Lady Gaga, the veil, and the charge of ‘cultural appropriation’.


The Ghunghat - Traditional Hindu face veil used in parts of India. Source: By Mohsyn Clicked by Zainab Zaidi (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons.

The Ghunghat – Traditional Hindu face veil used in parts of India.
Source: By Mohsyn Clicked by Zainab Zaidi (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons.

There’s a certain irony in conservative members of a faith that has a long history of invading three continents, countless cultures, institutionalised slavery, building a Mosque on Temple Mount, building a Mosque over the church in Istanbul, destroying the Gods worshiped by others in the Ka’bah, appropriating the centuries old veil as its own, and borrowing Pagan and Gnostic Christian myths for its own holy book, to then claim others are “culturally appropriating” its symbols. None of them were the symbols of Islam in the first place, including the veil. The charge of offensive “cultural appropriation” is thrown at the pop star from the conservative sect of Islam. I find this to be a particularly dishonest explanation for the claim of ‘offence’ on this subject.

It is a similar tone – based entirely on western colonialism and a disingenuous ‘victim’ mentality – to that made by several conservative Muslims – including Mo Ansar – when they speak of western ‘imperialism’ of the past. Ansar once mentioned the French invading Muslim Tunisia in the 19th Century as an act of western imperialism. He neglected to mention that Tunisia was only “Muslim” by the 19th Century, because imperialist Arab Muslims had invaded it and established the Arab Aghlabids dynasty in the first place.

When we analyse where the problem actually lies, it isn’t long before we find the predictable occidentalist, anti-western undertones that drive the ‘offence’ this time (as with most other times). The problem doesn’t seem to be based on cultural ideas or garments making their way across cultural boundaries, or a desire to keep a symbol of faith particular to Islam, nor on Lady Gaga’s intentions, but simply, that white people from the west have done it. A sort of “it’s not fair! They’re copying us! And we don’t like them!” child-like attitude.

cultural
– It’s a curious charge to make. It suddenly became a ‘race’ thing. Let me be clear, it is quite obvious that privilege based on gender, sexuality, and ethnicity persists and oppresses. This is true in Islamic countries, as it is in Western countries. The struggle for equality is ongoing, and I am quite sure that only secular democracy provides the mechanism for correction and progress. It is also true that the suggestion of privilege, sometimes – like this time – doesn’t stand to even the most basic of scrutiny, and is quite obviously used as a tool to deflect from a weak argument or a complete inability to address the content of the argument presented. That is the case here. The last half of the above tweet is the suggestion that all white people – including Lady Gaga – are actively trying to destroy another culture. All of us. We plot against Arab muslims; the eternal victims of colonial white devils. One suspects this line of reasoning isn’t extended to white, western muslims. In which case, what she means is, white non-muslims should not be allowed to wear the clothing of their choice, if a particular religion – one that appropriated it in the first place – has decided they now completely own it.

colonial
– To claim ‘cultural appropriation’ and ‘not your costume’ of the veil from conservative Muslims, is to suggest Muslims have completely monopolised the use of the veil from every other culture that’s ever used it and continues to use it. The very same ‘colonial’ attitude that Lady Gaga is charged with. Religious hypocrisy at its finest.

Islam appropriated the veil from Pre-Islamic Arab culture, which in turn, probably inherited it from earlier semitic cultures in the north. The veil is first mentioned in Assyria, centuries prior to Islam. Millions of non-Arab Muslims wear a veil, appropriated from those pre-Islamic cultures. To suggest Lady Gaga wearing the face veil is an insult to Islam, further suggests that non-Islamic cultures that have always had the veil, and long before Islam are not to be considered, and that it is an Arab Islamic garment only, with anyone else wearing it to be compared to the Arab Islamic standard only. Ironically, this is an Arab Islamic imperial attitude. Check your privilege!

The veil existed long before Islam, and across cultures. It isn’t just Arabic, nor Islamic. About 20 centuries before Islam appropriated cultural symbols of lands that it invaded, Assyrian kings introduced a ban on slave women wearing the veil, whilst high ranking women wore them as a symbol of honour. For the Assyrians, the veil was a symbol of the class system. Later, according to the 6th book of Herodotus, the deposed King of Sparta – Demaratus – left Sparta for exile, with his face veiled to show he felt insulted by the tone of the new King Leotychidas. Tradition tells us that Sikh Guru Ji refused to meet a Hindu Queen unless she removed her veil. According to The Lalitavistara – a biography of the Buddha – describes how Yasodharā, the wife of Prince Siddhattha was constantly insulted for not veiling her face. She replied:

“Those who are restrained in body and behavior, measured in speech, with senses controlled, calm and at peace, why should they veil their faces? Even if covered with a thousand veils, if they are shameless and immodest, dishonest and devoid of virtue, they live in this world uncovered and exposed. Even without being veiled if their senses and their minds are well-guarded, they are faithful to one husband, never thinking of another, they shine like the sun and the moon. So why should they veil their faces? The sage reading the minds of others knows my intentions as do the gods know my conduct and virtue, my discipline and my modesty. Therefore why should I veil my face?”

