It is a mark of the hypocrisy of the media that any blow sustained by an Israeli is zoomed in on and cited for years to come, but Palestinians, for some reason, do not receive the same treatment. One might objectively say that many verbal and physical attacks are based on nothing but hearsay, but what truly fascinates me is when a violation of human rights is caught on camera and there is no media frenzy or outcry for justice in response.
An Israeli news source reports that on Monday, February 25th, a Palestinian woman was beaten by a group of Israeli girls. As if that isn’t appalling enough on its own, eyewitness Dorit Yarden Dotan reports that about 100 men and the light rail security guard stood by and did nothing. To add insult to injury, the attackers managed to forcefully remove the woman’s headscarf. Anyone who wears the hijab, as I do, knows that its forcible removal is a brutal way to degrade a Muslim woman and attack her dignity. It is, quite simply, an infliction of the utmost humiliation.
On its own, the shock of this incident is difficult to absorb. But Dotan took photos which have been posted on the internet, and I hear only crickets. In fact, had Amani not sent the staff of MuslimGirl the article, I would have remained ignorant of this attack, probably for good. Where are the human rights activists? Where are the feminists asserting that a woman’s attire should never be removed against her will? Is it irrelevant because it was a headscarf that was pulled off, or because it was a Palestinian Muslim that was attacked? I would say the most important question is: why are we selective of the rights that we choose to defend?
It is disgusting that the holy city of Jerusalem, which is a central religious site for all three Abrahamic religions, has been vulgarized to this. It is imperative that we continue voicing out against these injustices until we break the silence. We will not stand for vicious attacks like this on Muslim women in any country, even one that’s supported by the greatest superpower on Earth. We will not allow a woman’s violation to dissolve in the white noise of petty politics. Most of all, we should pray sincerely that evil be eradicated everywhere, to be replaced with peace and steadfast justice that does not waver in any circumstance, for any reason.