World Hijab Day versus Wear A Kimono Day

Yesterday was World Hijab Day, a recent holiday confected to celebrate (and justify) the Muslim symbol of oppression. The description in Wikipedia says this:

World Hijab Day is an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in 2013. The event takes place on February 1st each year in 140 countries worldwide. Its stated purpose is to encourage women of all religions and backgrounds to wear and experience the hijab. Event organizers describe it as an opportunity for non-Muslim women to experience the hijab.

Of course the hijab is most often worn as a garment of “modesty”, designed to prevent men from experiencing uncontrollable lust if they see a woman’s hair. That’s reprehensible because it puts the onus on the woman to prevent sexual objectification and assault, exculpating men for of responsibility for what they do in the throes of tonsorial concupiscence. Yet Muslims pretend that wearing it is not only feminist, but “empowering”. Here’s the WHD website, calling up Rosie the Riveter (click on screenshot to go to site; there’s also a Twitter page and a Facebook page):

While I think it’s a woman’s right to wear it if she wants, I share the sentiments of Alishba Zarmeen, a Pakistani-Canadian feminist and activist:

Many Muslim women, of course, are forced by their governments or societies to wear the hijab, and either remove it in places like Iraq as a symbol of defiance, or take it off when visiting other countries.  In those cases, the garment is surely not a “choice”. When it was made mandatory in Iran in 1979, women demonstrated en masse against it. But they were powerless against a theocratic government, and now all women in Iran are covered. Even in the West, where many hijabis say that wearing it is their own choice, I don’t always believe them. Lots of women are forced to put on the hijab as young girls, and are kept from removing it by familial or peer pressure.

As the Muslim women Asra Nomani and Hala Arafa wrote in the Washington Post in 2015, urging Western women not to wear the hijab out of a misplaced “solidarity”:

Women and girls, who are sometimes called “enforce-hers” and “Muslim mean girls,” take it a step further by even making fun of women whom they perceive as wearing the hijab inappropriately, referring to “hijabis” in skinny jeans as “ho-jabis,” using the indelicate term for “whores.”

. . . As Americans, we believe in freedom of religion. But we need to clarify to those in universities, the media and discussion forums that in exploring the “hijab,” they are not exploring Islam, but rather the ideology of political Islam as practiced by the mullahs, or clerics, of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State.

In the name of “interfaith,” these well-intentioned Americans are getting duped by the agenda of Muslims who argue that a woman’s honor lies in her “chastity” and unwittingly pushing a platform to put a hijab on every woman.

Please do this instead: Do not wear a headscarf in “solidarity” with the ideology that most silences us, equating our bodies with “honor.” Stand with us instead with moral courage against the ideology of Islamism that demands we cover our hair.

But yesterday women throughout the West gleefully put on the hijab, hoping to have some kind of Muslim experience. Here, for example, is an article about women at the University of Akron (click on screenshot to see the article):

There you’ll find stuff like this: “It feels really comfortable,” said Amanda Leach. “I wouldn’t feel at all repressed wearing this if I was a Muslim woman.”  Well, now, doesn’t that depend on where she lives and her background? How clueless can you get?

Many women just wore the headscarf out of the house without having it draped upon them by Muslim hijabis.  That brought to mind the incident in 2016 when women in Boston were invited to try on a kimono in front of a Manet painting at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, just to see what wearing one felt like, as well as to match the painting. That brought down the wrath of Leftist youth, who decried this as blatant cultural appropriation. And it eventually led to the Museum’s cancelling of Kimono Wednesdays. A few photos from my post back then:

Why is hijab-wearing not only okay, but positively wonderful, while kimono-wearing is a no-no? Why is World Hijab Day extolled as “an opportunity for non-Muslim women to experience the hijab”, while opportunities for non-Japanese women to experience the kimono are seen as racist?

