I am clapping back.
Allen West is a former disgraced congressman from Florida. He’s one of the most notorious Islamophobes in the US, a conservative Republican who was ousted in an election by a coalition of people who had enough of his hate. I say all of this to provide context before I respond to his tweet.
I stand with the women of Iran who are being arrested for their decision to remove their hijabs. I am not a theologian nor am I an Islamic scholar and am not debating what the Quran says about hijab. My perspective comes from a place of believing that a government should never be in the business of legislating/forcing women’s dress nor do I support government arresting, detaining or punishing women for what they choose to wear or not wear.
It’s for this same reason that I stand up against the government of France who bans Muslim women from wearing hijab in public university or public sector jobs or burkinis on beaches (modest swimsuits.) Same argument - government shouldn’t be legislating what women wear. Period. ALL women should have agency to wear what they want without government interference. You can’t disagree with one and not the other, that’s called hypocrisy.
I also WILL NOT allow anyone to use the current situation in Iran to force Muslims to condemn the hijab as a form of oppression. As one of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear hijab, I won’t be stripped of my agency and choice in favor of criticizing the treatment of women in Iran who are forced to wear hijab. I can be proud of wearing my hijab, support women who choose to wear it and AT THE SAME TIME support women who are being arrested for being forced to wear it. It’s possible to hold all of these positions.
Now let’s get to Allen West and his likes who are claiming solidarity with the women of Iran yet support the Muslim ban which bans Iranians from entering the United States. They are also anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-women’s right to choose and support government interference in women’s reproductive choices and services. Allen West has also claimed that Islam is not a religion, therefore arguing that Muslims would not be protected under the constitution and religious freedom clause. I want my fellow Americans to question the empty and disingenuous concern of the alt-right. They should be ashamed for using the current situation in Iran for their own political agenda to smear Muslims and Islam and the US based women’s movement that they stand against. The inconsistency of the alt-right is pathetic and embarrassing.
And also, I wish they would stop being so obsessed with me. I am not THE MUSLIM AMERICAN WOMAN, I am A Muslim American woman, one of millions in the United States. I don’t answer for every one of them. I speak for myself.