Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

It's HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT HIJAB DAY!

SO:

One the one hand: hijab is pretty much purely an instrument of sexist religious repression. And, you know, fuck sexist religious repression, right? And, while I'm on the subject, fuck religion.

On the other hand: it seems like the only behavior mode chosen by my fellow anti-religionists these days is to be as obnoxious and intolerant as possible, which really isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

WHICH MEANS:

On the one hand: France's recent decision to ban the hijab is consistent with their official position of state atheism, a position I have always felt is the only rational way to go for a government.

On the other hand: there's no denying that, in a practical sense, this ends up being obvious discrimination, since it smothers the freedom of one very specific ethnic and religious group.

FOR EXAMPLE:

On the one hand: the more conservative a culture is, the more heavily veiled they insist women become. And even in the most liberalized Muslim cultures, the veil is, essentially, a religious obligation, and thus an infringement of freedom for anyone who doesn't want to wear it. It is not incorrect to think of hijab as a form of intrinsic religious persecution, like when Mormons disallowed blacks from the priesthood, or how Baptists teach that homosexuality is a sin.

On the other hand: it cannot be denied that for many women, wearing hijab is not an obligation, but a choice. It is a cultural statement as well as a religious requirement, and banning them from wearing it is clearly a form of discrimination. It is not incorrect to think of hijab as a cultural/religious preference, like when Jews choose not to eat pork, or how Hindus have arranged marriages.

MOVING ON:

On the one hand: I am absolutely and unconditionally against any kind of enforced religious obligation, and I despise the way that women are generally treated in Islamic countries. This certainly includes the hijab, and there is no doubt there's a double standard for how men and women may dress.

On the other hand: A lot of the resentment against hijab comes from Christian conservatives, and there can be no question that much of it is driven by hatred of Islam and discrimination against/fear of Arabs. Many critics of the role of women in Islam are themselves advocates of extremely sexist view of women in society, and lots of people who criticize veiling have nothing to say about dress codes that exist in Judaism and some forms of Christianity.

IN CONCLUSION:

On the one hand: I am in favor of abolishing hijab, or at the very least, allowing Islamic women who do not wish to be veiled to make that choice without fear of reprisal.

On the other hand: I think a governmental decree outlawing hijab is probably the worst possible way to get such a result.
______________________________________

NOTE #1: In one of the odder permutations of our culture recently, anti-Islamic American conservatives have co-opted a panel from the 2005 Paul Dini/Alex Ross comic Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth in which WW, standing among a group of veiled Islamic women, strips off a burqa to reveal her skimpy bustier-and-star-spangled-panties outfit. The image appears on a number of right-wing Muslim-bashing sites, and apparently is meant to convey the idea that WW will show up those snotty repressive Mahometans by showing off her awesome Amazon body. This is all well and good as long as you totally ignore the context of the story, but the irony becomes downright indigestible when you consider that Wonder Woman is, in fact, from a society so devoted to sexual separatism that men are literally not allowed to set foot in her homeland.

NOTE #2: I've always thought that veiled women are pretty hot, which means that the entire stated raison d'etre for veiling is wrong.
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  • HONK

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