Is there value in having women of all faiths — women who don’t usually cover their hair — don a traditional Islamic hijab?
I ask because my Facebook feed has been filled with photos of women in hijab. Like those who wore hoodies in solidarity with Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin, my friends are covering their hair to protest the murder of Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi woman who was found near death in her living room in El Cajon, Calif., last month. Next to Alawadi’s body was a note calling her a “terrorist.”
Though El Cajon police have not determined whether Alawadi’s murder was a hate crime, women all over the world condemned the incident as one of religious discrimination. Today, the “One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi” group on Facebook counts more than 17,000 “likes.”
But in recent weeks, details have come to light that suggest that Alawadi’s murder may not be the hate crime it once appeared to be. And it didn’t take long for some to cast doubt on the “One Million Hijabs” project, insinuating that it glorified a culture that condemns women to second-class status. Commenters on anti-Islamic sites called Alawadi’s death an “honor killing.”
What would you do if you were an American Christian woman and your 9-year-old daughter decided to start donning the hijab, a scarf completely covering the head and shoulders worn by traditional Muslim women?
Married to a Libyan Muslim, they live with their daughter and younger son in Carrboro, N.C. When Aliyah (which means “exalted” in Arabic, not much different from the word’s meaning in Hebrew) first arrived, Bremer had an idealistic — even naïve — vision of how she and her husband would raise their daughter in their interfaith family.
Naomi Wolf — the feminist Jewish author of the bestselling landmark book, “The Beauty Myth,” which brazenly exposes how the multi-billion dollar beauty industry manipulates women’s entire sense of self — is gorgeous. For two decades now, the brilliant and outspoken Wolf has decried cosmetics, plastic-surgery and hair removal businesses while appearing, let’s just say, well made-up.
She’s a bit of an enigma that way – lipstick feminism decrying lipstick. I suppose all writers really do write about our own lives, whether or not we have fully escaped those societal traps we wish to unveil. Or maybe Wolf simply reminds us to look past the packaging and focus on the message. The New York Observer is now reporting that she is “going back to her roots” and has just gotten a book deal to write a cultural history of the vagina.
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