Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks for this heartfelt and thoughtful comment.

That's what we're talking about. Not scarves around one's hair, but the social environment hijab represents and which is counter to modern values (well, at least those values as progressively fought for, in the West since the 17th century and elsewhere as well).

Well, that social environment is what we should be talking about, but too often we end up talking about the symbols instead.  And that presents a particular problem when those "symbols" don't represent the same thing to everyone involved.

And yet we keep buying into the multi-cultural, "it's all good" frame of the post-modern left, the same left which has done nothing to advance poverty issues, or social justice issues, or economic equity issues, anywhere in the anglo-american world. Perhaps this is yet another diversion to distract from that lack of accomplishment?

I really don't think this is a fair representation of what I've been trying to do in this diary, and I'm sorry if you see it that way.  I'd say, actually, that the obsession with the symbol is the distraction, because poverty and social justice and economic equity and a whole host of other issues are still not being discussed.

And as a woman myself, I also have to wonder why both sides of the argument insist on using us women as the battleground for fighting their cultural/religious wars.  Want to prove you've established a genuine Islamic state?  What's the easiest way to show that?  Slap a hijab requirement on all the women!  Want to prove you're "enlightened" and "modern"?  What's the easiest way to show that?  Yank the headscarves off all the women!

It really shouldn't be about that.

My heart goes out to your friends, partly because this is a story I have heard before, many times, from people very close to me.  But if you think the problems they face are unique to the Muslim world, you are mistaken.  And if you think those problems are universal in the Muslim world, you are also mistaken.  Your friends' situation is heartbreaking, and familiar, but it is also an indication that fundamentally, as I said right in the beginnning, hijab is not the problem.  And it should not be the only thing we talk about.


by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Jan 16th, 2007 at 01:42:33 PM EST
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