It’s not as if some American Asians don’t see themselves as oppressed, either (see here or here, for instance). The reason is that organizations like CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic relations), actively promote the victimhood image of Muslims, and the hijab is one external sign of Islam.But it’s also an external sign of one of the religion’s bad features. Sadly, CAIR and other groups have learned well how to sell features of the faith that violate liberal values.

Now Muslims are vilified and demonized by some Americans, and I abhor that. But I also abhor the idea of covering up your body because men tell you to do so—an idea that then becomes an internalized cultural norm that often masquerades as a “choice”.  Remember, too, that the most demonized religion in America, at least judging by the rate of hate crimes experienced by its adherents, is Judaism. There are twice as many hate crimes for each Jewish person as there are for every Muslim.  Should we then have World Yarmulke Day to decry anti-Semitism, asking all men to put on a beanie? I don’t think so.

The best way to show solidarity with Muslims, I think, is to fight against true bigotry against them, and support the efforts of oppressed Muslims to be free. Muslim women are far more subjugated in places like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iran than they are in the U.S., and one of the ways they’re held down is that men dictate what they can wear, as well as who they can be with, whether they can drive, and what jobs they can take. How on Earth does it show solidarity to wear a symbol of that misogyny—not calling for its wearing to be made voluntary, but unreservedly approving its wearing throughout the world?

I’ll end with a statement from Ensaf Haidar, a Saudi-Arabian/Canadian human rights activist who’s married to the imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi:



  1. rickflick
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    What’s the matter with people? There seems to be an unwillingness on the part of the left and victims of Islam to have a critical discussion. I hope this will all pass.

  2. Linda Calhoun
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    “Experience the hijab”???

    In the past twelve hours, I have delivered two kids, cleaned up their mother and milked her, fed the other animals and milked the other doe that’s already kidded, done three loads of laundry, trimmed the hooves of the doe that just kidded, pasteurized the milk and heat-treated the colostrum, and washed a bunch of dishes.

    I cannot imagine having to do all that in a garment that is constantly getting in the way.

    Experience the straightjacket, why don’t you.


    • Cate Plys
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      My favorite comment here ever.

    • somer
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      The white woman in the picture is not wearing hijab – the whole point of it is that no hair shows and it should also cover the ears, and no neck should show. It must be worn at all waking hours after puberty. Those who don’t wear it may be ostracised by their family or worse because the condition of eternal hell – and implication of being a non Islamic family rest on it.

      women in Islamic clothing have Vitamin D deficiency, suffer from overheating, may go bald due to the thing and there are many cases of women being strangled by the hijab when it gets caught in machinery, wheels etc – there was one such case in sydney recently where a hijab was caught in a go cart.

      Islam is a great big brainwashing system with death, torture and indoctrination from birth policed by the umma “community” – and with real punishments in Islamic countries – the religion offers mandated physical punishments for non obedience and incessantly emphasises tortures in hell for the slightest disbelief. Women will only go to heaven if they are always obedient to the husband (including absolute modesty and stupid Islamic clothing); if they pray the mandated times and if they also do ramadan. the main thing for women is obedience to men. The religion is about maximising the reproductive power of the (especially male) believers, at the cost of a life constrained by ritual and fear for all believers, and persecution of women and non believers

      The Masked Arab – an ex salafist presents an awesomely informed and researched analysis and critique of islam in videos in English and Arabic and they are shocking. Islamic modesty and sexual honour culture and the effort to get the West to normalise this is critiqued by brave ex muslims on twitter and other platforms like Yasmine Mohammed, J.A. Miraj (at MurtadMilli) Aisha Murtad (at UmmAlMumineen), Iman (at 1GodlessWoman), and Shazia Hobbs (TheGorisDaughter on twitter at Shazia Hobbs)

      People have no idea how the Muslim brotherhood and salafists use muslim organisations that supposedly represent muslims and Muslims campus organisations to push for Islamic practises in western countries, screaming racism whenever there is any opposition to their agenda. they have learned to play the intersectionality and Edward Said cards very well

      • somer
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        PS all The Masked Arab stuff has written reference notes accompanying it usually with links where you can actually see the source for yourself

  3. Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Yesterday my hair really needed washed but I didn’t have time. As I looked in the mirror, I thought, a hijab would solve my problem! But I wouldn’t wear one because of its symbolism. Maybe if I’d known it was world hijab day? But no.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      A baseball cap would accomplish the same thing.


