Archive for Headscarf

Production Tells Story of a Muslim Woman’s Journey

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by loonwatch

Joshua Fazeli reacts to his sister Rubiya, played by Sarah Siadat, as she tries on a hijab during the The Mixed Blood Theatre Company's production of "Hijab Tube" at the Cold Spring Library Tuesday , April 24 . / Jason Wachter, jwachter@stcloudtimes.com

Joshua Fazeli reacts to his sister Rubiya, played by Sarah Siadat, as she tries on a hijab during the The Mixed Blood Theatre Company’s production of “Hijab Tube” at the Cold Spring Library Tuesday , April 24 . / Jason Wachter, jwachter@stcloudtimes.com

Production tells story of a Muslim woman’s journey

Written by Stephanie Dickrell

COLD SPRING — A unique, touring production that attempts to dispel stereotypes of Muslims in America made a stop at the Cold Spring branch of the Great River Regional Library Tuesday night.

About 40 audience members were treated to a performance of “Hijab Tube,” a production of Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre. The library has hosted other Mixed Blood productions.

This is the third year “Hijab Tube” has toured the state. It has made stops in Central Minnesota, as well as Iowa, Canada and Nebraska. The tour continues through May 6. The family show has been performed at colleges, community centers, and middle and high schools.

“The reaction (of audiences) has been tremendous,” said Artistic Director Jack Reuler. The majority of attendees around the region had been learning some basics about Islam. For other audience members, it meant seeing themselves — another Muslim person — on stage.

“When they see this play, they see themselves reflected in a positive light,” he said.

The short play follows a 20-year-old Muslim woman’s journey of identity, exploring what it means to be a Muslim in general and what it means to her.

She’s a second-generation immigrant who takes a comparative religion class at her university. She decides to take on the idea of wearing a hijab, a head covering. Her family doesn’t follow the tradition. But the play looks at a variety of ways that Islam and Muslims are seen in America.

The playwright’s premise is that Islam can be separated from the dogma of a certain country’s politics, Reuler said.

“Islam in American really holds the promise of hope,” Reuler said. The play attempts to debunk some myths and draw comparisons and similarities between the Judeo-Christian and Muslim traditions.

“It’s far more of a cultural play than a religious play,” he said.

The cast of the play comes from Muslim families whose roots are in Iran, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia — but all were born in the U.S.

After the play, they stick around to hold a brief question-and-answer session. There are questions about how a mosque works, the role of an Iman and the difference between Islam and a Muslim.

“Having a conversation is really the start,” said Sarah Siadat, who plays the main character Rubiya. She said the sessions afterward are her favorite part.

Barb Omann, an English teacher at Rocori High School, encourages her students to attend out-of-school activities with a global perspective like “Hijab Tube,” and gives them extra credit for doing so.

Andrea Overman, a Rocori 10th-grader, is doing a school report on Malcom X, who converted to Islam. She came to get a different perspective .

“I wanted to get a perspective other than his,” she said.

Niqab: ‘What if my daughter is afraid of her?’

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by loonwatch
Niqabi
Women who wear the niqab usually remove it when no men are present, as was the case at the daycare. Photograph by: PHIL NOBLE REUTERS, Freelance

A woman in Canada admits she once held stereotypical views of modest clothing, largely because her impressions of Muslim women were shaped almost exclusively by the media.  A 2010 Time Magazine article found widespread prejudice against Muslims, though 62% of Americans polled didn’t personally know a single Muslim.

Jenn Hardy’s positive experience with a daycare run by Muslim woman who wears a face veil dramatically transformed her views.

‘What if my daughter is afraid of her?’

I used to glare at niqab-wearing women on the street, but then I opened my heart and mind – to a wonderful daycare provider

By Jenn Hardy, Freelance – Montreal Gazette

Not too long ago, if I saw a woman walking down the street with her face covered by a niqab, I would feel it was my duty to glare. As a non-religious feminist, I had decided that a woman who covers her face is oppressed – that she is uneducated, and that her husband is making her cover up because he’s crazy and/or jealous.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point.

