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Mona Haydar Sparks Controversy Over Beanie Hijab

by in World on 15th November, 2018

Mona Haydar who is known as a rapper, poet and activists recently sparked controversy over an Instagram post she shared with her 68.4k followers on the 14th of November 2018, the post was about the hijab and how she sometimes wears a beanie for safety:

“When I wear a beanie, I often don’t wear makeup, like today. I try to attract the least amount of attention possible. Take up the least space possible because safety is no joking matter.”

The full post can be read below:

“There are some places where I will not wear a culturally arab looking hijab. Where I rock a beanie instead — Because let’s be honest, America is a violent place for lots of different kinds of bodies. With a beanie I am *ethnically ambiguous* and that is a privilege not all have and that can mean I am mostly safe because I can “pass” but I still inhabit this woman’s body and I am afraid when I am on my own in certain places and must take precautions to stay safe. Hijab is a privilege of safety and community. Let us not forget that. When I wear a beanie, I often don’t wear makeup, like today. I try to attract the least amount of attention possible. Take up the least space possible because safety is no joking matter. Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia etc are LETHAL. We must be in the work of building loving and affirming community that fosters love and support. My page is a space for that. My work in the world is that. Some will say that “passing” like I am today keeps the world at its status quo and that my presence must be unapologetically Muslim so people can stretch or expand themselves. NO. My body, my being, my existence is not for the benefit of the colonizer or the lowest common denominator. My body is here for me and my soul’s work in the world. Period. It’s not my job to be a challenge to white supremacy when it is a proven rapist colonizing dominating entity. My job is not to expand their minds. I will not put myself in harms way to educate. I will survive and thrive and they will learn to catch up and become educated by humbling themselves. 🔊 check my story for more on this.

Edit: *** And for people picking apart the “culturally Arab looking hijab” piece: what I am saying is that Arab supremacy has no place in conversations about hijab. For instance: Indonesian, Senegalese and Chinese hijabs are valid and look very different from Saudi Arabian hijab even tho Syrians or Saudis will try and tell everyone else how their way is the only real and right way. Which is false. Dr Umar Faruq Abdallah wrote an amazing article which I recommend to all called “Islam and the Cultural Imperative.” “

The reactions from the community on both Instagram and Twitter have been mixed, with many empathising and supporting her fears whilst others have called her out for calling a beanie a hijab. Here’s what some feel and think below:

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