Tweeticle: College student who wouldn’t try on hijab demonized, hijabis call for her expulsion

February 1 was World Hijab Day, devoted to furthering Islam by letting non-Muslims engage in sartorial cultural appropriation (see my post here). One of the pretenses made by some hijabis is that they find this garment of oppression “empowering” (see below). But here’s a case in which a hijabi was “empowered” to bully a non-Muslim student who politely refused to don the headscarf.

From Twitchy and we have the tale of Kathy Zhu, a student at the University of Central Florida who appears to be a political conservative. As always, I issue the caveat that I’m not on her side of the aisle, but what happened to her is irrelevant to her own politics. What happened simply shows how intersectionalists treat someone considered ideologically impure in these divisive days.

On Hijab Day, Zhu came across a booth on her campus offering students the chance to try on a hijab (and get one free). She politely refused to try on the headscarf, and then posted pictures of the booth on Twitter along with some religious commentary, with which I agree:

I’ve enlarged the pictures:

One of the hijabis at the booth got angry that Zhu not only refused politely, but took a picture. Further, Zhu committed the sin of “not asking questions”, after which she would of course have learned how wonderfully feminist and empowering the veil is.

Then things got nasty, as the hijabi called “I’m still here” called for readers to write to the University’s student conduct office to get Zhu expelled, since “Ignorance will not be tolerated.”

Zhu responded, as did others:

This is the crux of the issue: these days, political, religious, and ideological disagreement is not subject to simple discussion, either in person or on social media. No, the violator must be personally attacked, fired, or have their life ruined in other ways.

What have we come to? I can’t imaging having somebody fired for this. When Eric Hedin taught creationism at Ball State, and I wrote to his department and posted on it this site, I always emphasized that I wanted his illegal teaching of creationism stopped as a violation of the Constitution; but I didn’t want Hedin fired, and said so.

We (and by this I mean both Right and Left) have to stop trying to personally damage those with whom we disagree. There should be no punching of Nazis, no calling for ruining someone’s life.

In the end, Mohammed Tawhidi, the Australian “Imam of Peace”, weighed in (yes, he is indeed a Muslim scholar, but is quite liberal):

Here’s his letter, which he sent to the University’s Office of Student Conduct:

Now I seriously doubt whether the University will do anything to Zhu, and I hope they defend her. I’m not sure, though, whether the University, as Tawhidi claims, provides “special treatment to a certain group of students.” I’m sure that if Orthodox Jews wanted a booth giving gentiles an opportunity to wear the yarmulke (skullcap), the University would have provided it.



  1. Kirbmarc
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Saying that the hijab is “empowering” or “a symbol of understanding” is like saying that a chastity belt is “empowering” or “a symbol of understanding”.

    Hijab are symbols of restriction to women’s rights, the fact that anyone who’s not an Islam apologist can claim that they’re good for women with a straight face is laughable.

  2. Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Uh, hello? “There is no compulsion in any religion …” Just what planet is this guy from?

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      He’s quoting directly from the Qur’an here.

      • Jake Sevins
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        It’s Sura 2:256. Some scholars claim this verse is abrogated others not. Clearly Mohammed himself felt that Islam could be spread by conquest, as history shows.

      • Kirbmarc
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        He’s quoting a message which, according to most muslims, has been abrogated by later messages in the Qu’ran and the ahadith

        Tawhidi is Shia, so he doesn’t accept some collections of ahadith, but in the Sahih Bukhari (one of the six books of ahadith considered canonical by Sunni muslims) it is written:

        “The Prophet added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.”

        No compulsion indeed.

        Most muslims sects don’t allow forced CONVERSIONS to islam these days, but LEAVING islam is another thing, for both Sunni and Shia muslims.

    • bundorgarden
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, well he is a lot more reasonable than some of the other Imams here in Australia.

  3. Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Has no one pointed out that all such Islamic “modesty” traditions are necessary because Muslim men cannot control their own behavior, that they would be incited to irreligious behavior by the lascivious exposure of the human female form? This is not only ludicrous, but disgusting. We should not be focused on the behavior of women in this arena but mocking Muslim men for their weakness.

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Hmmm, that might work.

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I think that in important. The conversation won’t change until more men get on board with it.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I note that at least one of the Muslim women is wearing leggings with her hijab. This is against the teachings of those who consider the hijab should be compulsory for women. You should not be able to see the shape of a women’s arms or legs, and bare feet are a no-no too.

      • bundorgarden
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        It always amuses me when I see women in hijab (and more, eg ‘abaya’)smoking cigarettes….

  4. Kirbmarc
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Islam is a religion which severely restricts women’s rights and promotes abuse.

    The Qu’ran and ahadith (which, contrary to what some islam apologists would have you believe are an integral part of many muslim sects) are full of messages which are appalling to anyone who believes in Enlightenment principles and human rights, including, of course, women’s rights.

