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Ian McColgin
02-29-2016, 07:24 AM
[IMc - Ghanem gently mocks of this "expert" who blames recruitment of Islamic terrorists on women wearing the hijab. Much of the human race is pretty psychotic about sex and on a social basis those frustrations have horrifying manifestations. Central to our moving past that as a race is the liberation of women. Blaming women has no part in that. "Former" Islamic extremist Hamid is simply shirking his responsibility as he looks for a society where women dress more revealingly. The debate among women regarding wearing or not wearing the hijab is a very interesting cultural experience that's considerably more complex than a western man like myself can only support, not judge, as enslaved women find their own ways to freedom.]

Published on Sunday, February 28, 2016, by Foreign Policy In Focus

Some Questions for the ‘Expert’ Who Accused Me of ‘Passive Terrorism’
The U.S. military apparently thinks Muslim women’s clothing choices — rather than, say, drone strikes — are a driver of terrorism.

by Domenica Ghanem

"I find it a little hard to believe that if I stop wearing my hijab on Eid, those men who have seen their homes destroyed, weddings bombed, and refugee children drowned as a result of U.S. militarism will feel less inclined to return the favor."

Misogynists have spun the old trope that what women wear is somehow the cause of what men do time and time again. But thanks to the Air Force, Muslim women are now getting a disturbingly refreshing take on the subject.

We’re used to getting blamed for the violence of men when we wear too little. Now we can also take credit for the violence of men when we wear too much.

In Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods and Strategies, a recent white paper issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory, contributor Tawfik Hamid claims men join terrorist organizations because they’re sexually deprived by women who wear hijabs. Hamid, a self-described former Islamic extremist, calls the traditional head covering a form of “passive terrorism” and makes “weakening the hijab phenomenon” a pivotal piece of his plan to combat Islamic extremism.

There lies the gross generalization: Women like me who wear hijabs are terrorists.

I think some editor may have missed an error in the subtitle of this report — namely the part that suggests this claim has anything to do with “science.” Indeed, in a preface, the report’s editor hailed the document as “more relevant than ever.”

I’m always incredulous when I hear a powerful man tell a group of other powerful men that they’ll all be safer if more women just take off their clothes. But exalting testimonials from high-ranking military officials are featured prominently on Hamid’s website, so I’m willing to test the theory.

Thus, in the interest of science, I have some questions about a few things that must not have come up during his “research.”

I don’t wear a hijab every day, but I usually wear one on my way to the mosque on Fridays. Will I only end up on a no-fly list at the end of the week, then? Do I only count as a “passive terrorist” during those times when I choose to cover my hair and wear loose clothing?

Alternately, am I revered as a peacemaker on the days when I let my locks flow free and I put on skinny jeans? How can I tell when I’ll be targeted for looking “too Muslim”?

Since this is a scientific paper, we should test other variables too.

For example, are Christian nuns — who may hold conservative values and cover their bodies — also to blame for violent extremism? What does the “science” say on head-to-toe covering in different religions? Is it only Muslim women whose modest dress conjures up uncontrollable, testosterone-infused rage in men?

I won’t hold my breath waiting for the answers.

Wearing a hijab means something different to each woman. It’s a very personal decision that has absolutely nothing to do with whether our male counterparts will strap on a suicide vest.

But more to the point, claims like Hamid’s aren’t just offensive to women. They let the U.S. government itself off the hook for foreign policies — like invasions, drone strikes, arms sales to oppressive regimes, and military interventionism in the Muslim world — that play a much bigger role in driving terrorism than what a woman chooses to wear on her head.

I find it a little hard to believe that if I stop wearing my hijab on Eid, those men who have seen their homes destroyed, weddings bombed, and refugee children drowned as a result of U.S. militarism will feel less inclined to return the favor.

© 2015 Foreign Policy In Focus

Domenica Ghanem is a communications assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies.

BrianW
02-29-2016, 02:08 PM
For those who wish to read the report, first published in 2011, then revised last summer, here's the link...

https://info.publicintelligence.net/ARL-CounteringViolentExtremism.pdf

The Doctor is one of approximately 22 contributors to the paper. Scroll down to about page 76 if your .pdf reader is like mine.

I also find the Doctors connection of the hijab to passive terrorism over the top as he describes it, but there's no doubt that strict interpretation of Islam be extremist often results in women choosing to wear the hajib as a matter of personal safety. Which then becomes a very visual cue to everyone in that society of just who is running the show.

So I disagree with him on the hajib (which are usually quite pretty, seemly used as an extension of a woman hair, much like a wig) causing terrorism. I can see them being an early sign that extremist Islam is starting to rule your life, and perhaps people need to pay more attention to the politics of their region.

Perhaps the good Doctor is a Freud fan? ;)

Keith Wilson
02-29-2016, 02:38 PM
There are a bunch of Somalis who live in the neighborhood near my office. Some of them have been here a quite while now, those who were small when they arrived are starting to grow up, and generational differences are starting to be very obvious. While I was waiting for my burrito at lunch there was a very attractive young Somali woman in the restaurant. She was wearing a T-shirt, skin-tight jeans with knee-high high-heeled black leather boots, and a hijab. I don't think she was a terrorist, passive or otherwise.

(WTH is a 'passive terrorist', anyway?)

Peerie Maa
02-29-2016, 02:57 PM
I wonder whether wearing one of these in your lapel causes Crusades?
http://www.oconnorscatholicsupply.com/images/T05-0387G%5B1%5D.jpg

Osborne Russell
02-29-2016, 05:26 PM
Wearing a hijab means something different to each woman. It’s a very personal decision that has absolutely nothing to do with whether our male counterparts will strap on a suicide vest.

If only. Myopic.

Easy enough to test. Next time you go to the Mosque, don't wear it. People will say, shucks, Allahu Akbar (tm), it's a very personal decision.

Peerie Maa
02-29-2016, 05:38 PM
If only. Myopic.

Easy enough to test. Next time you go to the Mosque, don't wear it. People will say, shucks, Allahu Akbar (tm), it's a very personal decision.

I once worked with an engineering colleague, born to Muslim parents and had done the Hadj, but she never wore a hijab. Another colleague had converted to Islam and chose to wear the hijab, and dress head to foot in shades of grey as well. It is the same as any devout Christian wearing Christian symbolism as jewellery, or not.

PeterSibley
02-29-2016, 05:39 PM
I think some get more than a bit confused between hijabs and burkas.

http://i.imgur.com/3kWEDtW.jpg

BrianW
02-29-2016, 06:27 PM
It is the same as any devout Christian wearing Christian symbolism as jewellery, or not.

Not everywhere, as Osbourne pointed out.

For Domenica Ghanem, living in the USA, it's a choice. The Brunei women I met were very adamant about wearing the hajib, and while a Sharia law country, it was very relaxed in most aspects.