The Hijab Is Still A Hate Symbol

August 15, 2012. A gun wielding man named Floyd Lee Corkins attacks the offices of the homophobic Christian group Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, DC, intending to kill "as many people as possible", yet is stopped from killing anyone by a man who gets seriously injured in the process. Even though he later pleads guilty and is now serving a long prison sentence, in the opinion of FRC chair Tony Perkins, he is not the only one responsible for the attack.

The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a "hate map" on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group's opposition to gay rights. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the Southern Poverty Law Center should take responsibility for the shooting and take down their hate map. "The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarter and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a 'hate group,'" he said. "Once again, I call on the SPLC to put an immediate stop to its practice of labeling organizations that oppose their promotion of homosexuality," said Perkins, adding, "Whether the SPLC continues to demonize those who hold to biblical morality or not, the Family Research Council will remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom."
Should the SPLC stop labeling the homophobes as haters, as Perkins demands?

While the FRC shooting is an unfortunate incident no sane person would hesitate to condemn, the reasoning behind the naming of FRC as a hate group remains unchanged. The FRC has made the crusade against equality for gays the very reason for its existence. And hence for anyone who believes in dignity and equal treatment before the law for gay people, FRC remains a hate group. Whether a crazy man takes the law into his own hands and goes violent or not is beside the point.

Which brings us to the debate raging today over the sad incident in Chapel Hill, where three people were gunned down.

At the time of this writing, the motive for the crimes remains unproven. The suspect's wife maintains that the dispute was over a parking space (which, as Hemant Mehta points out, is neither far fetched no unprecedented). The vicitms' family, on the other hand, maintain what happened was a hate crime, motivated but the victims' faith. Assuming the latter to be the case, then, how would the culprit know what faith his victims practiced?

Through how they dressed, of course.

As I have written before, I believe many of traditional Islamic practices reflect a cultist mindset. The outcome of dress codes and public worship rituals is, from the perspective of anyone who doesn't share Islam's supposedly divine ideology, simply to set Muslims apart from non-Muslims. And in a writing (of admittedly questionable authorship) attributed to the victims' father, he seems to be on board with the exact same goal.
Dr. Mohammed Abu Salha, who lost both of his daughters, gave his Islamic views on marriage in this controversial and revealing op-ed written for the 2008 issue of The Voice, a Muslim publication. “For girls, Hijab is a declaration of identity and demand for respect, and for both genders a Muslim group or ‘halaqa’ is shelter from deviance and a warm place for happiness and fun,” Abu Salha wrote. Dr. Abu Salha’s views on Islamic marriage are controversial especially given his role as a MD specializing in general psychiatry. [EMPHASIS ADDED]
So what kind of separateness (or "identity"-depending on semantics) is it that Salha is advocating? Despite his claim that the Hijab is a "demand for respect", the ideology behind the Hijab is not glorifying to women (or men, for that matter)-to say the least. The entire point of the Hijab practice is to "protect" men, who are so feeble they cannot see a woman's hair without being sexually aroused, from getting corrupted, leaving the responsibility for not corrupting them to women by covering up. Which is precisely why where it is enforced by the state, non-Hijabi women are likened to decaying food.

And speaking of where women's covering is enforced by the state (and they all "happen" to have Islamic Sharia as their ideology), why is that even necessary, if Salha is right? What state forces its citizens to "demand" respect?

Countless wearers of Hijab, of course, don't think about it this way-or rather, they don't think about it, period. They wear it as a matter of course, since they have been told their entire lives this is how "good girls" dress. But this doesn't change the fact that in much of the world, the wearing of Hijab is simply a pretext by Islamic theocracies to crack down on any and all forms of opposition, accusing anyone not toeing the line of being a threat to the faith. And those who wear it without being forced to are showing their highest disrespect to victims of such brutality, whether they realize it or not.

And hence the Hijab remains a symbol of hate, Chapel Hill shooting or no Chapel Hill shooting; just as FRC is a hate group, Corkins or no Corkins. And whether or not the motive for the crime was a parking spot or how the victims dressed won't change that, either.

Written by No Cross No Crescent