    Physical abuse of wives is recommended. Women’s witnessing is worth half of that of men. Sexual slavery is allowed if the enslaved women aren’t muslim. Adulterers are to be killed. There’s no concept of spousal rape. Child marriage is supported and encouraged. Women are said to be “unclean”, less intelligent and pious than men, and to be under the authority of their fathers, husbands or other male relatives.

    Promoting one of the symbols of muslim oppression of women, the veil which is supposed to hide the “sinful” hair of women from the gaze of men, lest they’re led into temptation by the “sinner”, as “empowering”, is a sick joke.

  5. BJ
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “I’m not sure, though, whether the University, as Tawhidi claims, provides ‘special treatment to a certain group of students.'”

    I think you’re right…in the case of religious activities like this. But when it comes to publicly starting a harassment campaign against another student and trying to get them expelled for disagreement, I can’t imagine Ms. Zhu would be treated with the “sensitivity” and “understanding” that will likely be offered to Ms. im stil here, if Ms. im still here gets reprimanded at all.

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I am a bit concerned for Ms Zhu, since elsewhere student conduct offices have a history of over-reacting in favor of the merest accusation of intolerance.

      • BJ
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Agreed. I fear that, at the very least, she’ll receive the Lindsay Shepherd treatment.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Tad ironic that we have to start hoping there are some conservatives in the UCF administration….

      • mikeyc
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        If you go to her tweeter thing you will see that Ms Zhu is a MAGA hat wearing Trumpista activist. Very little likelihood she will go down without a huge stinking angry fight.

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Good gracious

    Religion poisons everything

    And here, we got about eight thousand things.

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Not only religion. The generalization of the behavior of some people to all liberals that Zhu does in one of her email* is also a way to poison the well. I think she was right to blame the bigotry of the “scarfophiliacs” but, then, she almost reacted like a bigot herself.

      * “First thing liberals do when […]”

      • clarkia
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        That’s what I didn’t get as well – where do liberals come into this?

        • Ken Phelps
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          As a mirror of the right. In both percentage and idiocy, I’d guess.

      • mordacious1
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. No true liberal would support such behavior (cough).

        • Desnes Diev
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          I am not sure to understand: You read in my message that I affirm that no liberal could support this behavior? (I think some could but other will not; some conservatives will and other not; less politically tribalistic people will and other not.) Or are you suggesting that it is compulsory to support this behavior to be a “true liberal”? (I do not agree.)

          I was just saying that it was not necessary and even counterproductive to say “liberals” in the context. But I understand that some people tend to bring politic everywhere.

      • mikeyc
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Ms Zhu is a conservative activist. That rhetoric is required of them.

      • Posted February 5, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t matter whether she is a bigot or not.

        • Posted February 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          And how did this thread turn into blaming the victim, as soon as it was discovered that the is a Trump supporter, a conservative and possibly a bigot?

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I think the learning point in this story is for people on the left. Do they want to be packaged as extremest and hard core, just like Trump. If they do, their battle is lost. Reasonable humans do not act this way, the my way or the highway non-discussion is suppose to be the far right motto.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Oh it isn’t just packaging, those really are the contents.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The danger in this attitude on the left should be very apparent to them. It is the creation of a alternative set of facts they believe in and accept nothing else. Just turn on Fox news for 5 minutes if you can stand it and you will see the same thing.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The authoritarian left are no different from the authoritarian right in their behaviour imo.

      And I suspect if these hijabis had to go public with their personal opinions, they’d stick with the Qu’ranic view rather than the liberal one. That means anti LGBT, anti- Semitism, women having less rights than men in marriage, inheritance, and human rights in general.

      And that sounds like far right extremism to me. It’s a pov that displays exactly the kind of intolerance the hijabi, hiding behind a nom-de-plume, displayed in calling for the expulsion of someone just because doesn’t agree with her.

      The extremists on both sides have purity tests, and both should be resisted.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Yes, when the Quran becomes the moderate view, you have a problem. Here in the black hole of America I was thinking of replacing political party with alternative universe.

  8. Jake Sevins
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I would have loved to have had a booth next to this one with a poster of Vida Movahed (the girl in Iran who waved her hijab with a stick) with a banner saying something like “Support Freedom for Iranian Women”.

    …which would come off as weird from an American white male I suppose.

    • Kirbmarc
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Only weird to those who think that ideas should be evaluated according to which social group one person belongs to.

      To those who are interested in human rights and Enlightenment principles, not weird at all.

  9. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to the ‘World Penis Gourd Day’. When all other more important issues have been addressed first, of course.

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Oh, my d*g. I had to look that one up! 🙂

    • BJ
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Haha, I just looked that up. If I was their leader, I would change the name to “dick casket.” Or maybe “corn holder.”

      • Nobody Special
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Prince Philip was given one on one of his many ‘Insult The Natives’ tours. Whether he actually wore it is a detail I’d rather not know – and a mental image I’d rather not have.

  10. glen1davidson
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Oppression, empowerment, it’s all the same when Social Justice Brother Sister rules.

