Playboy and the False Normalization of the Hijab


Source: The Daily Beast

By Majid Nawaz

Playboy magazine has just featured an article about a hijab-wearing Muslim-American, Noor Taguri, “making a forceful case for modesty.”

Yes. You read that correctly.

In its October “Renegades” issue, Playboy is showcasing a religious-conservative practice as emblematic of an independent woman.

White religious-conservatism is not often celebrated or glamorized by American liberals and progressives, it is derided. But switch up white Amish or Catholic notions of modesty with brown Muslim ones, take a fashion shoot complete with a graffiti-ridden backdrop, and presto: brown religious-conservative attitudes about hiding the female form in the name of modesty become… progressive.

To be fair, many Islamists and Muslim fundamentalists advocate a much stricter form of hijab and “modesty,” which one presumes would not countenance photo shoots for Playboy. And I applaud anyone who trolls the Muslim religious-police mindset.
So, well done there Noor Taguri! I know you will be criticized by our own fundamentalists, and I stand with you wholeheartedly against those female-obsessed Quran-thumpers. Certainly what you represent is a step forward from the austere Saudi form of hijab that includes the full-face veil, and bans on women driving.

But, it is also a step backward from the progressive feminism many Muslim women enjoyed in the 1980s. That was before theocratic Islamism and Muslim fundamentalism began competing over who is Muslim enough. Now, they punish those who dare to bare too much flesh.


Categories: Americas, Hijab

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