Happy Friday everyone! It’s a rainy movie day for us, so here’s a quick roundup on the Olympics, hijab, radical Muslims, and feet.
1) Right now in London 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries are competing in 30 Olympic venues. Over 2,000 of those amazing athletes are Muslim — that’s a lot of people to profile (pun intended). So the media is making sure we at least know about the hijabis. And not just the athletes. The referees too:
The dancers are dressed to titillate, and the players wear even less: bikinis that reveal every movement of their muscles as they dig and dive for the ball.
El Sergany does not need a referee’s platform to be noticed on a beach volleyball court.
No, of course not!! She wears hijab. So let’s all stare at her, other her, pit women against each other by comparing a religious dress to bikinis, sensationalize what one woman considers normal, and ironically objectify her by turning Amina El Sergany into an Islamic standard.
Okay, sensational journalism aside, it’s a nice article with Amina saying she hopes her hijab encourages women from all cultures to take up the sport. That sport being BEACH VOLLEYBALL!
Score one for freedom!
So the media might be focusing only on the hijabis. I’m sure you’ve heard that Judoka Wojdan Shaherkani made Olympic history for being the first Saudi female to compete in the Games, and that sprinter Noor Al-Malki missed her chance at Olympic history when she injured herself in a 100m heat. But did you know that Souad Ait Salem came 37th in the Women’s Marathon Final — which is fantastic, and that Halima Hachlaf ran her season’s best time in the women’s 800m semi-finals?
If it’s all about celebrating Muslim women, let’s give a moment to the non-hijabi athletes too.
Oh, and did you catch Mo(hammad) Farah go into sujuud after he won the 10,000m? Fantastic! A Muslim won Gold for Team GB. Has anyone made a big deal about this? Must be his lack of hijab.
2) Rapid-fire: And now for something completely different:
- VICE publishes I Walked Around in a Burqa All Day (and I’m not Muslim) in their fashion section. Point and laugh at a cultural tourist while she walks around NYC in niqab pretending to be some kind of Muslim from some kind of far away land. Check out the brilliant and informed comment section telling the author how offensive and Orientalist the stunt was.
- US Republican Joe Walsh thinks Muslims are trying to kill Americans and believes that radical Muslims have infiltrated America. I hate to break it to him, but truly awesome and radical Muslims have been in America since 1492 (hat tip to Amanda Quraishi, a real muslimahMERICAN).
- Oh, did you know that Muslims have diverse beliefs? It’s true. Some Muslims are Atheists, Bhu-mus, Su-shis, Sufis, Bohras, Feminists, Traditionalists, Salaafis, Whovians, Wahaabis, Trekkies, Qur’anists, and more! Really, Muslims shouldn’t be defined by what’s on (or not on) our heads, by how many times we pray (or don’t pray) a day, or whether or not we keep kosher — and now there’s a US study telling us just that. Thanks.
3) Finally for everyone interested in women’s prayer and prayer spaces, or anyone with a foot fetish — I give you the Movable Mosque.
Check out more at Deena’s fantastic photo blog.