Alexandre Sutherland. Sputnik France
New Zealand police have incorporated the option of wearing the hijab into their official uniform to encourage the recruitment of Muslim women. Agent Zeena Ali is the first to officially wear it, and has shared her impressions with the New Zealand Herald.
After the Christchurch attacks in 2019, Zeena Ali, 30, decided to join the New Zealand police to help the Muslim community. She witnessed the process of designing the hijab for the uniform. She thus became the first policewoman in the country to wear it officially, reported the New Zealand Herald on November 10.
New Zealand 🇳🇿 New Zealand Police will incorporate a hijab into their official uniform, after working closely with a Muslim student at the Royal New Zealand Police College to design clothing that is both functional and faith-friendly pic.twitter.com/ICPJFmoJio
– always vaudais (@TFilastin) November 17, 2020
“We need people with different skills, backgrounds and levels of experience, diversity is essential for us to be able to effectively meet the needs of New Zealand communities today and in the future,” said the national police in a statement.
Officer Ali says he is proud to wear a uniform that represents the Muslim community, especially women, and hopes to inspire others to join law enforcement. “It’s great, the police have done everything they can to make sure that the hijab meets the health requirements and security as well as my personal needs, ”she told the national daily.
Wearing the hijab in the police
As the BBC points out, New Zealand is not the only Western country to authorize the wearing of the veil in the police. The London police officers can do it since 2006, those of Scotland since 2016. In Australia, a woman named Maha Sukkar has obtained the authorization since 2004. The practice is not authorized in France, the civil servants having a duty of strict neutrality.