– Tertullian writing in the 3rd century speaks of Arab women veiling their faces, as well as Greeks and Africans. Strabo in the 1st century speaks of Persian women veiling their faces. According to the Jewish apocrypha, and the story of Susanna:

“31: Now Susanna was a very delicate woman and beauteous to behold. 32: And these wicked men commanded to uncover her face (for she was covered) that they might be filled with her beauty.”

– Indeed, today there exists a denomination of Christian nuns who completely cover their faces with a veil. In Rome, they ascend the Scala Sancta steps on their knees, with their faces covered by the veil. As a part of the Nishimonai Bon Dancing in Japan, female dancers wear the Hikosa zukin face veil. The Hindi word ‘ghunghat’ is a that describes a face veil worn by some sects of traditional Hindus in regions of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat among other places in India. The veil has never been, and never will be a garment specific to Islam, with a meaning controlled by whatever conservative Muslims decide it means.

One would have to travel far, far back in the history of mankind to find an era when all cultural groups kept to themselves, and did not benefit and grow from constant exchange of ideas and symbols. Britain is a melting pot of beautiful cultures. Indeed, as an Atheist I celebrate Christmas on December 25th, despite it being Christian and Pagan in origin (Christianity appropriating that particular festival for itself). I get the “you shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate Christmas!” nonsense from angry Christians claiming it an insult to their faith, but that isn’t the point. I enjoy that time of the year, the family traditions, the happiness. I also enjoy the evening out on Diwali. In the UK, you will find Muslims celebrating Christmas, giving cards and gifts and love on St Valentine’s day. We are a melting pot, and it’s a good, progressive thing.

There is no reason to suggest that Lady Gaga’s use of the face cover, was in any way malicious. In fact, in 2012, she explained she wears it as a symbol of “mourning” for problems in the World. Clearly she’s a very expressive person, and clothing is a wonderful form of self expression, whether you like or agree with the sentiment behind the expression or not. Other forms may include making a comedy movie, like The Life of Brian, or a piece of art, like ‘Christ in Piss’. It is self expression; a way to convey how one feels. That is absolutely everyone’s right. Her skin tone, the country she was born, or her religious beliefs are not relevant, the expression in this case was not based on anything like that. To suggest it, is a weak counter-argument that is only used to perpetuate an east vs west, Muslim vs Everyone else false narrative and it is incredibly destructive and intellectually bankrupt. Lady Gaga is not setting out to intentionally mock or insult anyone else. Crucially, Lady Gaga wearing the veil, does not intrude upon the freedom of Muslim women to wear the veil as an expression of faith or cultural heritage. The basic freedom and right should always be protected.

For Muslim women the veil may indeed be a symbol of modesty, it may be a symbol of faith or culture. It may symbolise whatever that particular Muslim woman decides it symbolises to her alone. But that in no way impacts on how non-Muslims have worn the veil throughout history, or how anyone else chooses to wear it today. The veil is a garment like any other, and all should be free to wear whatever they choose, to express however they choose, for it to mean whatever it is the individual decides it means to them, without harming the liberty of others, and free from state or religious coercion. In this case, the charge of ‘cultural appropriation’ does not stand up to scrutiny, and is quite obviously used as a way to express anti-western sentiment, a perpetual fantasy conflict, hidden behind wrongly appropriated language that denotes oppression. It isn’t.

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23 Responses to Lady Gaga, the veil, and the charge of ‘cultural appropriation’.

  1. jessepriest93 says:

    Reblogged this on Jesse Max Priest and commented:
    I witnessed this thing unfold on Twitter. It was sad.

  2. Scott says:

    I like your stuff, but one thing I’ve noticed is that you always capitalize “atheist” – why is that?

  3. No idea. Habit. I should stop doing that.

  4. kpspong says:

    As a northern European I would like to register my disgust at the sight of Romans blatantly wearing trousers! Trousers are a symbol of our culture, which the Roman imperialists once mocked us for. Now practically everyone in Rome wears them. So offensive!

