Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Enough of fetishising the hijab, already!

The hijab as the Confederate Flag of headwear.  Good one!
Letter to South China Morning Post
Please, enough of fetishising the hijab.  Your "View Point" (September 12) shows a picture of former refugee Halima Aden, who, we are told, "is breaking boundaries as the first hijab-wearing fashion model gracing Western magazine covers".  So what? Are we supposed to believe it's some kind of achievement to model or to lift weights or to fence while wearing a head cover? These actions are neither brave nor transformative.
I would far rather see View Point honour the truly brave women such as Masih Alinead, an exiled Iranian journalist who founded the "My Stealthy Freedom" website which depicts Iranian women who uncover. It takes real bravery to protest against the theocratic dress code in place since the mullahs took over in 1979, under which the bareheaded are punished by caning and/or imprisonment.
One of the alleged reasons Muslim women wear the hijab is for "modesty", itself a calumny on men, who are thereby assumed to be unable to contain their passions if they see a woman's naked hair.  So what is Halima Aden doing modelling on the cover of a western magazine, if the aim of being covered is modesty?
Alishba Zarmeen has called the hijab the Confederate flag of headwear.  Spot on!  It's a symbol of slavery, whether worn under duress, or "freely" by the likes of Halima Aden, in an updated version of the Stockholm syndrome.
Yours etc...