Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Swedish Hijab-Rebellion

A pregnant Muslim woman was recently knocked down on a street in Stockholm and had her headscarf ("hijab") pulled off by the assailant. Following the assault women who wear the veil testified that they are often subjected to name-calling and harassment of the most vile kind, both Islamophobic and misogynistic.

The incident lead to the so called "hijab-rebellion", in which women from all walks of Swedish society, wishing to show solidarity and "normalize" the wearing of hijab, started posting pictures of themselves in veils on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You name it, it was everywhere.

This "rebellion" lead to a counteraction from a combination of strange bedfellows, militant feminists and xenophobic ultranationalists on the far right of the political spectrum. They claim that the hijab is a sign of a patriarchal cultural and religious tradition of male oppression and control of women and is a tool to curtail women's freedom to dress as they chose and to express their sexuality. They also claim that it is counterproductive to integration as it creates barriers against the surrounding majority culture. Some even go so far as to say, that by wearing the veil in a Western culture the women are doing exactly the opposite of what they claim they wish to achieve, i.e not to draw attention to themselves.

Throughout Europe we are also receiving reports that young Muslim women are starting to don the veil for various reasons, some as a political statement or as a protest against the exploitation of female nudity in the Western cultures. There may be even more reasons.

I find myself a bit lost in all the rhetoric. As far as I am concerned the hijab in itself is most definitely a powerful symbol of male oppression and control and of a traditional chastity culture. However, I wouldn't dream of ever trying to regulate what a woman may or may not wear, just as I would not wish to regulate the length of her skirts or infringe on her complete right to her own body and sexuality.

Any woman should be allowed to dress as she chooses, for whatever reason. Just live with it and accept it!


  1. I must admit Bock you do look stunning in one! In fact if you were to walk around Iran looking like this you would really attract attention with that blond hair!

    1. LOL Eddi, at first I didn't understand what you were talking about and did not know how to respond - as I have always freely admitted my powers of observation are limited. However, after reading your comment five times I suddenly saw your link...

      As you say, I would most certainly attract attention and possibly be beheaded for impersonating a woman or at least sent to the marketplace to receive 100 lashes in public.

  2. I think you'd look good receiving 100 lashes too! Hey - lets face it you just look good wherever!! But I like your post - great idea - there are so many crazy people around. We got to screw those haters.

    1. Screw those damn haters! Do you start the Facebook-page or should I? LOL


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