    (Coming up next- The Portuguese want ‘their” vindaloo, back)

  5. Akriti says:

    Very aptly written post 🙂

  6. Pluvian says:

    ‘The last half of the above tweet is the suggestion that all white people – including Lady Gaga – are actively trying to destroy another culture’

    This is slightly tangential to your post, but it’s interesting to ask how far a ‘people’ as a whole are responsible for individuals of their group committing crimes in their name? I thinking specifically of the genocide of the Native Americans. I don’t think you could argue that all white people were actively trying to destroy another culture, but it’s certainly the case that the culture of white people (particularly puritan religious fundamentalists and expansionists who believed in manifest destiny) was a factor in the destruction of the native people.
    Or to put it in a more modern setting – none of us want to actively encourage slavery in Africa – but metals in all of our computers were probably mined by slaves. How responsible are we?
    If we benefit from crimes committed against people, if those crimes were committed so that we could benefit, how responsible are we to make up for it?

  7. I may start wearing the veil to hide my frequent shaving rashes after reading this interesting informative piece. I’m beginning to wonder if there are as yet, any Quranic verses which might reveal advice on victim mentality and how to play the victim. Good read.

  8. Indra says:

    I don’t see this supposed Muslim protest against Gaga over a veil.

    It’s one thing to criticize Islam. But this article seems like opportunistic pandering to the anti-Muslim bigots. People now look for any excuse to accuse Muslims of overreacting to one thing or another. One idiot making a petition against Katy Perry became a rallying cry for all of the anti-Muslim activists in America to go on TV and voice their disdain at Muslims in general. This seems to have the same agenda in mind.

    If you look through the ocean of social media, you’ll always find an absurd or reprehensible view. If it leads to a protest or some noteworthy reaction, sure, it deserves notice. But lately what’s going on is that some anti-Muslim activist will pick out one Muslim or a few Muslim saying something absurd, and use that as a pretext to create a larger conflict. The result is more hatred against Muslims.

  9. I comment on conservative muslims who say ridiculous things, I comment on conservative christians who say ridiculous things, Republicans in the US, Tories in the UK. I in no way suggested the muslim community as a whole is up in arms over a veil. For the sake of consistency, you must also tell me I am wrong to comment on every other conservative group I disagree with too. You might also note that I specifically refer to conservative Muslims. I’m fully aware that the majority of Muslims consider them to be a bit nutty too.

    “If it leads to a protest or some noteworthy reaction, sure, it deserves notice”
    – Are you suggesting you never debate or discuss topics unless they’ve gained what you perceive to be a “noteworthy reaction”? That certainly isn’t how my mind works. If I see something that I disagree with on a topic that interests me, then I will comment on it. I also use this blog to rationalise and understand my own thoughts clearer. I do not, and will not only comment on subjects that you deem to have gained a “noteworthy reaction”. That to me, seems absurd.
    I write on secularism, history, and religion. I also quite like the to write on what I see as a growing religious victim mentality and the anti-secular tone it takes. Those are my interests, I write on what interests me, you may not like what interests me and that’s fine, and completely your right. But I wont be running my thoughts past you before I post.

    “Pandering to anti-muslim bigots”
    – Not my intention at all. I write on them too. I find them remarkably similar to conservative muslims. Both are incredibly anti-secular. For example, my article on the planned mosque in Bendigo, and the ridiculous anti-muslim sentiment that opposed it. I got abuse from the anti-muslim crowd for that, and still do.
    I also have an article coming up (about 3/4 complete) on liberal and progressive muslim groups.
    I had a long twitter battle with a guy convinced that Afghanistan can’t possibly progress because Islam doesn’t allow progress. I disagreed with his ridiculous analysis and argued my point to the end. His opinion didn’t garner a “noteworthy reaction or protest” but it was an opinion that I disagreed with, and I argued my point. That is in the same line of reasoning as this article.

    “this seems to have that same agenda” –
    Absolutely not. My issue is with all conservative, anti-secular religious folk. There are some wonderfully progressive, liberal muslim groups across the World fighting for basic human and civil rights who must always be supported, and some incredibly important secular Islamic speakers speaking in the most dangerous countries. I comment on anti-secular, illiberal religious folk. But if you have any disagreement with the actual content of what is written, I’d be happy to debate the points.

    I write on topics that interest me. I do not write to appease the anti-muslim bigots, or the label-every-slight-criticism-Islamophobic-faux-liberals. I write on my thoughts. That is the point of this blog.

