Hijab and Islamophobia

“I can’t quite figure out how holding criminals who happen to be Muslims responsible for their crimes translates into the ‘all Muslims are terrorists’ attitude now rampant. Nor do I understand how criticising the oppression of women who among other things may be forced to wear hijab against their will, automatically makes hijab a symbol of the oppression of women by Islam. To me this sounds like the same old demonising and essentialising of the ‘other’ that has gone on for centuries. You know, the tropes that persist until today. They position all African peoples as inferior savages; all travellers (previously known as gypsies) as thieves and dishonest; all Jews as ‘shylocks’ etc. Curious, that considering the overwhelming list of crimes committed against humanity by people with white skin from the 15th century to today’s Iraq, this type of ‘logic’ never leads to the conclusion that ‘all whites are depraved and deranged murderers and thieves’.”

Colonise This! 3 May 2007