Well now let’s see. Making women wear bags over their heads is a foible of Islam’s, and Islam=Muslims, and Muslims are mostly non-white, so making women wear bags over their heads must be somehow egalitarian and about justice and postcolonial and generally right on. Korrekt? You bet. Especially if it’s Leila Ahmed of the Harvard Divinity School – oh what a blissful combination! Leila! Ahmed! Harvard! Divinity School! – who has written a book about the subject.
By the 1970s, disillusioned students and professionals were turning to an activist Islam – Islamism – that promised social, moral and political renewal. Observing strict dress became one means of displaying egalitarian principles and conveying the wearer’s strength and authority. From a symbol of disempowerment, the veil now, for some, became a mark of liberation.
Well, Islamism may have “promised” social, moral and political renewal, but it sure as hell didn’t deliver it. What would that renewal look like? Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan under the Taliban? Somalia? That’s an interesting notion of renewal. I think Rachel Aspden might have paused to mention that.
And as for the claim that wearing a burqa or niqab or abaya or hijab is one means of displaying egalitarian principles and conveying the wearer’s strength and authority, I call bullshit. Total, brazen, shameless bullshit.