The Volokh Conspiracy
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From "As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the 'hijab' in the name of interfaith solidarity," by Asra Q. Nomani & Hala Arafa in The Post:
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. . . .
To us, the headscarf is a symbol of an interpretation of Islam we reject that believes that women are a sexual distraction to men, who are weak, and, thus, we must cover ourselves. We don't buy it. This ideology promotes a social attitude that absolves men of sexually harassing women and puts the onus on the victim to protect herself by covering up.
The new Muslim Reform Movement, a global network of leaders, advocating for human rights, peace and secular governance, supports the right of Muslim women to wear—or not wear—the headscarf.
Unfortunately, the idea of "hijab" as a mandatory headscarf for women, duping well-intentioned "interfaith" supporters, is promulgated by efforts such as "World Hijab Day," started in 2013 by Nazma Khan, the Bangladeshi American owner of a Brooklyn-based headscarf company, and Ahlul Bayt, a Shia proselytizing TV station, that the University of Calgary, in southwest Canada, promotes as a resource for its participation in "World Hijab Day," the TV station arguing "hijab" is necessary for women to avoid "unwanted attention." World Hijab Day, Ahlul Bayt and the University of Calgary didn't respond to requests for comment. . . .
In the name of "interfaith," well-intentioned Americans are getting duped by the agenda of Muslims who argue that a woman's honor lies in her "chastity," pushing a platform to put a headscarf on every woman.
Please do this instead: Do not wear a headscarf in "solidarity" with the ideology that most silences us, equating our bodies with "honor." Stand with us instead with moral courage against the ideology of Islamism that demands we cover our hair.
Read the whole article here.