And yet until two months ago, I didn’t even really know a single Muslim. I went to high school in an Ottawa suburb, where I was baptized a Catholic so that I could qualify for schooling in the Catholic school system, which was considered better than the more open public system.

We had one year of religious education that gave us a glimpse of world religions. But I’m pretty sure my education about Islam came mainly from CNN, or Fox. I went to university in a small town in Ontario. I didn’t meet any Muslims there, either.

My real education about Islam came very recently, courtesy of a Montreal daycare.

Last December, I was seeking daycare for my daughter. At only 10 months old, she was still very dependent on her parents, and we wanted to find a place that would nurture her – rock her to sleep if need be, warm up my expressed breast milk and even be open to using our cloth diapers.

I punched our address into the magarderie.ca database, and the first one that came up was a 30-second walk from where we would be moving in a matter of weeks. The daycare provider, Sophie, had outlined her views on discipline, praise, healthy foods and the child-centred approach of Montessori. She was someone I felt I could get along with.

I phoned her and we talked for an hour, laughing and chatting and eventually deciding on a time to meet. She shared a great many of the values that my partner and I do. She was also highly educated, trained as a civil engineer.

Before we said goodbye, she added, “Oh, just so you know, I’m Muslim.”

I said I didn’t care, because I didn’t.

She assured me that her daycare didn’t teach religion. Cool.

But then she told me that when she’s in public, she covers her face.

She said the last time she didn’t warn a family over the phone that she wears the niqab, they walked into the meeting and then walked straight out.

I said I didn’t care, but when we got off the phone, I realized I did care. The first thing I thought was, “What if my daughter is afraid of her?”

My family drove over to meet Sophie, her husband and son.

She came to the door, dressed in black from head to toe.

It was the first time I had been in the same room as a woman wearing the niqab.

I felt nervous. But my daughter didn’t flinch.

The daycare was cozy; most of the toys were made of natural materials. There were lots of books, a reading corner and a birdwatching area. Books on Montessori activities lined the shelves. Nothing was battery-operated; there was no television.

It was perfect.

We spoke for a bit, all together in the room before Sophie’s husband put a hand on my fiancé’s back and they went downstairs to see the other half of the daycare. Once the guys left, Sophie took off the niqab.

I could feel my heart and my mind open at that very moment.

My daughter has been going to this daycare for more than two months now, and we are very happy with the care she is given.

When they are inside with the children, the daycare providers (the majority of whom are Muslim) are mostly dressed in plain clothes – jeans and a sweater, long hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. These women do not cover their faces in the presence of children, women or close family.

My daughter isn’t afraid of any of the women who take care of her, whether they have their faces covered or not. On the contrary, she reaches out to them for a hug every morning. To my daughter, the women who work at the daycare are simply the women who hold her when she’s sad, wipe blueberries off her face, clean her snotty nose and change her cloth diapers.

My daughter isn’t growing up with the same ideas about Muslim women that I did.

I’m glad she’s learning something in daycare.

So am I.

JENN HARDY is a freelance journalist and blogger who challenges mainstream parenting at mamanaturale.ca.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/What+daughter+afraid/6190977/story.html#ixzz1nJoVJAJs

Geert Wilders Upset that Queen Beatrix Wears Headscarf in Visit to Mosque, Forgets He Wore Yarmulke to Synagogue

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by loonwatch

Geert Wilders and his PVV Party are upset that Queen Beatrix, queen of the Netherlands wore this “hijab-hat” while visiting a mosque in Abu Dhabi:

Queen_Beatrix_Veil_HijabQueen Beatrix visits mosque in Abu Dabi

Wilders Seemingly forgot that he dressed like this while visiting a synagogue in the United States:

Wearing a Yarmulke (Yamaka) is okay but not the Hijab

Getting upset over celebrities and world leaders wearing Islamic or Muslim garb while visiting a mosque or Islamic holy place is a regular theme amongst Islamophobes, we have covered their angst about this before, Daniel Pipes’ Unhealthy Obsession with the Hijab.

