Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Many Faces of the Sexy Hijabi

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under and the Elder of Ziyon.}

An American Hijabi
as given to us by Madison Avenue (2017)
The sexy hijabi is new to American popular culture.

Due to the rise of contemporary political Islam, and mass Muslim immigration into the West, the hijab is now a highly-charged cultural symbol.

For many American and western Muslim women, it is simply a matter of ethnic identity and faith. In that way, it is not so different than a Jew wearing a kippa or a Shield of David pendant on a silver chain.

Among hip and hypocritical, white, western-progressives, such as Linda Sarsour, the hijab represents freedom, because it represents resistance to the wrong kind of "white" people.

For Iranian feminists, on the other hand - those who are facing true totalitarianism and who are putting their lives on the line in the face of actual oppression - the hijab represents the very misery that western-feminists see as benign inclusivity.

Jewish people - given our history under centuries of Arab and Muslim oppression - sometimes think of the hijab as a symbol of hatred toward us and the submission of women

But for Madison Avenue, it is just pure gold.

If you Google Image the word "hijab" - at least on my laptop, on this day - the first page is filled with pictures of beautiful women, such as the sexy American hijabi on the upper left of your screen.

{Now that is one hot hijabi mama.}

The Nike Hijabi
There is also the Nike Hijab... "a performance hijab for Muslim women athletes"... for when you want to go running in Central Park or the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

The inspiration for the Nike Hijab came from US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who is the first Muslim American woman to wear the traditional patriarchal head-covering during Olympic tournament play and who earned a bronze medal for Team USA.

She is also the inspiration for the Hijabi Barbie doll as Christine Hauser informs us in the New York Times.

This is interesting from a human rights standpoint because the hijab, whatever else it may be, is a symbol of oppression to millions of women around the world.

The reason that women throughout Iran are waving their hijabs before western cameras is in the hope that European and American and Australian feminists will stand up with them against a sexist, theocratic regime.

Iranian women remove their hijabs in defiance
But the western-left simply does not see it that way because western-feminists do not care about non-western patriarchy.

What they seem to care about are "pussy hats" and safe spaces and trigger warnings and gender-neutral pronouns.

So, no such luck, Iranian women.

Western women, particularly western feminists, do not stand with you.

That is, western-feminism is no longer about feminism at all, nor about universal human rights.

In the 1990s, the feminist-left stood up against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but those days are long gone.

During the Women's March, from last year, directly after the election of Donald Trump, American women donned the hijab as a symbol of solidarity with their Muslim sisters throughout the world.

Perhaps the foremost symbol of that march is an image of a young woman, possibly based on Linda Sarsour, in a hijab comprised of stars and stripes.

Women's March Poster (2017)
The basic, most sincere idea behind those who waved that USA hijabi symbol is that all Americans are Americans.

The hijab can easily be thought of as representing the American ideal of inclusivity.

The United States is a nation of nations.

And the most forward-thinking of us - the most progressive of us - want greater inclusivity because, unless we are indigenous to the Americas, all of our ancestors came from elsewhere.

This is Basic USA Thinking 101.

But what does it mean when, in the name of inclusivity and diversity, western-feminists embrace a symbol like the hijab which Iranian women are ridding themselves of as an act of defiance against an oppressive and patriarchal system?

How is it that the western-left - which tells the world that it stands for social justice and universal human rights - embraces a symbol that represents the opposite of those ideals?

In the United States women who don the hijab, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, often do so as a matter of choice. For many devout Muslim American women, the hijab is not so much about submitting to a decrepit theocratic-patriarchal system as it is about human modesty and respect for the deity. Some Jewish women, after all, wear headdresses and for much the same reasons.

Nonetheless, the hijab has now become a fashionable symbol that stands at a cultural crossroad between the American ethos of ethnic inclusivity and the illiberal ethos of female oppression as generated by the Islamic faith.

Thus the sexy hijabi has many faces.

She is simultaneously an image of western openness to people from other cultures while also representing, and thereby promoting, the oppression of women within an Islamic context.

Furthermore, of course, for many people, the hijab represents a symbol not only of oppression of Muslim women but also of the oppression of Jews under thirteen centuries of Arab and Muslim imperial rule in the Middle East from the time of Muhammad until the demise of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The hijab as a symbol of oppression is concretized for Jewish people when hijabis screech "Alahu Akbar!" at Jewish people visiting the Temple Mount for the purpose of driving us away.

But the hijab as a contradictory and even malicious symbol in western cultural politics is perhaps no more on display than it is in the current Revlon kerfuffle.

Revlon, of course, is a well-known western corporation that sells makeup and other beauty and skin-care products.

The company recently offered the semi-hip American blogger Amani Al-Khatahtbeh their "Changemaker Award" - whatever that is, exactly - but the hijabi hipster refused the honor due to the fact that Revlon also employs Israeli actress Gal Gadot, of Wonder Woman fame, as a corporate spokesmodel.

