Muslim wins right to reject the hijab; blogger wears red
From the London Times,
Muslim wins right to reject the hijab
ISLAMIC groups across Europe have campaigned for years for the right of Muslim women to wear the religious headscarf, or hijab. Now a Muslim woman in the Netherlands has won the right not to wear it.
Samira Haddad, 32, won her case against the Islamic College of Amsterdam, which insists that all Muslim women wear the hijab. The secondary school rejected her for a job after she said in an interview that she did not wear it.
The country’s Equality Commission ruled in Ms Haddad’s favour, saying that the college had illegally discriminated against her on the ground of her religion and that it could not legally compel Muslim women to wear headscarves.
As I have mentioned previously, Amir Taheri has stated that the hijab was invented in the 1970s by an Iranian mullah named Mussa Sadr,
In an interview in 1975 in Beirut, Sadr told this writer that the hijab he had invented was inspired by the headgear of Lebanese Catholic nuns, itself inspired by that of Christian women in classical Western paintings.
. . .
Sadr’s idea was that, by wearing the headgear, Shiite women would be clearly marked out, and thus spared sexual harassment, and rape, by Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian gunmen who at the time controlled southern Lebanon.
Yesterday at the OSM inagural the first panel dealt with fashion. I agree with La Shawn that the first panel was not all that interesting. Except for The Manolo, who was in deep undercover, I had never heard of the other panelists, and, while I’m interested in style, I’m not particularly interested in fashion trends.
The one interesting point happened when Allyson Rowen Taylor asked non-blogger Elizabeth Hayt why is the fashion world promoting women’s oppresion (like the Neiman Marcus catalog shot in Saudi Arabia), and it was interesting to hear Hayt (whose animus The Manolo deplores), assert that after 9/11 Muslim hijabs and the black-on-black trend are part of the same fashion, as La Shawn explains,
The non-blogger on the panel said that because of the current conservatism and “fundamentalism” in the country, fashion has become conservative.
Hayt also explained that Neiman Marcus markets to Arab women, hence its Saudi setting. In that, Neiman Marcus is not alone. Nordstrom offers “private event” fashion seminars for hijab wearers.
At the OSM opening yesterday, both Allyson, who was wearing a fabulous jacket embroidered in brilliant colors, and myself (I wore my classic bright-red Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress — what else would I wear for the Rainbow room!) were disappointed that the issue of politics in fashion was not developed further, since that was the one issue we were interested in within the subject of fashion, but Allyson’s question came at the end of the alloted time.
I worked in NYC for several years. Back then, as now, anyone with a set of working eyes could tell you that the NYC “uniform” for women is black. However, after 9/11 the fashion mags appear to have collapsed into two trends: navel-baring, butt-cleavage-showing stuff for teeneyboppers who won’t listen to their mothers (assuming their mothers care), and black-on-black. Either style (I prefer to think of both as fads) is promoted in magazines laden with articles about sex and/or plastic surgery by editors who choose fourteen year old anorexics as models. Elizabeth Hayt may believe that fashion has become more conservative, but from my non-fashionable point of view, the fashion consumers (such as myself) are getting older, and wanting to find flattering styles that provide value and remain classic over a period of time — which explains why DVF remains in style. Whether that means that fasion’s become more conservative, who knows. But I ask: Is the fashion industry, however, in its promotion of black-on-black, leaning towards an appeasement of a culture in which women are not to be seen, or heard, and almost not even tolerated? A culture where a woman has to sue in order to be free to decide what she will, or won’t, wear?
As Diana Crane said in her book, Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing, clothing is a form of symbollic communication.
And no one knows that best than Samira Haddad, age 32, of the Netherlands.