While at first glance this is a striking image – one that tugs at our American values of inclusion and religious tolerance, after a moment of contemplation the educated person understands precisely why this image is so stirring. Because it is a visual oxymoron.
These two things, the American flag and the hijab, have completely opposing meanings as it pertains to women.
If you knew the first thing about Islam, seeing a hijab made of an American flag would scramble your signal. First and foremost because, in America, we pride ourselves on having and continuing to foster a society where there are no barriers for women. The word “hijab” literally means “barrier” in Arabic. Go ahead, Google it. I’ll wait.
See? Physically and symbolically, that is what the hijab, burka, and the niqub are meant to be, barriers between men and women and barriers between women and society. So if you were upset that Hillary’s glass ceiling did not get shattered on election night, than this image should make you equally as upset.
If you’re holding a sign of this image know this. Globally, the vast majority of women who don this garment do no do so under their own free will. Are you still holding it? Feels kind of embarrassing now doesn’t it. Yeah, it gets worse.
Purpose of The Hijab
In Islam it is put upon women to control the sexual desires of men. It is said that ‘a wisp of hair or the sight of an ankle is enough to trigger a man’s natural sexual aggression, which would be the women’s fault—thus they are to keep themselves covered’…. in America we’ve got a name for that shit, it’s called ‘rape culture.’
In America women wear what they want, they cover what they want, and men are responsible for their own actions. The hijab represents the opposite.
If you support women’s rights or consider yourself a feminist and you celebrate, revere or God forbid wear the hijab in a misguided attempt to be tolerant what you are actually doing is throwing the full weight of your support behind a more systemic and oppressive violent misogyny than has ever been seen by American women in the history of this country. You are being tolerant of intolerance, not only toward women, but also gays. You are literally endorsing inequality! Liberals and particularly feminists who take no issue with Islam, or disturbingly take to fetishizing it, reveal themselves to be uneducated and fully ignorant to all the teachings of Islam.
I’m a big believer in owning your own quest for knowledge. So, here…
Some Things For You to Google:
Can Muslim men beat their wives?
Are women considered property or possessions in Islam?
Are women equal to men in Islam?
Does the Quran say that men are more intelligent than women?
Does the Quran say that no nation that elects a women as their leader will ever prosper? (WTF!!??)
Can Muslim woman only marry Muslim men?
Can Muslim men marry anyone they want?
According to Islam is hell filled only with women?
Why is the testimony of two women equal to the testimony of one man in Islam?
Can a Muslim woman ask for a divorce?
Can a Muslim woman say no to sex with her husband?
Can a Muslim woman decide to leave Islam?
Can a Muslim woman leave the house if her husband says no?
What is honor killing in Islam?
Now, before you go becoming an apologist and convincing yourself that these things only apply to radical Islam, here are some sobering statistics.
The brutal truth is that standing in “solidarity” appeals to our own narcissism so much we don’t stop and ask about the culture we’re fetishizing for the sake of our own tolerance scoreboard (ouch). I’m sorry my fellow feminists but I love you too much not to tell you.
As the author of a YA trilogy destroying the patriarchy at the root I want you to understand something: this image not helping, this image is dangerous. It legitimizes the subjugation of women worldwide, the shit story that women are to blame for the ‘fall of humanity,’ and the crumbling paradigm that we are created as “helpmates,” to serve men and must know our place.
According to feminist Muslim women the hijab is “a symbol of a dangerous purity culture obsessed with honor and virginity.”
According to these Muslim women who are brave enough to come out and ask western women not to celebrate the hijab, “To us, anyone who celebrates the hijab is standing on the wrong side of a lethal war of ideas that sexually objectifies women as vessels for honor and temptation, absolving men of personal responsibility. This purity culture covers, segregates, subordinates, silences, jails and kills women and girls around the world.”
Great women in this country have fought hard for the freedom we live with. I will leave you with this to prompt you to honor that legacy by being very picky about which symbols you select as empowering women.
*The people in this video are following their religion to the letter. Google ‘the punishment for apostasy’ for more information.
**WARNING this video contains disturbing images of graphic violence.