      • Anna
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink


    • nicky
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      In South Africa we have the ‘doek’, ideal for a ‘bad hair day’ and without a whiff of opression.
      Of course, I cannot vouch it will not be considered cultural appropriation by the farcical left 😆😆

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I’m starting up handcuffs day, to show how empowering wearing handcuffs can be.

    There are some who have pledged themselves to it already, although they seem a bit, well, sketchy.

    Glen Davidson

  5. yazikus
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    One of the four channels I get on the old TV (you know, the kind with an antenna) is a Japanese news stations for western audiences. One of the hosts is an anglo fellow (not sure his nation of origin) who wears traditional Japanese garb. When I first saw it, it was a little jarring. And then it was less so. The other host, a Japanese woman, wears the kimono. I find the program rather delightful.

    I also feel for women who choose the hijab and live in places where that makes them a target for abuse (small town, red USA comes to mind). I also know that ‘choice’ is very nuanced, in some cases, with cultural expectations demanding the wearing of the hijab. Protestants would do well to remember it wasn’t that long ago that they had ladies covering their heads as well (as do Orthodox women to this day – while in church). At the end of the day though, I think the disparity between the responses to these to events (Kimono Wednesday & World Hijab Day) comes down to slick marketing.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I feel for women who choose not to wear the hijab in places that make them targets for abuse, too, or targets for prison, even.


      • yazikus
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Indeed, as do I!

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Yes. Those are the women we should be supporting. A good example is the #WhiteWednesdays campaign in Iran where women wear a white hijab on Wednesday as part of a campaign to get choice in whether to wear a hijab or not. The campaign is supported by many who personally want to continue to wear the hijab, but they think women should have the right to choose. It’s pro-choice Iran style.

        Many women in Iran are making a point of being photographed in public places without their hijab too.

      • Craw
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


      • Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        + 1

  6. Historian
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    “Why is hijab-wearing not only okay, but positively wonderful, while kimono-wearing is a no-no? Why is World Hijab Day extolled as “an opportunity for non-Muslim women to experience the hijab”, while opportunities for non-Japanese women to experience the kimono are seen as racist?”

    The answer to this question is that the concept of cultural appropriation as somehow being by its very nature a bad thing that somehow demeans other cultures is the product of immature minds that believe no matter what happens in the world that negatively impacts certain groups is due to western imperialism. Of course, it is perfectly fine if members of the demeaned culture give the dominant cultural permission to appropriate. Yes, western imperialism can be rightfully blamed for many bad things. Cultural appropriation is not one of them. Cultural appropriation is a wonderful thing that allows people to share the best of other cultures. This has been going on for thousands of years and the historically illiterate and the personally naïve will not be able to stop it.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    “Kimono” — I haven’t been able to see or hear that word without a certain frisson since reading the line “I tore off her Kimono” in a Mickey Spillane novel as a pubescent adolescent.

    Kinda off-topic, I know, but I needed to get that off my chest. 🙂

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      +1 for the use of ‘frisson’!

  8. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    It must be so depressing for women like Ensaf Haidar to see this going on. They must be shaking their heads in disbelief and disgust, ffs.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and also the brave women of Iran.

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The CTRL-Left is not about intellectual honesty or logical consistency. It is about championing ideas and activities which undercut enlightenment values including universality and democracy. Sauce for the goose ≠ sauce for the gander, or as Orwell put it, some animals are more equal than others.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I think they adore the hijab because they, rightly, see it as the banner of jihad.

