Hijab in Mainstream Media

Islam has been on center stage ever since the Middle East became of political and economic interest to Western and European countries. There has been an ongoing colonial effort to dehumanize the Arab and Muslim world throughout history and Muslim women have often been the focus of this dehumanization process.

Mainstream media represents the Muslim woman as a figure that people can’t relate to. She is to be pitied to a point where she no longer makes any sense to us. She is portrayed as the woman who willingly accepts oppression. She is outside of what mainstream feminism stands for. The world is told that her hijab is the problem and the solution is for her to remove it.

Mainstream media talks about Muslim women and the hijab without including their voices. So what could we understand about this diverse and dynamic group of women if we simply asked for their perspective? We could come to realize that their reality is very  different from what the media has framed it to be.