Editor: Three German female gymnasts took a stand recently and refused to wear revealing uniforms, choosing unitards instead during a championship in Switzerland. These women have been praised throughout the media and I am appalled at the double standards.
They match right up to the recent Swiss double standards of banning Muslim face coverings (niqaab) in public while allowing people to cover their face for health reasons during the pandemic.
I find it ironic, however, that when a Muslim woman or girl decides to cover up her body in the name of modesty she is frowned upon, yet when non-Muslim female athletes decide to do it in the name of exactly the same thing, that is desexualization of their bodies, they are applauded by the media and critics.
Whether to cover or not to cover should be a question left up to that woman alone. Are we really fooling ourselves in the name of “women empowerment” by not even allowing them to choose how to or not to display their bodies? I don’t see how these European countries are any different in their rigidness than the infamous Middle Eastern countries who force their women to cover up in public.
I thought the law and government were there to ensure civil liberties and that citizens’ rights were not to be impeded upon. This seems contrary to what the French senate has recently done by proposing to ban hijab (head covering) for girls under the age of 18. As an American Muslim who chose to wear the hijab since the age of 16, this creates many fears and anxieties in my mind. With the global rise of Islamophobia over the past several years, although highly unlikely, I can’t help but wonder if such insanity will see its way over to the United States of America. After all, we have always found the French to be in vogue! The French have always set the tone for our fashion history, hopefully our “fascist” history will not take pursuit.
Mehrunnisa Akbar, Aldie