Gal Gadot, of course, is a Jewish Israeli who served in the IDF, as do almost all Jewish Israeli kids, because their Arab neighbors force them to do so. Unlike western college students, if young Jewish Israelis wish to see their future children survive they must defend themselves and their families and their country in national service... and that goes for Wonder Woman as much as it goes for any other Jewish Israeli girl.

Unlike their soft and spoiled and obnoxious college-aged western critics, Jewish Israeli kids have to put their necks on the line in defense of their families and friends.

When I was growing up among the pugnacious, skateboarding, late twentieth-century East Coast American middle-class kids in our Keds and Adidas, we called antisemitism racism and the American left hated it.

Now it's called cool, in the anti-Zionist frame, and they love it.


  1. ***** Articles about Pro-Israel Arabs and
    Pro-Israel Muslims from Aish HaTorah: *****

    Dr. Shadman Zaman, a Muslim from Bangladesh, Praises Israel::

    Mr. Abdullah Al-Hadlaq a Kuwaiti Writer says Israel is Legitimate:

    How Mr. Kasim Hafeez became a Muslim Zionist:

    Why Mr. Noor Dahri is a Muslim Zionist:

    Mr. Walid Shoebat an Ex-Muslim-Pro-Terrorist is Now Pro-Israel:

    Farhana Rahman is a Female Muslim Zionist:

    Dema Taya an Arab-Muslim Female Defends Israel on Arab News:

    Sarah Zoabi is Proud to be a Muslim Zionist:

    Dr. Qanta Ahmed a Female Muslim Defends Israel:

  2. Pro-Israel Articles from Aish HaTorah:

  3. "Every woman adores a Fascist,
    The boot in the face, the brute
    Brute heart of a brute like you."

    Sylvia Plath

    What choice do Muslim women have but to submit? What choice do those who don't dare criticize them have but to sanitize it somehow and eventually of course make it normal, even sexy. Then there's the dollars. Brave women don uniforms like Gadot. The brainwashed and wannabees don hijabs and pretend.

    I have no doubt a certain number of honest women don them for cultural/modesty reasons but that individual choice totally ignores the boot in the face.

  4. This idea of what we now call, or that you are referring to, as "inclusivity" needs further examination, I think. There might be an inherent paradox.

    1. An inherent paradox?

      I wonder what you mean by that, Jeff.

      Do you mean the paradox of being inclusive toward those who insist upon being exclusive?

    2. I've been struggling to come up with a more complete answer for you. For right now let's just say the answer is 'yes'.


      What the photos in your post suggests to me is that there is a push coming from somewhere to portray Islam as feminine, benign, non-threatening. The hijab is not as American as apple pie.
      That hijab American flag poster reminds me of something out of the Soviet Union. That is one over-the-top piece of propaganda.


      some background Jeff

    4. Yes, the portrayal Islam as feminine, attractive, and benign, with absolutely no down side, and anyone who objects or raises questions as Islamophobic and unpatriotic.
      Meanwhile, across the sea are maps of Israel, known in the depictions as "Palestine," for instance, as a sword doubling as the Palestinian flag.
      Neither "works of art" were created with the intention of eliciting questions.

  5. And...that poster of the American Flag hijab is bothersome. It's just one more thing about Islam that we need to acknowledge that we somehow don't need to acknowledge about any other immigrant group or culture. Why is that? Anyone notice an American flag poncho, or an American flag Buddha? Are the stars and stripes submitting? It seems the bubbleheads are in charge of what constitutes Americana.
    My family has been giving their kids English names for four generations now. It's just one of the small things we did to promote the idea of belonging to a common culture.

  6. One thing that I am curious about is when young girls started wearing the hijab. I could very well be mistaken, but I believe it is a contemporary practice.

    1. Do you mean young girls - as in children? Because that's what I was wondering about while reading your article. What does a little girl need to be "modest" about? Slapping a hijab on a girl child is tantamount to sexualizing her. Why aren't the feminists raging about that?

    2. I haven't confirmed this, yet, but I believe that I read somewhere that the child in a hijab is relatively new to most of the Muslim world. If it is true that they are being made to don the hijab at younger and younger ages, my guess is that it is done political reasons.


    Feb 1st. Get yer motors runnin' Head out with yer Hijab Looking' for seclusion Men just stay away.

    Born to be hidden Born to be hidden.

    1. It will be the choice of attire for next years' Golden Globe Awards.

  8. Actually don't SEXY Hijabs kind of defeat the purpose? Death to the swine who thought them up!;)


  10. L’Oreal’s Newest Hair Model Wears a Hijab

    It's not even about how your hair looks anymore, but your politics.

    All of these models and proponents need to be asked about the women in Iran.

