This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Victimhood Where None Exists : Islamophobia Charges and Gullible Fools

"The university has not had a case whee someone has had their headdress targeted."
"Our expectation is that they [hijab kits made available by the university's concerned student union] won't have to be used."
Janet Bryson, Spokesperson, Dalhousie University

"There is a level of identity and safety that comes with a head covering so when that is taken away, it puts someone in a vulnerable position."
"To then have to speak with security or police [as in filing a report of a purported attack] could be re-traumatizing."
Clark MacIntosh, Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group

"I've heard many Muslim women talking about their hijab being yanked, spat on, or even pulled right off."
"Sometimes you don't even notice it, like you're in class and someone will spit on you from behind and you don't realize it until you're fixing your hijab."
"It's the most demeaning behaviour."
Masuma Khan, Dalhousie student executive member

"We were hearing about safety concerns from Muslim students across campus", explained Dalhousie Student Union president Amina Abawajy and this would be the reason why the student union is offering emergency hijab kits. To restore modesty and a feeling of security to those women on campus who have experienced having their head coverings ostensibly rudely pulled away and span upon.

"Walking down the streets, I have people telling me not to bomb them and to go home," she said. On the other hand, she said some people welcome her to Canada, even though she was born in the country. "It seems innocent and welcoming, but what that says is that you don't look like you could be Canadian. I already heard a lot of positive feedback from the community, and personally I do feel safe knowing that these are in places such as security. We are excited that communities are stepping up and ensuring that Muslims are feeling safe."
Amina Abawajy, president of the Dalhousie University Student Union, which is now offering 'emergency hijab kits,' says she knows a number of women on campus who have told her they were victims of violence, but few decide to tell school officials.
Amina Abawajy, president of the Dalhousie University Student Union, which is now offering 'emergency hijab kits,' says she knows a number of women on campus who have told her they were victims of violence, but few decide to tell school officials. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)
The university, on the other hand, is puzzled, totally unaware that any such anti-Muslim-garb incidents have occurred. That being the case, they are further puzzled as to the need for such kits. Aren't they listening? Muslim students are being made to feel inferior, not wanted, their visible religious symbol of modesty in attaching themselves to the culture of differentiation and exceptionalism is being blasphemed!

And because of an obviously rising attitude leaning toward Islamophobia on campus, this hijab campaign has been initiated. Self-defense. It is the Muslim student community defending itself, fighting back against bigotry and hatred. Meant to make Muslim women feel safer and at the same time raising general awareness of hate crimes committed against Muslims. Harassment and violence committed against Muslim women is a vile occurrence that must be met with defiance.

The Muslim students are not alone in their lonely battle for equality and respect. The Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group has aligned with the women in designing the kit meant to be available to Muslim women who have been attacked, who have had their hijabs violently yanked off their heads. The kit comes complete with fabric, pins, tips for bystanders, a how-to guide for wrapping the hijab along with phone numbers to report such crimes.

Instructions to Muslim women, detailing how to use the hijab? Theoretically in accessing the hijab kit they are replacing their own hijab that has been stolen from them in an attack. What need would they have for sch an instruction? Tips for bystanders? Such as do the right thing and don't just stand there when a woman is being harassed or attacked ... since when do bystanders need that advice?

Surprisingly, given the confident and condemning declaration identifying Dalhousie University with a rising climate of intimidation, harassment and violence arising out of a generalized spirit of Islamophobia, none of the kits has yet been requested. As for the Halifax police who should of course be vigilant and prepared to react to such allegations of targeted violence and religious bigotry, they appear not to be.

But, as Mr. MacIntosh explained, access to these emergency hijab kits may help women feel more confident enabling them to report hate crimes they experience or witness. Even though a Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman advised she was completely unaware of any incidents such as those being described, since none have been reported.

No reports to the university administration, no reports to police, but ample condemnation of the 18,900 students attending the university who are not Muslim.

Emergency Hijab Kit
The emergency hijab kits include a piece of fabric, pins, a small guide on how to wrap the hijab and important numbers for reporting crimes. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

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