  10. Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    This is slavery parading as freedom.

    Zarmeen said it correctly. If pride enters the mind of an hijab wearer then it is a symbol no different than a Confederate flag.

  11. Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The kimono reminded me of “Kimono My House”, an album by Sparks, an American rock band, released in 1974. I was a big fan. This probably wouldn’t fly today.

  12. Garry VanGelderen
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t care a fig how people dress or what ornaments they wear, but when it is done for religious reasons I have a big problem with it.
    It says: look how pious I am, how committed I am, how much better I am. Unfortunately even if some ways of dressing or ornamentation is done for secular reasons (comfort, fashion, etc) it can be interpreted as having a certain symbolism. Therefore, wear what you want but be aware of the situation and dress accordingly.

    • Paul S
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Hijab, lederhosen, Jedi robes, visible tattoos, burka or a colander on you head, if you show it in public, be prepared for a reaction. Keep in mind you don’t get to decide how others react. If find it funny, I’m going to point and laugh.

  13. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Illustrative Head-to-Head

    … what’s the deal with the age of 13 for head coverings – that’s not an absolute cut off, is it? Or do some parents start them earlier because hey why not?

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      It is odd. All categories, from menstruation to breast formation to brain development are all over the map.

      It’s like anything in religion: an arbitrarily chosen average.

  14. harrync
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The fact that World Hijab Day is based on the Christian calendar just doesn’t seem right to me.

  15. Paul S
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    For World Yarmulke Day can I wear my beanie with a propeller?

  16. Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I suppose one could wear or display an object of oppression in solidarity with the oppressed, but surely you would not make that object a good thing.

    • Paul S
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      If it’s awareness they’re after, World Hijab Day should be a day when no women wear a hijab to show support for those who are forced to wear it.

  17. AnnaBanana
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I might take movements like this more seriously if men joined in and wore hijabs for the day.

    • Laurance
      Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      …and now I’m getting a flashback to a video of a man wearing a, well, it wasn’t a burqa since his face wasn’t covered, but it was one of the black coverings leaving only his face and hands visible, and there he was going into the office to work. The point of the video, IIRC, was to get people to think about what’s happening to women who are forced to dress like this.

  18. Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Of course, one could wear kimono *and* hijab at once, and really get some odd looks.

    (I wonder how many Muslims there are in Japan? :))

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I was picturing the Confederate flag being worn as a hijab too.

  19. RossR
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The Western women in your photos, who choose to wear a hijab because it is so “empowering”, are all showing an awful lot of hair. Perhaps they need to experience just how empowering it is to be viciously beaten on the street for such wicked immodesty.

  20. Jon Gallant
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I have the honor to announce World Blackshirt Day. It will be an opportunity for folks to demonstrate their opposition to Fascistophobia—that is, a negative view of the great majority of moderate Fascists. There were, we should all remember, millions of such moderates, who never personally invaded Abyssinia or Czechslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, etc. etc., but who just admired the idea of making the trains run on time.

  21. Cate Plys
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s very frustrating that there is no way to wear something on World Hijab Day to directly protest against it.

    • nicky
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      The white hijab?

  22. Posted February 2, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    “It feels really comfortable.”

    How oblivious does one have to be not to understand that comfort is not the issue?

  23. BJ
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    “Why is hijab-wearing not only okay, but positively wonderful, while kimono-wearing is a no-no?”

    I think we all know at this point that there are no rules when it comes to this stuff, and this is by design. The only real rule is as follows: “We can find any way to interpret something as racism (and any other -ism or -phobia). It all depends on whether we want/need a reason to shame, condescend, or silence that person. If we wish to interpret something negatively, the person’s race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status and/or invalid interpretations of their unconscious thoughts will suffice as ‘contextualization’ that justifies denouncement.”