  10. Indra says:

    “Conservative Muslims”. That’s it right there. My grandmother is a conservative Muslim. She prays, she wears hijab, she reads the Quran. She doesn’t engage in any such protest, and she wouldn’t bother with this one even if she knew who Gaga was. There are plenty of conservative Muslims who are not radicalized. Muslims who keep beards, who read the Quran, who follow all the pillars and articles. Devout Muslims, who see no reason to be hostile to non-Muslims or engage in such protests. Being conservative doesn’t make one an extremist. I don’t support shariah governance, but even supporting that doesn’t necessarily make one an extremist.

    And where Muslim overreaction and protests (eg the Danish Cartoons) have been noteworthy, the partipants were not only from “conservative Muslims”. Many are undereducated youths who don’t regularly pray or follow the Quran, who go on the streets and protest as a form of activism. The same people shouting and burning things on streets end the day drinking booze.

    This is the second time I’ve seen an effort to drum up mockery against Muslims for “protesting too much” when there was no protest to speak of. The Katy Perry incident being the first.

    I’m both an atheist and a secularist. But I don’t feel the need to denigrate my grandparents to feel good. I don’t feel the need to get smiles out people whose intentions are not as innocent as they’d make them out to be.

  11. Your grandma sounds great. From your description, she’s a pious, devout religious person, who values her faith. That’s great. No one is denigrating that. The vast majority of those of all faiths are similar. I did not claim that Muslims with beards who read the Qur’an are synonymous with radicalised Muslims. You’re attaching that clear unthinking bigotry to my sentiments, and I’d really rather you didn’t, unless you’re prepared to offer evidence that I have ever claimed that. I also didn’t suggest that people who think Gaga appropriated the veil, are radicalised. That’s a different topic altogether. You’re the one who has put your grandma in the same category as the people I class as “conservative Muslims”. I consider them very similar to conservative Christians in the US; the type who – in Arizona and Mississippi – fought to allow businesses to engage in anti-gay discrimination. The type who wish to see creation taught alongside evolutionary biology. They aren’t radicalised on the level of christian fundamentalists like the KKK or Eric Rudolph, but they are certainly very conservative religious folk, politically. Also, very similar to anti-Muslims in France, and elsewhere who pushed for the ban on the veil. For me, the idea of the state punishing someone for choosing to wear whatever it is they wish, according to their own beliefs, is as hideous and oppressive as the state punishing someone for not wearing the veil.

    Similarly, those conservative Muslims who present a situation like that of Gaga wearing a veil as an extension of a larger western attack on Islam, I consider to be conservative Muslims. It is a political thing more than anything. I certainly don’t claim that they are extremists. That’d be overly harsh of me. They’re entitled to their view, and I will debate their view, which I did here. In the same way that I will debate the Arizona Christian view that anti-gay discrimination is acceptable business practice, which I did here: https://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/the-theocracy-of-arizona/
    Or the anti-Muslims view, that the state should ban the building of Mosques, which I did here: https://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/support-the-mosque-in-bendigo/
    The conservative anti-Muslim lot, and the conservative Muslim crowd, I consider to be two sides of the same coin. One of their many tactics, is rewriting history to suit their own victim-like narrative. This article, addressed one attempt to rewrite history to suit a narrative. There was no “drumming up mockery”.

    “Many are undereducated youths who don’t regularly pray or follow the Quran, who go on the streets and protest as a form of activism. ”
    – Agreed. Most aren’t pious. Similarly, most violent extremists – like the 19 9/11 hijackers weren’t pious, nor religious scholars. Ahmed Rashid writes a wonderful book on the Taliban and how little they seemed to understand their faith. I fully accept that most of the more radicalised Muslims tend to be young men, who feel outcast and that groups like Al-Muhajiroun offer a sense of brotherhood, and that’s what attracts them primarily. I’m also aware that it’s a relatively new phenomena (though not entirely) and that the older generation of Muslims especially in the West are like you describe your grandma. I don’t know why we need to discuss this, because I don’t consider those who believe the veil to have been ‘culturally appropriated’ at all similar to Al-Muhajiroun or Hizb ut-Tahrir types.

