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There was a pregnant woman that got assaulted in Sweden recently, she was wearing a hijab, for those of you who do not know, it's a veil that some Muslim women wear. The word hijab in Arabic means a screen or curtain. She was attacked from behind and did therefore not see who her attacker was, there has been discussions and reports in Sweden that she got attacked by a man showing his hate and disapproval of Muslims, basically a hate crime. I have also read a report that it was her own husband that did this to her. What the final outcome will be on who did this to her is at the moment unclear.
However, many women across Sweden decided to wear a hijab for a day (in Sweden now known as hijab upproret) to show solidarity and sisterhood with this woman and many Swedish bloggers wrote in favor of this decisions.
I too want to get involved in this discussion and give my take on it. I am a feminist and would choose NOT to put on a hijab to show my sisterhood with this woman. Why? Because to me the hijab, burqa and chadri (other types of garments Muslim women wear to cover themselves up) stand for oppression and control of women. That is how I look at this.
I suspect that the politically correct thing in Sweden (right now) is to show that you are open minded and put on some sort of a hijab to prove it. No, I am not a Muslim woman and therefore I can't speak on their behalf and how they stand on this issue. I read a few reports on this, there are Muslim women that absolutely agree with the outreach of solidarity of donning the hijab for a day and others that are totally against it and against the practice of covering up. I am not a religious scholar by any means, far from it. I am very well aware of that there are many people out there that get enraged when you discuss or question THEIR religion, even the smallest critique is many times met with death threats and violence.
See Salman Rushdie, Theodoor van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Danish cartoon controversy, Malala Yousafzai - just to mention a few.
You can look up the names and events I mentioned and read up on them if you are not familiar with them. I was very upset when I found out about Theodoor van Gogh's senseless and brutal murder and it still makes me sad thinking about it.
To me, the veil symbolizes submission. Who is the woman submitting to, God or a man that is telling her how to act and what to wear? That is the question. I have Muslim friends in Sweden that practice Islam and they (they are women) do not veil themselves, so I know it is perfectly possible for a woman practicing Islam to go about her your daily life without wearing a veil of some sorts. Does Islam mean personal freedom for women in some countries where they are not allowed to drive a car, get subjected to female genital mutilation, get married without their own consent, are not allowed to step outside the house without a male chaperone etc. Is that freedom? NOT in my book it is not. Why, if women and men are equal in God's eyes, do some women have to cover up their face, hair and body or otherwise risk getting shunned by society if they don't? Is there something about a woman's appearance that is shameful or dirty? Or is it because some men cannot control their sexual urges around women? That is not equality to me. Yes, a woman should have the freedom to wear whatever she wants, if SHE truly wants to. Not because she has been forced or brain washed from an early age about how she should dress in order to fit in to society. By all means, if you really want to wear a hijab, burqa or chadri without any sort of input from a man, go ahead! I don't care. I myself am wearing capris, a t shirt and some flip flops today.
I decided myself on what to wear, to wear my hair up or down, or whether I am wearing any make up or not. And no, I am not a slave to Western society "rules" about putting on make up when I go out in public, I couldn't care less whether some guy out there finds me attractive or not.
To me sisterhood is about fighting against any religion or injustice that attempts to hold women down. Hundred of years ago in Europe women got burned alive, tortured and drowned because they were accused of being witches. What a scary time that must have been to be a woman! Women gained the equal right to vote in Sweden in 1919, 1920 in the US. Progress people! Some countries are showing very slow or no progress on women's rights, some countries are even going backwards it seems, I can not show any solidarity with that.
I can recommend Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography Infidel . It is a great read and she describes her experiences as a former Muslim woman that managed to escape all of that and is now living in the US. She had female genital mutilation forced onto her as a five year old (torture in my opinion) and was supposed to enter an arranged marriage. She also describes her surprise when she discovered that the women in the Netherlands were walking around without covering themselves up with some form of veil and that women and men managed to co exist perfectly fine. Go figure!


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Rick on :

How can this be on the same web page as that Domino junk?

Tatiana on :

Well thank you, thank you....once in a while I manage to come up with something brilliant.
Regarding the Domino junk.....well I think those three entries that Domino wrote were fun and spot on, that is why I decided to share them here, since I do work as a dancer after all and not a critically acclaimed journalist (yet).

Rick on :

Beautifully clear thoughts, well written, wide ranging, well documented and sourced. And strong. Blew me away.

Really, todays blog doesn't belong in the same room as a list of Domino's fetishes...(who cares?)

Annette on :

This is why I love your Blog. You are so random about what you share :-)

Paul on :

You have it correct, Europe is caught up in this left wing liberalism that gives too much room for values that contradict democracy, equality and free speech. I recognize that inspite of my liberal bent. Case in point is Sharia courts in UK! I applaud French ban on burqas.

Islam is a very regressive force, it needs a counter balancing push that shouldn't be coming only from the right as is happening now.

Tatiana on :

Yes Paul....I agree with you when you say that there is a HUGE danger is giving too much room for values that contradict democracy, equality and free speech. Absolutely!
The women that put on the hijab in Sweden to express their solidarity with the assaulted woman should had thought a little further......instead of acting so quickly. What does the covering up of women really mean to the large majority of women that have to do this?
Me too applaud Sarkozy's initiative to ban burqas. And guess what? ;-)
I even wrote a blog about that back in 2009.

Paul on :

You had it right a while ago! As Dr.Schulz says to Django "You silver tongued devil, you!" ;-) nothing sexier than a smart gal. No wonder I am in love with you ;-)

I do worry that we might sometimes slip into islamophobia, we do have to work against the beliefs not people.

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