The Great Hypocritical Muslim Cover-Up
Many of my fellow Muslims have been encouraging non-Muslim women to wear a headscarf in solidarity with Muslims. They call it “World Hijab Day.” Constrained by the limited horizons of their Western context, and rightfully concerned with rising anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and Europe, a few non-Muslim women have obliged by donning a headscarf. I believe that these women were wrong to do so, and here’s why.
Simply wearing a headscarf on World Hijab Day falls terribly short of our moral responsibility. It is, after all, being called World Hijab Day. So, it is not only Western Muslim women who must be considered here, but the millions of Muslim women who live under theocracies around the world, for whom World Hijab Day is enforced every single day, and for the rest of their lives.
As Muslim feminist activist and columnist Asra Nomani argued, the hijab is not just enforced through dress, but via cultural “honor codes” (‘irdh) and definitions of “modesty” (hayaa’) that, if broken, can lead to heinous punishment.
Did these non-Muslim women—indulging their Orientalist fetish by covering their heads—not stop to consider for one moment that their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Iran and under Taliban or ISIS rule also require our solidarity in taking their hijabs off?
It is simply an undeniable fact that most Muslim women attacked around the world for how they dress are attacked by other Islamist and fundamentalist Muslims, not by non-Muslims.