Let’s talk about the hijab. A Hijab is a religious and formal head garment used by a variety of Muslim women across the globe, and not merely just yet another culturally appropriated garment that white girls wear to Coachella. There is a lot of controversy among wearers of a hijab while some people see it as a sign of oppression, many women who wear it see it as a symbol of religious freedom. It’s similar in a way that a wig or head scarf is necessary for Chassidic women, or knee length skirts are for Amish women, or how thirty seven bracelets, a blanket scarf, and a tilted fedora is somehow still necessary for Johnny Depp even though he’s nearly sixty years old. It’s a religious and formal necessity that many women take comfort and pride in. Of course, like many things that women have a choice over, some men are adamant on taking it away.
A military white paper was issued in opposition to President Obama’s counter-extremism plan. Reissued in January by the Air Force lab and published online Public Intelligence, it contains a chapter titled “A Strategic Plan to Defeat Radical Islam,” written by Dr. Tawfik Hamid. Hamid describes himself as a former Islamic extremist yet his take on Islamic terrorism reads like a Donald Trump anti-terrorism speech. It’s a lot of roundabout misogyny and bizarre sex education ideals.
Not only does Hamid claim that militant extremist Muslims are a product of sexual depravity, he claimed women who wear a hijab, “contribute to the idea of passive terrorism” and goes on to blame those women for failing to not “speak against or actively resist terrorism.” So here is where we see again yet another analyst who fails to recognize there is a difference between being a terrorist and being a Muslim. One is merely a religion as old and as soiled as Catholicism or Christianity. And the other is the product of a brain washing regime that has twisted that religion to fit it’s own power hungry agenda. And since when is it the women’s job to “stand up and actively resist terrorism” in many countries where they can’t even legally drive a car?
Quickly let’s focus on his first claim, that Muslim men have joined groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda because they’re sexually deprived. Sexual deprivation due to religion has caused a great number of horrific transgressions from Josh Duggar to just your run of the mill Catholic Priest creep. But never has sexual deprivation alone caused deaths of millions in the name of a god. That is a complete and total opposite direction. There are not balls blue enough to get a teenager to strap on a suicide vest and blow up a hospital on the off chance he meets seventy two more virgins like himself in the afterlife.
And if that’s true, good god, why would Hamid bring it up? Is that his strategy to beat ISIS? To embarrass them to death? Or worse is he suggesting his strategy to defeat ISIS involves drone strikes that fire Hustler magazines and fleshlights? (Let’s ask Ted Cruz if his plan to carpet bomb ISIS matches the drapes bombs).
Now back to his other asinine claim that the hijab is a form of “passive terrorism”. Ingrid Mattson, a professor of Islamic Studies, also finds fault in Hamid’s claims. She made the connection between the hijab and goodwill using Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who fought hard for women’s equal rights and was the victim of an assassination attempt in Pakistan. “Is Malala, who wears a hijab and was shot by the Taliban, a terrorist? There is nothing, sadly, more banal than for powerful people to tell women to take their clothes off.”
Because that’s all it really is. I mean, here in America many women would put up a huge fight if you told them to remove their lipstick because it was a sign of “passive prostitution” and you were afraid that you may get arrested for solicitation (which is statistically more likely to happen to you than be the victim of a female terrorism attack). It’s cultural apparel with a bad stigma. There is not a bomb under a Muslim woman’s headscarf, just like there is no AK-47 in the ugg boot of a California white girl—which is statistically more likely.
There is no leg to stand on in this argument based on how negatively a vast majority of the world sees the hijab and turbans. Just recently YouTube and Vine star Jasmeet Singh or JusReign was “randomly spot checked” and asked to remove his turban, or else he was told he would not be permitted to board his flight—Which he complied with after entering a private room. But he was forced to reenter the airport without being allowed to put his turban back on. Muslim men and women know that people see them in hijab or wearing a turban and instantly tense up like they’ve just seen a 30-40 year old white male (which is statistically more likely to kill you and should be more visibly feared than a girl with a scarf on her head).
Lecturer of terrorism studies at NYU, Arun Kundani says, “This characterization of the hijab demonizes millions of women whose reasons for covering have nothing to do with the advocacy of political violence… It appears the purpose of this chapter by Hamid is not a genuine investigation of the roots of violence, but rather an attempt to supply national security agencies with bogus surveillance rubrics.”