Feminist journalist under online threats

Belgian feminist journalist working for Le Soir, Florence Hainaut, has been a target of online harassment and threats, the media reports. Her text ‘Cachez ce foulards’ (Hide this scarf) critiqued a court ruling with respect to the headscarf ban at a high school in Brussels. With her feminist approach to freedom of expression and religious freedoms she noted the importance of intersectional feminism. Women covering their hair are usually seen as weak, and often, because of their headscarf, are not hired in public positions where they are visible to the public. Once Le Soir published the piece, Hainaut faced orchestrated accusations over Facebook for falling ‘into the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood’. Upon receiving more insults and profanities, she decided to take legal action against perpetrators. The Coalition for Women in Journalism called upon Belgian authorities to investigate the online accounts behind the harassment. The Council of Europe (CoE) recognised this as a level 2 threat categorised under the harassment and intimidation of journalists.