- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 10, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Macy’s recently launched a clothing line for Muslim women, including a collection of hijabs, the scarf-like head coverings used as a show of modesty around men.

That’s not so much the big deal; that’s a corporate decision and this is a capitalistic, free country (unlike the places where the hijab is frequently worn). And that segues quite nicely into the larger point: the reaction of the feminists.

They cheered.

The president of the National Organization for Women went on Fox News and spoke of the “pretty spectacular” “buying power” of Muslim women in the United States, while all the while sidestepping the elephant in the room, the one named Islam with the big feet that simply smash all sorts of women’s rights and notions of gender equality.

Never mind why Macy’s would want to sell the hijab. Why would so-called feminists want to applaud this move?

There is nothing — nothing — in the Islamic religion that benefits the free-thinking, freedom-loving female.

“In nearly all countries surveyed,” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life wrote in a 2013 about Women in Muslim communities, “a majority of Muslims say that a wife should always obey her husband.”

In many of the surveyed countries, respondents also saw nothing wrong with barring women from collecting inheritances or prohibiting them from divorcing.

As for wearing a veil in public, some Muslim societies were OK with the woman deciding — some were not. For instance, 92 percent in Bosnia-Herz said women should be allowed to decide; at the other end of the spectrum was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where only 29 percent said women should have this right to choose. The majority in the bulk of Middle East, North Africanand sub-Saharan African countries thought men should have the right to order their women to don the veil.

These aren’t exactly stellar numbers on the old freedom front and in fact, rather open the door to interpreting the veil, the Muslim head covering, the hijab as — gasp — a sign of woman’s submission to men, of inferiority, even. But then again, the word Islam itself means submission or surrender — yet another curious characteristic of the whole feminists-love-Islam debate.

Wasn’t the feminist movement about being free of supposed patriarchal control, about casting out perceived misogynistic influences from society? Yet here these women now stand, pink genitalia hats on head, taking to the streets to, say, protest President Donald Trump while clapping and guffawing at the beauty of the modern-day hijab. For what?

Do they think they’ll get virgins when they die as well?

Well, a hijab’s a hijab, no matter how you dye it — though it can also be translated as a cover or a wrap or a veil. And these footnotes, from the Pew poll, speak volumes: “The Quran states that a woman should dress modestly, but it does not specifically require that she wear a veil. … Informed by certain hadith [Islamic traditions and teachings from Muhammad], however, all main legal schools of Islam (nadhhab) mandate that women should veil.”

That means the hijab is a symbol of female oppression.

And that means feminists who cheer its sale in the United States are, strangely enough, supporting the oppression of women.

Talk about a mixed message, a misguided mission — sleeping with the enemy. Feminism and Islam do not mix. They don’t blend; they can’t happily co-exist. Those who try to say otherwise are not just living with blinders, but furthering a harmful narrative that’s built on lies. Once again, Islam is no friend of the female.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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