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Monday, December 21, 2015

"We are not too sexy for our hair."

See, I'm not the only one who thinks the recent love fest with the hijab is a wrongheaded embrace of a sexist symbol. Here's the beginning of an article I saw today at the Washington Post ...

As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the ‘hijab’ in the name of interfaith solidarity

Last week, three female religious leaders – a Jewish rabbi, an Episcopal vicar and a Unitarian reverend – and a male imam, or Muslim prayer leader, walked into the sacred space in front of the ornately-tiled minbar, or pulpit, at the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City, Utah, the women smiling widely, their hair covered with swaths of bright scarves, to support “Wear a Hijab” day.

The Salt Lake Tribune published a photo of fresh-faced teenage girls from Corner Canyon High School at the mosque, their hair covered with long scarves. KSL TV later reported: “The hijab — or headscarf — is a symbol of modesty and dignity. When Muslim women wear headscarves, they are readily identified as followers of Islam.”

For us, as mainstream Muslim women, born in Egypt and India, the spectacle at the mosque was a painful joke and reminder of the well-financed effort by conservatives to dominate modern Muslim societies. This modern-day movement spreads an ideology of political Islam, called “Islamism,” enlisting unsuspecting well-intentioned do-gooders, while promoting the headscarf for women as a virtual “sixth pillar” of Islam, after the traditional “five pillars,” the shahada (or proclamation of faith), prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage. We reject this interpretation. We are not too sexy for our hair.

This modern-day movement, codified by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan and the Islamic State, has erroneously made the Arabic word hijab synonymous with “headscarf,” furthering a sexist interpretation of Islam that women and girls must “protect” their “honor” by covering their hair. Hijab literally means, “curtain” in Arabic. It also means “hiding,” ”obstructing” and “isolating” someone or something. It is never used in the Koran to mean headscarf ........


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