Here is a Radio Netherlands post on the subject (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Queen’s headscarf causes row

(Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who is in Abu Dabi, wore a headscarf when she visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque this morning out of respect for the customs, traditions and conventions of Islam, says Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal. The queen is on a two-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“Not to have worn one during a visit to a mosque wasn’t an option. In that case, the invitation to visit to the mosque, one of the most important in the United Arab Emirates, would’ve had to have been refused,” explained Mr Rosenthal.

‘Oppression’
His comments come in response to criticism from the Freedom Party (PVV) about the clothing worn by Queen Beatrix and Crown Princess Máxima who, with her husband Prince Willem-Alexander, is part of the royal party visiting the UAE. The PVV had complained that, by wearing a headscarf, the queen was lending legitimacy to the oppression of women under Islam.

Mr Rosenthal pointed out that Queen Beatrix also adjusts the way she dresses when she visits synagogues and cathedrals.

‘Waste of time’
The democrat D66 party was quick to point out that PVV leader Geert Wilders himself wears a yarmulke when he visits the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Green Left MP Tofik Dibi not only slammed Mr Wilders’ comments about the queen’s dress but also the responses to them as a waste of time. (emphasis mine)

(mw)

Spanish girl thrown out of exam for wearing headscarf

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by loonwatch

(via. Islamophobia-Today)

Spanish girl thrown out of exam for wearing headscarf

A Spanish schoolgirl has been expelled from school during an exam after refusing to remove her Islamic headdress or hijab, school officials said.

“They told me to remove it… they humiliated me in front of my peers,” she told El Mundo newspaper.

The 14-year-old girl, who lives in Madrid, decided to wear hijab this summer.

Her parents became outraged by the expulsion and described it an “abuse,” reporting the case to judiciary officials.

This comes while there are no clear guidelines prohibiting the wearing of headscarves in state schools in Spain.

Muslims currently account for just over one million of Spain’s 46-million population.

Muslims in Spain have been witnessing a growing trend of Islamophobia as e hostility towards the expressions of Islamic symbols and practices grows in the European state.

The discriminatory policies on the rise in Spain clearly breach the country’s Law of Religious Freedom, as well as the International Human Rights law.
Original post: Spanish girl thrown out of exam for wearing headscarf

Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Olympic hopeful Ibtihaj Muhammad will compete this weekend.

Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest

By AIMEE BERG

When Ibtihaj Muhammad fastens her headscarf, or hijab, around her chin, one of its purposes is to deflect unwanted attention.

But when she wears a hijab in a sporting arena, it often has the opposite effect.

The New Jersey native is currently ranked 11th in the world in women’s sabre, a discipline of fencing. Only one American ranks higher: Mariel Zagunis, the two-time Olympic and world champion.

Both women will compete this weekend at a World Cup fencing event at the New York Athletic Club to earn points toward qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee do not track athletes’ religion, but if Muhammad makes the Olympic team, she would likely be the first practicing Muslim woman to represent the U.S. at the Games.

When she competes, photographers often zoom in on the name Muhammad on the back of her fencing jacket. Her mother, Denise, recently saw such a photo and said, “I realized: my God, she’s representing all of us.

Lesley Hazelton: Soccer v. Headscarf: 0-1

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by loonwatch

A great piece from the Accidental Theologist, Lesley Hazelton.

Soccer v. Headscarf: 0-1

by Lesley Hazelton

More absurdity this week:  FIFA, the international governing body of football, banned the Iranian women’s soccer team from an Olympic qualifying event because the players wear hijab — Islamic headscarves.  The official reason:  safety.  Wearing ahijab while playing “could cause choking injuries.”

Yeah, sure.  As one commenter noted, Google “hijab soccer choking deaths” and the search engine doesn’t exactly hum.

These aren’t just anyhijabs, mind you.  They have to be the coolest ones ever.  They’re like speed-skaters’ hoods, and the players look like white-clad ninjas.   I’ll bet they can move like ninjas too.   Clearly FIFA has no sense of style.

Correction:  FIFA has no sense, period.

The decision to ban the Iranian team was made by FIFA head Sepp Blatter, who’s apparently one of those Berlusconi-type men who’ll tell you how much he loves women, by which he means how much he loves looking at female flesh.  No, I’m not making assumptions.  The arrant hypocrisy of this banis clear when you consider the fact that Blatter proposed in 2004 that women players wear plunging neckines and hot pants on the pitch to boost soccer’s popularity.  Tighter shorts, he said, would create “a more female esthetic.”

