Spirit leader Bettina Geysen wore a hijab at the start of her New Year’s speech in Antwerp this past Sunday, out of indignation with the Ghent ban on hijabs and a possible ban in the future also the in the East Flanders province.
The move was met with criticism from Vlaams Belang. Filip Dewinter said she “prostitutes herself for Islam”. Dewinter said Geysen provoked all Flemish by giving her speech with a headscarf, under the cloak of pluralism and tolerance. He said that having the head of a self-declared progressive party, which stands up for women’s emancipation and equality, decked out with an Islamic headscarf is too crazy for words. “The headscarf is the Islam symbol of the discrimination of the woman and of resistance towards our Western society.”
The Antwerp Vlaams Belang head called the Antwerp municipal council to follow suit on the ban also in the civil service.