    1. Surprise, surprise!

      L’Oreal Muslim Hair Model Amena Khan Is Fired After Series of Anti-Jew Tweets

    2. I'll bet Global Citizen is upset and will want L'Oreal to examine its bias.

      Here's what they say now:
      "Update: Amena Khan announced on Jan. 22 that she is stepping down as an ambassador for L'Oréal's Elvive campagin after facing backlash for tweets that some have called "anti-Israel," which Khan wrote in 2014."

      Notice the quotation marks. Creeps.

  11. I have a hard time finding even a single hijab that retails for more than $50. I really think the upscale brands are missing an opportunity. After all when Hillary Clinton visited the Widow Arafat she wrapped an $800 Hermes scarf round her head.

    1. Huh. I bet there would be a terrific market for high-end hijabs marketed to wealthy white women.

  12. Feminist Whores For Islam
    by Mr. Pat Condell:

  13. Brilliant analysis, Michael. Instead of International Wear A Hijab Day, Western women should observe International Burn A Hijab Day.

    1. It's a strange cultural tight-rope.

      Although I would never call for the burning of hijabs, western feminists should at least support Iranian women who do call for their legal removal.

  14. Now I have three companies on my shit-list in less than a week. L'Oreal, Revlon, and Skippy Peanut Butter, Inc.

    That last one has nothing to do with Jews or Israel or politics or any of that.

    And, yes, you are right. It is sexist and exclusionary to assume that only biological women should wear the hijab.

    In fact, I intend to run out and get my own!

    Perhaps a blue and white hijab with a Shield of David on the back of the head or something snazzy like that.

  15. She just resigned from her hijabjob. Weird how we're more than a decade into saturation by social media and no one seems to understand that the internet never forgets.

  16. What? You don't like Skippy? Bad peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

  17. To me the question is one of self worth and character. If covering yourself really makes empowered or a servant of some higher power, then fine, you go do that. That's on you. That's your character. If all it takes is a 9 dollar scarf for you to see the light then the light was dim to start with. But you go girl.

  18. *****************************************************

    The biggest threats to Women’s Rights and the Feminist Movement come from the rapid spread of Islam in: Europe, North America, and many other places.

    Any problems that the Feminist Movement has with Jews or Judaism are minor compared to the problems inflicted on women by Islam:

    Koran, chapter 4, verse 34:
    “If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of Allah], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them.”

    Tabari, chapter IX, paragraph 113:
    “Allah permits you to shut them [women] in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well because they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in this.”

    Hadith, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 124:
    The Prophet [Mohammed] said: "…Then I stood at the gate of Hell [the Fire] and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women."

    The Arabic word used for "the majority" here is 'Aammah, and it indicates beyond any shred of a doubt (in Arabic) the *VAST MAJORITY.

    from Brigitte Gabriel:

    Wife-beating in Islamic nations is more prevalent than one can imagine.

    In Pakistan, is has been reported by the Institute of Medical Sciences that 90% of the female population has been beaten for such wrongdoings as giving birth to a daughter or cooking an unsatisfactory meal.

    After the African country of Chad attempted to outlaw wife-beating, Islamic clerics in that nation deemed the bill “un-Islamic”.

    SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (Chapter 9, page 173) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2008, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.

    MICROBIOGRAPHY: Brigitte Gabriel, the author of They Must Be Stopped, is a Christian Arab, born in Lebanon. Arabic is her native language.

    1. Brigitte Gabriel has a pretty amazing story. She went from... what?... being a Lebanese Christian girl caught up in the civil war to making it into Israel to becoming some sort-of media person there to coming to US and writing about her experiences.

      I do find her a bit strident and, perhaps, a bit too ideologically right-wing, but until I learn that she's a fraud she has my respect.

    2. I suspect Gabriel is a closet liberal on social issues like abortion and gay rights. But her base is largely social conservative. She sticks to the topic of Islamic fascism and everyone is on the same page.

    3. But I absolutely adore Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

      That woman is a true hero and, yet, she was spit upon by Brandeis University.


    4. She is my hero. I love her. It is she who is responsible for me now listening to all those youtube personalities you and I and many of us now listen to. For me, it all began with her. She led me to Douglas Murray, who led me to ..., who led me..., and so on. She is the original.
      And those who slime her? I feel the same about them as I do about those who defame Israel. And they're usually the same people.

  19. "“YOU GUYS ARE LUCKY THAT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BUILD A BOMB BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE DONE THAT:” Muslim Former Student Torches University Over US Foreign Policy. “19 year-old Tnuza Hassan allegedly set eight fires in seven buildings on campus last week, later telling authorities that her intention was to ‘burn [the school] to the ground’ and to ‘hurt people.'”

    Give her a Hijab and a role as Muslim spokesperson for Progressive Firefighters of America.

  20. "Germany Introduces Women’s Pants with Safety Alarms to Thwart Off Migrant Sex Attacks"

    Yep yep yep.

    1. Alarm pants will make life wonderful. Would the hijab be less expensive? Introducing the new New Germany.