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Radi Suleiman just before removing her veil and headscarf on video (TIME).

"Free will"

Woman protests ISIS by discarding her veil and headscarf

By WITW Staff on June 22, 2016

“This outfit is a fraud, it is a deception,” Radi Suleiman says in the video as she removes the black veil that had been covering her face almost entirely, except for a thin opening exposing her eyes. “When it became obligatory and enforced, it became despised,” she says, holding the veil out in front of her and looking at it with contempt. “I don’t want it anymore,” she says, casting it aside. Suleiman then pulls the headscarf covering her scalp and tosses it away, too, adding, “When we used to wear it with our free will, it was beautiful.” The entire video clip lasts for just a minute, but by the end Suleiman sheds all of her traditional black clothing mandated by ISIS in what amounts to a rebirth of sorts.

Suleiman, 39, fled Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in northern Syria, six months ago. She escaped with nine of her 11 children and is now living in one of the better refugee camps in Lebanon. She rents a tent there for $100 a month. In an interview with TIME, she laments how the extremist group ruined traditional Muslim clothing, which she believes is culturally important, by making it compulsory. And she rails against ISIS saying it’s “the most evil and criminal organization” among those embroiled in the Syrian conflict. “I have seen things you can’t imagine,” she said.

Read the full story and watch the video at TIME.


ISIS fines women in the caliphate for not covering their eyes