Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wear a Hijab Day - Why not Wear a Yarmulke?

Excerpts of this:
An English Professor at MacMaster University thought it would be a great idea to have everyone wear a Hijab. During Passover . . .
Women, whether Muslim or not, were invited to wear a head scarf all day to show support for those who regularly wear it.
Professor Muriel Walker, who teaches French literature at Mac, organized the hijab day. "It can be difficult for women to wear the hijab," she said. "I want this to help sensitize people about Islam ... you should not be afraid of Muslims."
(Editor: Why not have everyone wear a Yarmulka to help sensititize people about the thirteen hundred years of Jewish persecution by Islamism?)
Walker, who moved from France 15 years ago, is not Muslim, but has worn a hijab on Fridays, an important day of prayer for Muslims, for about three months.
"I just wanted to know what it's like to walk in their shoes, and show respect."
Walker believes that social expectations on women inherent in the "beauty myth" -- fashion, body image -- are themselves a form of coercion for women about their appearance.
On the other hand, Tracy Isaacs, a philosophy professor at the University of Western Ontario, who thinks that showing empathy for women who wear the hijab is a positive thing, wonders about the "context of choice" at play.
That is, if the beauty myth and other social conventions represent coercion against women, is covering up with a scarf or veil a legitimate choice? Muslim women are also encouraged to wear the hijab to keep males from sexually objectifying them. Is that a sound response?
It is astounding to me that a female professor, who made a statement on the 'beauty myth", most likely an ardent feminist, can have any desire to promote the sensitive side of Islam, rather than the side that is about the most misogynist in the world. Good for Tracy to respond.

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