What happens when a law is passed which dictates what a woman can and cannot wear in public and infringes a charter-given right? We follow the motto “Sisters before misters.” Bill 62 isolates and immobilizes Canadian Muslim women who choose to observe the Niqab. The bill will embolden racists, and so-called “patriots,” to use this law as justification to harass and discriminate on the basis of religion. Huda Z is the creator of the tag #HandsOffHerNiqab on Instagram. She reached out to me and a few other artists to use our creativity to produce a project that would show Niqabi women as the badass individuals that they are.
Here were the rules of the tag
- Anyone can participate, which includes non-Muslims
- The hashtag is applicable to Twitter
- If you are sharing the art created in this tag, give credit to the artist and ask permission
- You can post a photo of yourself and a message to those being targeted by the law and hold the hashtag in the photo. Write captions that highlight the misconceptions and sheer hypocrisy that this bill induces.
- You can use your previous artwork that relates
I loved seeing the outgoing support from sisters worldwide, especially considering these laws have been passed in other countries, like France and Austria. Why is one form of empowerment seen as the universal standard to be forced upon other women who don’t feel that they have a choice in the matter? You cannot free an already-freed woman.
Wearing niqab doesn’t make us feel ashamed for having a female body, some niqabis wear it for religious reasons and others wear it to rebel against Eurocentric beauty standards. It also strays from the notion that our bodies can be used as props for inanimate products but are looked at with disgust when we use our bodies to play sports or breastfeed in public.
Here are some of my faves from the tag.
Warning! Major #MuslimGirlFire up ahead:
This video basically sums up the situatuion, XD
Lastly, to all the “But aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s my answer: