If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Monday, December 11, 2006

APPROPRIATING ATTITUDES TO THE HIJAB- TIME FOR A WAKE UP CALL

First of all, a big congratulations to Iktimal for being named NSW young Australian of the Year. Well done Iktimal.

Now a word for all those Muslims who condemned her for not wearing hijab and for taking a sip of champagne in celebration of her accomplishment on Muslim Village ...

We all know that the government and the media prefer to engage with women who "look Muslim"- ie wear the hijab. Those of us who don't wear it know very well that we are the invisible Muslims. Journalists will clamour over 10 non-hijabis just to talk to a hijabi, Government funding goes to Muslim women's groups and individuals who wear hijab or any form of the veil because it is seen to be politically correct - forget that some of these groups use their funding to enable women to stay in domestic violence situations.

If you do not wear hijab, you are somehow not considered to be "authentic" regardless of what you do or what you have to say.

At the same time, Muslim women who wear hijab are constantly lamenting the negative media portrayal that presents the hijab as evidence of gender based oppression in Islam and that equates Islam only with the spectre of the veiled woman peering helplessly from behind a black shroud.

We know this- all Australian Muslims know this. SO WHY DO WE DO IT TO OURSELVES?
Why are we taking on the attitudes of media and government that we are so ready to criticise and condemn? Why are we appropriating the very thing that we whinge about all the fucking time?

How dare anyone claim that Iktimal does not represent Muslims because she does not wear hijab? By that argument only hijabis are valid "authentic" Muslims and hence the hijab is the single most important symbol of Islam and what it means to be Muslim. Isn't that the same thing that we criticise in the media and government? Their obsession with the hijab as a symbol?

WAKE UP PEOPLE.
WAKE UP, OR ELSE SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR NEGATIVE IMAGE WHILE YOU KEEP DOING THINGS TO REINFORCE IT.

I'm done.

3 comments:

Egypeter said...

Well said there Suspect! :)

Wearing the hijab makes you no more a muslim than wearing a cross around your neck makes you a Christian!!

It just seems that currently in the Arab world people are becoming obssessed with outward displays of religiosity. I don't get it. Why the new trend?? Isn't one's relationship with God SUPPOSED to be a PERSONAL one??

Good on that brave muslim woman too!! Bravo for being a good example. Many of Australia's muslims are denouncing her for taking a sip of Champagne and wearing make-up...c'mon, really?? Let's be a little reasonable here...

Anyway, keep up the loud voice and great blog!!

Salaam ya masraya :)

Anonymous said...

Much respect! And you have my neck hurting from nodding in agreement with what you are saying.
It's so true, Muslims are so worried about what you are wearing as if that is the only thing that will solve our problems today.
I can go on and on, great post!

The Usual Suspect said...

Peter
Totally agree.
Unfortantely a lot of those Muslims who only think from an Islamocentric point of view do not know how to exercise reason!