Repost: “Mainstream Western Media: Let Go of the Headscarf!”


After reading this article, which was linked from a punk band’s website (Al-Thawra), I figured readers of this blog may enjoy this piece. I found the author’s arguments to be a welcomed departure from what is usually portrayed in American media when discussing the issue of hijaab, or the Muslim headscarf that women may wear, in that Ms. Mrabet incorporates a discussion of Johan Galtung’s concept of cultural violence. Individuals within the peace and conflict resolution studies community will hopefully be familiar with Galtung’s ideas and how they have laid the foundations for much of the disciplines’ development over the last few decades. Additionally, the author effectively critiques a perspective that is typically given a free-pass in my opinion: Western feminism. Despite identifying with so-called “third-wave” feminism, I, like Ms. Mrabet here, have come to view this ideology as potentially being just as bigoted and totalitarian as the other ideologies it claims to fight against, including patriarchy and in this particular instance, Orientalism.


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