I guess it was kind of amazing he didn’t propose wet tee-shirts.

And if you believe that Blatter is for a moment concerned about women being injured, his response to requests by human rights organizations to take a stand against the sex trafficking that accompanies the arrival of the World Cup was this:  ”Prostitution and trafficking of women does not fall within the sphere of responsibility of an international sports federation but in that of the authorities and the lawmakers of any given country.”

No, Blatter’s all about the sport.  He’s presumably salivating for more on-field celebrations like Brandi Chastain‘s famous shirtless moment when the U.S. won the 1999 Women’s World Cup.  And drooling over women’s sportswear catalogs instead of Victoria’s Secret ones.  In which case he’s pathetically misreading that Chastain photo.  This was the victory of hard work and muscle over frills and pretty posturing.  Serena Williams revolutionized women’s tennis in much the same way, making it a power game (in dress as well as style of play — the black catsuit she wore a couple of years back was dynamite).

What Blatter’s really doing is trying to piggyback on the burqa ban in France and theminaret ban in his native Switzerland.  But the good news is that it’s backfiring on him.  Badly.  Already the focus of multiple accusations of corruption in his 12-year tenure as FIFA president, he probably saw this as an easy way to try to redeem himself by jumping on the anti-Muslim bandwagon.  Instead, the storm of criticism might be an indication that Europeans are beginning to realize just how badly they’ve been manipulated by misogynistic xenophobes on such issues as burqa bans.

One further note on that shirtless photo:  Chastain herself was amazed when it ran worldwide .  “I wasn’t trying to make a statement;  I was just carried away, and doing what male players do in the same situation,” she told me when I met her not long after.  “I was really surprised there was so much fuss about it.  I mean, there’s a much better photo of the victory moment, but nobody ran that one.”  Here it is, on the right — the photo they didn’t run, baggy shirt, baggy pants, and all.  Which I guess just means the world is full of Blatters.

—————————

(Thank to Sarah Hashim for alerting me to this story.  I know I was born in England, but soccer’s not my thing.  Tennis, though…)

CNN: Woman fined for face-covering veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2010 by loonwatch
The Italians banned niqab because it scared some children.  Will they ban this guy too?An Italian mayor banned niqab because it frightened some elementary school children. Will they ban this guy too?

My comments appear in brackets:

Woman fined for face-covering veil

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 4, 2010 — Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)

Rome, Italy (CNN) — A woman in Italy has been fined €500 ($653) for wearing a veil that covered a large part of her face, in violation of a local ordinance, an official in Novara, Italy, said Tuesday…

The city has an ordinance preventing people from wearing clothes that cover the face and full body. The fine marked the first time the ordinance was enforced, Frazinelli said…

Under a 1975 national anti-terrorism law [wtf!?], Italy prohibits the covering of one’s face in public places.

In January of this year, Novara Mayor Massimo Giordano and the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting the wearing of clothes that fully hide the face of either men or women. The ordinance does not specifically name traditional Muslim garments such as the niqab or the burqa — which completely covers the face and body — nor does it mention Islam.

The ordinance applies only to the city of Novara, which has a population of about 100,000, out of which 8 percent are immigrants. [This is the crux of the issue: them damn immigrants!  Xenophobic inspired legislation, just like in Arizona.] Franzinelli said he estimates that about 4,000 to 5,000 Muslims live in Novara, and that most female Muslims either wear a veil, which covers the hair, or no head covering.

It is rare, he said, to see a woman wearing a niqab or burqa [yet we were still forced to pass this xenophobic legislation].

The mayor was prompted to push the ordinance after he saw children become frightened when a woman wearing a burqa went to their elementary school, Franzinelli said. [This is a great lesson to teach children.]

Giordano said of the ordinance, “It is the only way to favor integration.” [You meanassimilation.]

Belgium’s chamber of deputies last week passed a measure banning face coverings for women, which must still be approved by the senate and king before becoming law.

France is also mulling legislation that would ban face and head coverings for women.