hair stylists which you usually run away from.
Fully covered you’re left alone, not bad.

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