  24. W.Benson
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the 29 women who were just arrested in Iran for going without their hijab during a demonstration. Custom and (probably) law forbids Saudi women from going outside without completely covering the head.
    Use of the hijab in Iran only became obligatory in 1979 after Carter provoked the rebellion that overturned the Shah. There was also a time when the hijab wasn’t required in Afghanistan, before the US interfered there. Regarding Afghanistan, wikipedia [“Hijab by country”] puts it this way: “In the mid-20th century [before US intervention to expel the Soviets] many women in urban areas did not wear head covering, but this ended with the outbreak of civil war in the 1990s.”

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Your characterization of what provoked the Iranian revolution in 1979 is laughable*

      Referring to Afghanistan;
      “…before the U.S. interfered there…” is an interesting way to put it.

      *if there was any one spark, it occurred two years prior with the death of Kohemini’s son, which was blamed (almost certainly erroneously) on the Shah’s secret police.

      • Craw
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        So is his timeline, and, well, pretty much all of it.

  25. Sophie
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    We’re actually in Hell. All of these things are absurd theater, which infuriate and annoy those who take them seriously.

    I unfortunately am one of those who wants to take things seriously.

    We have a Left wing which is supposed to stand for liberalism, unironically idolizing Muslim religious enforcers, and trying to force each ethnic group into their own box by rigidly policing and enforcing cultural differences.

    And on the other side we have supposed Conservative Christians who are steeped in a tradition of liberalism, and enjoy skimpy clothing and unfettered capitalism. These conservatives are supposedly racists, but have no problem with people all picking and choosing what they want from any culture, in the melting pot that is America.

  26. Max Blancke
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    It is an important point to note that none of the Boston MFA protesters were Japanese or even of Japanese ancestry, as far as I was able to determine. They were mostly Americans of Chinese ancestry. They simply appointed themselves custodians of someone else’s culture. The most absurd moment of that protest was when the protesters were photographed shouting at some kimono-clad Japanese women who came to support the museum.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      This illustrates an interesting question I have never heard an answer to. *Where are the boundaries between cultures*? If one is not to cross certain “cultural appropriation lines”, one has to be able to tell at least approximately, and yet …

  27. Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Next year I’ll wear a hijab to support them and I’m a 6’2″ 230lb hairy white man. That ought to go over well.

  28. Craw
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    It gets worse. Trying to get someone expelled for refusing a hijab.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      “Unwittingly pushing a platform to put a hijab on every woman.” – Not unwittingly, I fear.

  29. nay
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Re: Museum of Fine Arts. I am AJA (American of Japanese Ancestry), born American (just like President Obama). Those twits carrying the signs don’t realize that they are calling me (and possibly THEMSELVES) a “Racist Imperialist” just for having kimono in our cultural ancestry. I grew up in the 50’s & 60’s, when kids were taught about the wider world with these kinds of cultural exchange events, including not just clothing, but food, songs, dance and arts. They teach appreciation and acceptance of other cultures, languages & people. I think the MFA should bring back Wear a Kimono Day, and expand it to other cultural dress-ups.

    Re: Wear a Yarmulke Day. A nitpick to the Professor – so far as I know, the Israeli government does not require men to wear the yarmulke in daily life or punish them for non-compliance. Robert Kennedy wore one on his visit to show solidarity with the Jewish people – which they understood since all knew he was Catholic. Given that the West suffers more attacks on Jews than on Muslims, I think Wear a Yarmulke Day makes more sense than a Hijabi Day.

  30. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to compose something here, but it’s hard – I feel astonished, speechless, bewildered, feeling a lot to say but not knowing where to start.


  31. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    So when is World Burqua Day?

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I was just going to write that the clueless women putting on headscarves on this day would better opt for the burka for 2 reasons:

      1) It is even more beautifully non-Western and anti-Enlightenment;

      2) If some day a few hybernating neurons awaken in their brains and make them regret their stuipdity, they can deny being there under the burka.

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