Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Hoodie Hypocrisy

Imperial College London have banned students from wearing hijabs (headscarves worn by muslim women) and hooded tops on campus. I’m not going to go too much into the politics of this, suffice to say that I don’t agree with the ban and think that the reason given – security – is pathetic. But like most British universities the student union sells ICL-branded hooded tops in its shop – surely students should be allowed to wear those on campus?
The student union at ICL is tabling a motion to have the ban overturned. Good luck to them.


  1. I can’t believe it.
    “scarves worn across the face”
    I wear a scarf across the face all the time in winter, and I routinely wear a shemagh.
    Still, I’ve finished at university.

  2. I’m kind of disappointed in my old college, not surprised though. IC is across the road from the Iranian embassy where the SAS exploded into public view a couple of decades ago Wiki link. There are embassys & other terrorist targets all around & armed response units were a common sight 10 years ago. Even so I don’t think that justifies this move & despite the majority of IC students being almost legendarily apathetic when it comes to politics (ICSU is not affiliated to NUS & the main campus is in the safest Tory seat in the country) I have high hopes that they won’t stand for it. Time will tell I suppose. Thinking about it they’ll probably settle for some compromise like showing your face at checkpoints.

  3. What a ridiculous charade!!!
    What is their policy on actual Muslim students? Have they banned them from being Muslim yet, or just banned others from looking like them.

  4. yet another poorly thought out knee jerk reaction (although this is hardly knee jerk – they must have formed a committee or five to come up with this conclusion)

  5. People wear hoodies/hijabs etc. because they have the choice. To deny them that choice puts ICL on a par with countries that enforce archaic dress rules.
    It was not very long ago that no self-respecting woman in this country would go outside without a hat or headscarf.
    Does the ban include orthodox Jewish women whose traditions include the head being covered?

  6. A hijab is not only making a religious statement it is also making a political statement. Wearing a hoodie or a scarf across one’s face is different – very different. One may wear their scarf across their face in winter – for protection against the cold, or a hoodie simply to make a fashion statement.
    Today we live in this utterly pathetic politically correct nation. Everything we do and say needs to be PC. If it is not PC then its wrong and we are penalised for it – thanks to Blair and his stupid PC agenda !
    I live East London – where everyone is of a different race/religion/colour as the next person. Statistically East London has the highest Muslim & Asian population in the whole of the country. I am Asian but not a Muslim. The problem is that my area has become so PC that there will be no Christmas lights in my area this year – because it might offend the Muslims, and they are planning to rename the time of the year as ‘Winter Festival’… for crying out loud – its Christmas. This is what a desperate PC nation will get you. I am not allowed to celebrate Christmas because it might offend someone – and historically UK was a Christian nation. OK let me get to the point now.
    So is it unfair that hijabs have been banned – yes its unfair. People wear it as a form of identity just as much as one would wear a crucifix around their neck or even a Sheik wearing a turban (I am guessing a turban ban will be next !), but because we live in such a country now, anything that might cause the slightest offence is banned because we are too afraid. We are afraid of everything !
    Do I agree with the ban – yes ! I agree only because it portrays political and religious statement and Blair is in the process of banning anything that has anything to do with a religious statement like banning me from celebrating Christmas by renaming it to Winter Festival and no Christmas lights because it might be offensive. It is the same as Blair taking away Bibles being given out in hospitals, and free copies in hotels. Now one cannot do that because it will be offensive !
    People should be allowed to practice their faith as they see fit, and people should be allowed to live in a peaceful system by accepting others without and prejudice or hatred. People should be treated fairly and when PC comes into this – people will never be treated fairly. So making these stupid and ridiculous decisions to ban hijabs and such is the only way Blair and Co feel that will treat people fairly !
    This is Political Correctness gone so far and so wrong, this country is loosing the sovereignty of a being a free nation where we are supposed to be ‘united’.

  7. Well said AJoseph, possibly the best written comment on this site ever.

  8. OK I’m just back from the pub & it irritates me, ICL is/was a computer company. Imperial College is abbreviated IC.
    That over with, if someone gave me a bible next time I’m in hospital I’d chuck it in the bin. Nevertheless I’m quite happy for people to wear hijabs or turbans or crucifixes though I reserve the right to attempt to convert them to pastafarianism, worshipping the invisible pink unicorn or straight up hardline atheism. As was not said by Voltaire “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
    This sort of silly security rule is generated by bureaucrats covering their posteriors in case of the worst happening without considering the practicalities or other peoples feelings. It was said in the wake of the “7/7” bombings (is there a better term for them?) that the security threat level had been raised to “a nice cup of tea” or possibly as far as “a pint of best”. The sooner the bureaucrats recognise that this is our attitude and that everyday service should prevail in almost all respects the better.
    Sorry for the rant as I said, just back from the pub & I’m perhaps a touch over-enthusiastic. 🙂