October 3, 2022

Now is the time to juxtapose the reaction to the hijab in Iran with the attitude of the Western left.

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For an “improperly” worn hijab, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was beaten to death, sparking massive protests revealing deep anger against the Iranian regime.  A photo showed Hadis Najafi, another 20-year-old, tying her hair into a ponytail before joining the protests.  She had filmed herself dancing on a beach, pirouetting with swirling hair, so inflammatory to the mullahs.  A spray of bullets felled her.  A woman eating in a restaurant without a hijab was arrested.   

In striking contrast, the hijab, the symbol of women’s oppression in Iran, is the same piece of cloth the Western left considers “empowering.”  Woke companies like American Eagle and Nike hawk hijabs to woke consumers.  Nike could not resist virtue-signaling, saying its Nike Pro Hijab would “advance inclusive conversation around hijabs.” 

Surely, an “inclusive” conversation must extend to the left’s efforts to encourage the hijab in Western cultural and political life.  

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Silence toward the hijab protests in Iran

Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are high-profile Democrats, vocal defenders of Muslims’ rights, and constant critics of Israel.  In an article, Phyllis Chesler excoriated them for not speaking out for the women of Iran:

Sarsour and Omar continue to glorify their wearing of the hijab as a protest against white racism and alleged “Islamophobia.” None of the three women offered their own words in support of the protesters. They merely retweeted the briefest of remarks by others. All three, who are ordinarily so vocal, were suddenly tongue-tied.

Anyone familiar with the ways of the left would know that its orthodoxy requires promotion of the hijab.  Tellingly, President Biden’s “solidarity” with the Iranian women did not include the word “hijab,” nor any mention of Islam.

The E.U. and the Council of Europe have tried to foist the hijab on Europeans

In September 2022, in a decision that can be explained only by the left-leaning E.U.’s ideological insularity, arrogance, and incompetence, and after the Iran protests had started, the E.U. showed a young girl in a hijab promoting its Erasmus programme.  Outrage prompted its withdrawal.  In 2021, Europe’s top human rights body, the Council of Europe, pulled a poster showing the split image of one women wearing a hijab and one not, with the slogan “beauty is in diversity as freedom is in hijab.”