"Veiled Love", or "Hijab el Hob", tells the story of a young Moroccan woman who chooses to have sex before marriage.
Film maker Aziz Salamy introduces us to Batoul, a young, well brought-up woman, who with her boyfriend, decides to embark on a sexual relationship which is both enflamed and marred by their not being married. A relatively harmless story, even in Morocco, but made shocking by the fact that the young woman wears a hijab... Especially as the director chooses to show the couple kissing and taking a bath together. Our Observer explains why some Moroccans consider the film an attack on Islam.
Does the story shock you? Tell us what you think. The best comments will be translated into French and read as part of Saturday's RFI radio show "Atelier des medias", to which The Observers contributes.
The film came out at the end of January and has just been showcased at the Belgian Mons International Love Film Festival. The blurb: "Batoul, 28, is a girl with a happy family life and a budding career in medicine. The day she meets Hamza, she finds herself breaking all the rules she once preached, to live a passionate love with the man who obsesses her..." (source).
"In Morocco, a woman who has premarital sex is called a prostitute"
Abdelhalim Talhaoui, 28, is a journalism student in Casablanca. He alerted us to this story.
People are talking about this film a lot. Leaders of several Islamic parties have even attacked it directly in the media. I went to see it at the cinema and personally I wasn't shocked. But you have to understand that Moroccan society is very conservative and hypocritical. In Morocco, a woman who has premarital sexual relations is called a prostitute. It doesn't bother people if a woman doesn't wear the hijab. But the veil is a religious symbol, it's conjures up deeper meanings. That's why the film is considered an attack on Islam.
Everyone knows that the narrative of the film is quite credible. But I think the director should have treated the subject with a little more tact to avoid shocking the country. He wanted it to be talked about, and it worked."
Song from the film