This fatuous New York Daily News puff piece and the even more repulsive project it covers both glorify a primary vehicle for the oppression of women. It’s also remarkably ignorant: there are three photos accompanying the article, and all three show women wearing niqabs, not hijabs, yet the article and the project organizers speak only of hijabs. The article also sounds the predictable victimhood chords, as we’re told that one of the project organizers got yelled at as soon as she donned a hijab.
But what about the women who have not just been yelled at, but threatened and even murdered for not wearing one? Women and girls such as Aqsa Parvez, whose Muslim father choked her to death with her hijab after she refused to wear it; and Amina Muse Ali, a Christian woman in Somalia whom Muslims murdered because she wasn’t wearing a hijab; and the 40 women who were murdered in Iraq in 2007 for not wearing the hijab; and Alya Al-Safar, whose Muslim cousin threatened to kill her and harm her family because she stopped wearing the hijab in Britain; and Amira Osman Hamid, who faces whipping in Sudan for refusing to wear the hijab; and the Egyptian girl, also named Amira, who committed suicide after being brutalized for her family for refusing to wear the hijab; and the Muslim and non-Muslim teachers at the Islamic College of South Australia who were told that they had to wear the hijab or be fired; and the women in Chechnya whom police shot with paintballs because they weren’t wearing hijab; and the women also in Chechnya who were threatened by men with automatic rifles for not wearing hijab; and the elementary school teachers in Tunisia who were threatened with death for not wearing hijab; and the Syrian schoolgirls who were forbidden to go to school unless they wore hijab; and the women in Gaza whom Hamas has forced to wear hijab; and the women in Iran who protested against the regime by daring to take off their legally-required hijab; and the women in London whom Muslim thugs threatened to murder if they didn’t wear hijab; and the anonymous young Muslim woman who doffed her hijab outside her home and started living a double life in fear of her parents, and all the other women and girls who have been killed or threatened, or who live in fear for daring not to wear the hijab — when is the Daily News going to run a piece on them?
“The covered-girl look is great, say two Upper West Side artists who think NYC women should give the hijab a try,” by Justin Rocket Silverman, New York Daily News, October 13, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Hall):
The hijab is hot!
That’s the message two Upper West Side artists want to spread by encouraging women around the city to put on the veil and snap a selfie.
“Women who wear a hijab by choice are in complete control of their sexuality,” says Saks Afridi, who started the #DamnILookGood campaign with project partner Qinza Najm. “Here in New York, it’s very brave for a woman to wear one out in public.”
Najm had started wearing a hijab around New York City as an experiment, just to see what it would be like. Though she was raised in Pakistan, she and her family members do not wear the traditional head covering worn by some Muslim women. But one day she put on a hijab in her Lower East Side art studio and went for a walk around the neighborhood.
“Someone started screaming at me to ‘Go home!’ ” Najm recalls. “I was surprised because I figured people in New York would have more tolerance.”
She spent the next week wearing the hijab around town, and encountered more angry New Yorkers on the streets and subways. This aggressive reaction to a garment that’s quite common in many Muslim cultures prompted Najm and Afridi to do the project.
They launched it at the DUMBO Arts Festival last month, where hundreds of women put on the head covering and posed for selfies, posting them to sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #damnilookgood.
“A selfie suggests you are feeling confident and good about yourself,” says Najm, who put her hijab back on for the project and posed with the other women.
The hijab project is called ‘an exercise in tolerance,’ aiming to help people see what it’s like to wear one. #DamnILookGood The hijab project is called ‘an exercise in tolerance,’ aiming to help people see what it’s like to wear one.
Almost none of the women who participated in the #DamnILookGood project had ever worn a hijab before.
Some, like Erin Zeitler, 25, from the Upper West Side, had always assumed that women in hijabs were being forced to wear one, and not doing it as a fashion statement.
“It was mind-opening to put one on,” she says. “It was like looking at the world through someone else’s eyes.”…