Summary: Two groups of people, with very different mindsets, discuss the “hijab” legitimacy in the West: Intellectual (who advocate for freedom of expression), and business people (who want Muslim’s money)
A wonderful piece by Farnaz Calafi at 12 News, NBC affiliate channel in Arizoana
We selected a few paragraphs of the piece. If you want to read the whole piece, click here …
Hijab, which means “curtain” or “screen” in Arabic, is meant to cover women’s hair in public because according to Islamic laws, it’s considered provocative. Men, on the other hand, do not have to hide their hair. In other words, women are objectified and controlled because the focus is more about their bodies and their provocativeness than their individuality. At least compared with men! Also, in some Islamic countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, wearing a daily hijab is a requirement that, if not obeyed, carries severe penalties, including torture and death.
Even so, many who live in non-Islamic countries publicly advocate ads with veiled women as being part of the freedom to choose what to wear. These supporters mainly fall into two categories. First are the intellectuals, such as writers, philosophers and feminists, who passionately argue that women should have the right to wear whatever they want, including apparel that reflects their religious beliefs. The second are the savvy marketers who use every and any opportunity to sell their products and make profits.
The intellectuals, God bless their souls, do have good intentions. They come up with some amazing and complex analysis and explanations in favor of such fashion trends, all in the name of supporting women and freedom. But they’re not seeing the unequivocal yet malicious reasons behind why Islam requires women to cover their hair.
The thought process and intentions of savvy marketers, on the other hand, are soulless and corporate. They just want to make money. And who in their right business mind could blame them? The Islamic market is a giant gold mine. Muslim consumers spent $230 billion clothing in 2014 and could be spending $327 billion by 2020, according to a report last year on the global Islamic economy.
But let’s not be fooled by these ads into thinking that hijab is a means of self- or fashion expression. Hijab is a serious issue, not a passing trend. It doesn’t come and go like baggy jeans, short skirts, or pointed-toe shoes. It dates to 627 C.E. (common era) and has caused women severe punishments and deaths throughout the years (although this is not something you would’ve read in the fine print under DKNY’s first-ever Ramadan collection ads, launched in 2014).
Read the full story here …