    “I don’t support shariah governance, but even supporting that doesn’t necessarily make one an extremist.”
    – I’m afraid we definitely disagree on this. If someone supports the state implementing the rule of one ideology above all others, because they believe they have an inherent right to control the lives of everyone else according to the dictates of their faith, I’d consider them to be supremacists and extremists. They’re entitled to their view, and I wouldn’t wish the state to punish them for it, nor to silence them. They should be allowed to speak in support of a caliphate, and if they wish, to stand for election on that basis. That is their absolute fundamental right. I’d still consider them to be supremacists. In the same way that if someone supported a political system based on racial supremacy and privilege, I’d consider them to be extremists too. The supremacy and institutional privilege of one faith above all others, is as grotesque as the supremacy of one ethnicity above all others. It is viciously anti-secular. I value my gay friends and my ex-Muslim friends a little too much to claim someone isn’t an extremist for believing the state should punish them.

    “I don’t feel the need to get smiles out people whose intentions are not as innocent as they’d make them out to be.”
    – Great. Neither do I. I presented arguments in this article, I researched and backed up my points. You are free to criticise it, to suggest it’s entirely inaccurate, to tell me it’s wrong. Fine. And I’m free to take issue with your charge that I wrote this “to get smiles out of people”. That is not why I write. I write to express my views, and to understand my own thoughts. I write to challenge ideas and to present a counter narrative. I enjoy the research process. Those you seem to think I’m writing for, don’t particularly like me either. One guy is convinced that my support for the fundamental right to worship according to one’s own conscience, in a temple/church/mosque is some sort of left wing plot to allow Shari’a threw the back door. These people are just as ridiculous to me as those who think Gaga appropriated the veil. I don’t care what religion or political persuasion they are, they’re ridiculous, their points are heaped in misinformation and I like to point that out. That’s why I write. At the moment, you and they are in agreement. I’m a terrible person denigrating their views. I actually find them to be far more abusive and angry than any religious person I’ve had comment. Look at their comments on my Bendigo Mosque article. Playing by your reasoning, their comments are very similar in tone to yours. It is easy to draw links, as you are attempting to do with me and the bigots.

    It is perhaps prudent to note that you haven’t actually addressed anything I said in my previous comment, or in the article itself. I’m trying to address each point you make. I’d appreciate if you could offer the same courtesy back, rather than clearly trying to paint me as something I am not.

    This article came about after a long debate on Twitter. I felt a little frustrated that I could not explain my position in so few characters on Twitter. So I wrote a longer article explaining my position, and I felt I backed up my reasoning with evidence. I speak on religion, secularism, and That is what this blog is for.

  12. hqas says:

    Does this mean that white people can do what they want and when they want on the expense of turning POC a joke? These justifications are bit (no offense intended) ignorant, if you care to review some of the reasonings behind people’s anger at Burka or other appropriations please see: http://saadiahaq.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/western-womens-ethnic-fetishes-seriously-annoying-cultural-appropriation/
    Thanks alot. I like your blog and how its bringing interesting topics.

  13. You haven’t actually addressed any of my points. You’ve just told me it’s ignorant. So please, point out where I’m wrong…..

  14. Also, again, Islam appropriated most of its symbols and ideas from surrounding cultures. I understand that Muslims have a tough time accepting their own imperial history, but it is required for any discussion on cultural appropriation.

  15. hqas says:

    What would you like me to address, the victimized narratives which justify Gaga’s use of burka to express her mourning and her self expressions? Is that not hedonistic?
    Telling me that Muslims have a hard time accepting their imperial history does not make me angry, I see this as another charge a westerner whose own history is full of shameless colonizations so laying that charge at my feet does not really do not do nothing to my mind.

  16. hqas says:

    White supremacist will probably not get why a lot of people were pissed, perhaps you might understand my position through the post I shared earlier, its nothing against east versus west, its much more than that.

  17. Yes. Our cultures both have shameful colonial pasts. Absolutely right. Do you accept that Islam – from its doctrine to its symbols – were culturally appropriated in the first place? Do you accept that by claiming the veil has been appropriated from one specific culture, you have dismissed all the other cultures that have used and continue to use the veil? As with most charges from Muslims, the charge of cultural appropriation is massively hypocritical.

