Meanwhile, the Austrian president says there will be a need to ask ALL women to wear headscarves

Austria’s liberal president sparked outrage for suggesting that, in the future, headscarves will need to be worn by ALL women in a show of solidarity against Islamophobia.

The comments by the far-left Alexander Van der Bellen, who was sworn in as president in January, came to light this week as a video from weeks ago aired featuring the president at a roundtable discussion with students.

“Besides that, not only Muslim women. Every woman can wear a headscarf,” he said in a segment broadcast on state television on Tuesday.

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“And if it goes on – and I am already on the next question – with actual rampant Islamophobia, the day will come that we must ask all women to wear a headscarf – all women – out of solidarity towards those who do it for religious reasons.”

The Green Party-backed Austrian president defeated Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer, his populist far-right opponent, in a December repeat presidential vote.

“It is the right of a woman – do men wear headscarves too? – to dress herself however she wants. That is my opinion about it,” Van der Bellen, whose role as president is mainly symbolic, said at The House of the European Union in Vienna, according to the Daily Mail.

Earlier this year, Austria under the ruling Social Democratic party and the center-right Austrian People’s party, banned face-covering veils like the burqa in public spaces.

Van der Bellen’s remarks enraged social media users who fired off scathing responses on Twitter. Interestingly, feminists were surprisingly silent.

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Frieda Powers

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