Muslim Challenge

My university is organizing a “Muslim Challenge.” In the course of the event, women will be handed out free hijabs to “get a glimpse of the experience of veiled Muslims.”

No activity is planned where “veiled Muslims”  will be encouraged to get a glimpse of the experience of women who do not consider themselves anybody’s property.

It is especially cute that the activity is being announced right after a TA at a neighboring university beat a 14-year-old girl for not wearing a hijab.

I guess this answers my question as to whether there is anybody else left anywhere interested in remembering – no, not the concept, that shit is dead – but at least the word “feminism.”

8 thoughts on “Muslim Challenge

    1. “By calling herself a “feminist” or not a woman is now declaring her market niche in order to consume more efficiently.”

      • Yes! That’s precisely it. It’s all about putting on a label which is perceived as an end in itself. The label doesn’t lead people to do anything. It stands in lieu of doing.

      And it’s the same with other identities. In the recent issue of NYTimes magazine, there is a pouty article by novelist Laila Lalami who lists every way in which she does not practice Islam only to follow with a revelation that she knows how all Muslims in the West feel and will now speak in their name. “Islam”, to her, is just an empty label that is not in any way linked to any activity, any way of being. It’s just a word. But she claimed this word for herself, and now nobody should dare to challenge the claim.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is very similar in content (not tone), to when conservatives say PC culture run amok.

    I only point this out to iterate that most (but certainly some) conservatives who support republicans and even the trump wave aren’t racist or xenophobic for their views.

    If you were a politician the MSM would definitely talk of your privellage and call you racist likely or xenophobic

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    1. I want to remind you that few things are as conservative as the hijab. The cultures that force women to shroud themselves can hardly be deemed “progressive.”

      Hijabs, by the way, do not pertain to any specific race or ethnic group, so denouncing them can be neither racist nor xenophobic.

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      1. You may call it conservative, but find me a republican / us conservative that is a big proponent of the hijab and then we will talk..

        Conservatives (native us citizens) are rapidly anti-sharia law and hijab and most parts of backwards islamic culture (backwards by western standards of respect for political freedom, freedom of choice). Just important to clarify that.

        Again, most of this has little to do with truly religion but the economc, political, and legal conventions that prevail in the US and western europe vs North africa and middle east whch are 100 -500 years back compared to the western world.

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        1. There are conservatives on other parts of the world, you know. 🙂 And the conservatism of beating women when they choose not to wear a hijab is not that different from the conservatism of shooting at them when they exercise the right to manage their internal organs.

          By the way, which female freedoms do the US conservatives support when they want to force the government to penetrate female bodies with vaginal probes? As someone who has experienced said probe, I can assure you that it’s A LOT more invasive than a hijab.

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  2. My university is organizing a “Muslim Challenge.” In the course of the event, women will be handed out free hijabs to “get a glimpse of the experience of veiled Muslims
    Whatever their intentions are, I don’t think they thought it through. Why is this exercise in faux-empathy being aimed at women? Men don’t need a lesson in empathy? The only “veiled Muslims” are women so why not refer to women? Also, people tend to read whatever you’re wearing differently based on race. For example, I wouldn’t attempt certain 50s head scarf styles because it will read as “Muslim” regardless of whatever other clothing I’m wearing. It doesn’t matter if it’s not tied the exact same way, or if I’m wearing other clothing that isn’t modest, many people will see “brown person + head covering=Attack!”
    People obviously can’t tell the difference between Muslim men and Sikh men: just ask all of the Sikh victims of hate crimes!

    I don’t know how much understanding or empathy wearing headgear for a couple of hours will induce in people by osmosis. :/

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    1. “Whatever their intentions are, I don’t think they thought it through. Why is this exercise in faux-empathy being aimed at women? Men don’t need a lesson in empathy? The only “veiled Muslims” are women so why not refer to women? Also, people tend to read whatever you’re wearing differently based on race. For example, I wouldn’t attempt certain 50s head scarf styles because it will read as “Muslim” regardless of whatever other clothing I’m wearing.”

      • Yes. All true. I share all these, and more, objections to the event. The whole thing is beyond superficial, and I’d expect that since we are an educational institution, we could organize something a bit more insightful and nuanced. I believe that teaching students about the complexity of Islam is crucial, just crucial. But reducing it to a hijab and this gimmicky sort of activity is counterproductive.

      It’s the same as saying, “Want to feel like a Ukrainian? Wear the Ukrainian headdress!” That would be very silly.

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