  18. White supremacist? How so?
    Islamic supremacists equally don’t understand their own hideous hypocrisy.

  19. hqas says:

    Not at all, Muslims are not the only ones having veiling culture, I know for a fact that there are other cultures where veiling has been part of their past and in some cases, even the present. I am speaking from the perspective of Muslim Burka here.
    Then, I don’t have to accept anything nor from Arab Muslims nor Westerners, I am South Asian Muslim and I detest and always speak out against the oppressive manner in which Islam came to us, this is the clash of religious-cultural symbols that is threatening at-least my country because of these divided identities. Islam as a community is full of racism because brown and black Muslims are seen as scum so I don’t need you to tell me more on whats going on inside this community. As far as am concerned, I don’t do the hijab but I hear shit from Muslims and Non Muslim westerners in different forms for not wearing it.
    This is life tile story for me,however having said that I also do not appreciate the Gagas and FEMEN naked soldiers appropriating and insulting the Muslim veiling by walking around naked in Europe. I understand that to western mentality nudity of women is the sign of women’s emancipation, but for millions of women else here its not.

  20. Here’s the thing; you don’t get to tell others what they can and can’t do, nor what they can and can’t wear. If someone sees an item of clothing as a liberating factor in their life, especially an item of clothing that exists in countless cultures and isn’t “owned” by just one, including Muslims who seem to have decided it’s theirs and theirs alone – and wishes to express that, they do not have to check with religious fanatics that they aren’t ‘offended’ by it. I’m offended by holy texts condemning me to eternal torture for non-belief. How dare a westerner wear the veil? How dare your holy book condemn me. This offends me. But I don’t demand you stop reading it, because I believe you should be entirely free, regardless of whether or not I’m offended by it. Equally, if Muslims wish to believe in a faith that clearly appropriated symbols and dogmas from surrounding cultures, they do not have to check or apologise for that. Leave people free to be themselves, to express themselves in ways that they feel comfortable with, where it doesn’t collide with the same freedom for others. By appropriating the veil for Islam only, thereby completely disregarding all others who have ever wore the veil, and deciding we must judge all used of it in future by whether it’s offensive to your faith, and then telling others that they can’t use it for self expression and self liberation, you are guilty of the exact sand charge you level at others. None of us are required to live according to the dictates of your very authoritarian religion.

  21. hqas says:

    Thank you for your expressive response, one does wonder this show of Aethiesm and Liberalism didn’t last for more than half an hour here, and you just proved my point. Clearly unable to find yourself a way out of responding on the issue of and discourse of “cultural appropriation” you have jumped like a fundamentalist attacking Islam and Quran.
    For someone who has a huge problem with Islam and its prevailing authoritarian religion, you act no better than radical Islamists your self.
    Nobody is telling nobody what to wear or not, I never said that do no need to lay that charge on me, I dislike validation from white supremacists who think making fetish of so called ethnic artifacts are cultural exchange. So get that clear please. Thanks and continue to be who you are.

  22. You’re the one who claimed offence. If you want to play that game, i absolutely will point out what I find offensive about your religion. We can definitely play the Islamic hypocrisy game all day if you’d like. Your faith is no victim. I find all religion to appropriate, to attack, to demand, and then finally to cry offence when its dogma and hypocrisy is challenged. You are no different. Islamists do exactly the same.

    There is no “responding on the issue” because you haven’t actually bothered to critique anything I’ve said in the article, you haven’t pointed out where I’m wrong, I’ve spent two responses pointing out how you are guilty of the exact same charge you level at everyone else, and you’ve chosen to ignore that, proving my original point that Muslims are completely incapable of accepting just how viciously imperial their faith has been, and how practically everything about the faith, was at some point appropriated. At one point, Islam appropriated an entire city – Jerusalem – for itself, and still demands that it should have full ownership of it. So if you want to play the “we’re offended!” game, I’m happy to play along all day.

    How do I act no different from radical Islamists? I believe you and I should be equally protected by secular law. You should be free to believe and to express and to dress however you choose without the beliefs of anyone else oppressing that fundamental right. Do Islamists afford people the same liberty? Critiquing your faith and pointing to its hypocrisies, is not the same as oppressing any of your rights. You do not get to fail at presenting a coherent argument, and then claim it must be “white supremacy” when your hypocrisies are brought up.

    The veil is not an ‘ethnic artifact’ it is a widely used garment across a plethora of cultures. Again you are claiming it for Islam only and playing the victim when anyone else uses it. I dislike validation from Islamic supremacists who appropriate doctrines, garments, cultures, cities, throw them in a cage and claim anyone else trying to get those items out of the cage, or even critique the fact that the cage exists in the first place, are just colonial white supremacists. It is a hideously false narrative drenched in hypocrisy. But I’m happy to list all the items Islam has appropriated over the centuries? Shall we do that?

  23. brassidium says:

    I am now calling cultural appropriation, cultural apartheid as it demands racial and cultural segregation. It’s clearly an Islamist rather than a socialist idea but the socialist are also using it to divide society.

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