The hijab is a tool of oppression. For sure, not every woman who wears it is being oppressed. But do those who choose to wear it ever think about what they’re communicating to their sisters around the globe who are forced to wear a hijab by misogynistic cultures? Do women like Ilhan Omar, who choose to wear the hijab, ever consider that they’re aligning themselves with the persecutors of women who are being tortured and imprisoned for refusing to wear it? For example, Yasaman Aryani and her mother are being sent to an Iranian prison for 16 years for daring to appear in public without a hijab. Another Iranian woman, Mojgan Keshavarz, was sentenced to 23 years and 7 months. What does Ilhan Omar have to say to them? What can she say to them while wearing the instrument of their oppression?
Her name is #YasamanAryani she is one of the youngest women’s right activist who joined #WhiteWednesdays movement against #ForcedHijab .Today Yasaman & her mother #MonirehArabshahi each got 16 yrs jail sentence for their Peaceful activities. Be her voice. pic.twitter.com/cXobnww8ds
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 31, 2019
Those three women, who are true feminists, received their cruel and unjust sentence on July 31. An article published by HRANA, an Iranian organization dedicated to fighting the subjugation of women in Muslim countries, gives the details of the trial:
Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz, detained civil rights activists of Qarchak prison in Varamin, were sentenced to 55 years and six months imprisonment, combined, on July 31, 2019.
At the branch 28 of Revolutionary Court, judge Moghiseh, sentenced them for “encourage and promote corruption by de-veiling” to 10 years in prison , for “propaganda against the state” to one year imprisonment and for “collusion and assembly to act against national security” to five years in prison. Moreover, Mojgan Keshavarz was sentenced to additional seven years and six months in prison for the charge of “blasphemy”. Lawyer of Aryani and Arabshahi, Amir Reissian, said to HRANA that their lawyers were not allowed to attend their interrogation and trials. Their trials were scheduled without any prior notice.
The article also uncovers the horrifying details that Yasaman Aryani was forced to spend nine days in solitary confinement and has been subjugated to abusive interrogation tactics. All for refusing to wear a hijab.
While feminists in this country wring their hands and moan, “Woe is me!” while watching The Handmaid’s Tale and fretting over Vice President Mike Pence’s belief that babies shouldn’t be murdered, women in predominantly Muslim countries are suffering real oppression and persecution. This past week, Saudi Arabia announced that women will be allowed to travel without having to acquire the permission of a male relative or husband (this ABC article mentions that mothers have been forced to get the permission of their son to travel). Yet, leftist feminists in the USA truly believe that they are being oppressed. They wear vagina hats to protest it.
When talking about NFL players kneeling, leftists love to talk about how symbols matter. They claim that the national anthem and the American flag are symbols representing racism. Well, what about the symbolism inherent in the hijab, then? If symbols matter, and they do matter, the question then becomes what does the symbol communicate. While arguments will continue to rage about symbols in this country, it’s undeniable that right now, in 2019, the hijab is an instrument of oppression. When Western women who enjoy freedom choose to wear it, they communicate something. Ilhan Omar and other women like her either do not think about what wearing the hijab communicates or they don’t care that they are telling women like Yasaman Aryani that their suffering and oppression doesn’t matter. Worse, some of them may actually agree with Yasaman’s oppressors.