    Glen Davidson

  11. Ken Phelps
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Re Tawhidi’s comments. I just consulted the Book of Scotsmen, Chapter Seventeen, Verse Eleventy ‘Leven – It clearly states that any Scotsman caught wearing Jockeys under his kilt will be immolated with blended Scotch and thrown from the nearest castle.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      Oh, shit. At least I won’t be wasting any good Scotch.

  12. Jenny Haniver
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I notice that the signs are conveniently provided by an apparel company, Bella Hijabs, great way to advertise your products. The slot after “My hijab” is blank, to be filled in by whatever the hijab wearer wishes. On the website one finds this declaration, which I must link to via their Instagram account promoting even-handed treatment of women who chose to wear the hijab as well as those who don’t. The penultimate sentence states: “Were all struggling somehow, please be kind.” These campus hijab jihadis obviously got the signs but didn’t get the massage.

    “My hijab empowers me.” That’s a loathsome sentiment.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      “These campus hijab jihadis obviously got the signs but didn’t get the massage.”

      …and there will be no happy ending to the story.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Religious entrepreneurship

      What the USA excels at.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        I smell a new Ivanka product line, made in Pakistan for cheap and authentic. Win-win!

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      My hijab empowers me…to get those who disagree expelled.

    • nay
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      “My hijab empowers me . . . NOT!”

      • Craw
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Oh but it does. It allows her to demand another student be expelled, and find support. It allows her to play the victim. It really does empower her.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      “My hijab empowers me.” Ask Linda Sarsour, who said, (paraphrase) before I put on hijab, I was just another white girl from Queens. It’s certainly empowered her.

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Ignorance will not be tolerated on my campus.

    I can’t imagine a statement that goes more against the spirit of free inquiry and high education. Get the hemlock ready.

    I wonder how this person would have reacted if there had been a booth giving out free yarmulkes?

  14. Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Interesting to note that the hijab booth signs refer to, an online store for hijabs, etc. From their About page:

    Bella [bel-uh] – Italian for beauty.

    Since launching its physical storefront in 2012, Bella Hijabs established itself as a chic store where customers can shop for hijabs and modest wear. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bella Hijabs launched an online store in 2015 to expand its product-offering worldwide. Bella Hijabs strives to bring you products of the highest quality at low prices.

    “A truthful and honest trader will be a companion of the prophets, the righteous and the martyrs on the Day of Judgement.” [Tirmidhi]

  15. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Not only should the university not expel Zhu, they should issue a statement condemning this bullying. It’s one thing for the Muslim student to voice disagreement with Zhu but it’s quite another to head up a squad of bullies to harass her. It’s a good teachable moment for the university to show how disagreement works in a civilized, liberal democracy.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Civilized, liberal democracy. Oh, I forgot, you live in Canada.

      • Craw
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Same stuff happens here. We just had a lot about WLU, but google Concordia University in Canada for example, or Carleton in Ottawa for a long history of such stuff. Coyne posted about a kerfuffle last yeat at Queen’s, which is Canada’s most selective school, our Berkeley. It’s here too 😦

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          I don’t think I was disputing that. Did you see something I can’t see? I was making a small joke about Diana’s reference to a term, civilized liberal democracy. Maybe in Canada yes, not here any more. HA…

  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Technical issue :

    Tweets + icicle = Tweetsicle

    Right? Because it’s nit just one Tweet.

    So solve :

    Tweet + _____ = Tweeticle

    _____ = ?

    …. ooo, sorry not to bowdlerize as Tw33t so it’s easier to read…

    • everydaypapa
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      List + Article = Listicle (i.e. a journalistic article that is comprised entirely of a list, as popularised by the likes of Buzzfeed).

      Tweet + Listicle = Tweeticle (i.e. a journalistic article comprised of a list of Twitter Tweets).

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted February 5, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        I’m good with Listicle

        Tw33ticle though – your’e saying its a compound word of a compound word. That’s one problem I have.

        … I thought it was like icicle – I guess that’s another problem, though, its icicle like- hanging down, drippy, cold (usually), … was there a candidate word that used stalactite or stalagmite? My mind is mushy on this.


        Tw33t + article = tw33ticle – ok I get it.

        … just…

        Interpretation through the “dirty mind” filter … I won’t get into it. My own problem perhaps. But that’s what remains, anyways.

  17. mfdempsey1946
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    When I was a TESOL teacher in Los Angeles, my colleagues and I had many Muslim students, both men and women, generally in their 20s, mainly from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king at the time was funding their studies at schools like mine and at the American universities that they hoped to attend later because, I was told, he wanted a larger cadre of fluent Saudi speakers of English in his kingdom.

    The Saudi women in my classes, whose classmates included Saudi men along with people of many non-Muslim nations, dressed in a variety of ways: one in a burka (yet her late third-trimester pregnancy was evident, and her baby was born in Los Angeles); several in hijabs; others exactly like non-Muslim women.

    Two in the latter group once said in class that they wanted to wear the hijab and did so at first, only to adopt regular Western feminine clothing because non-Muslims kept insulting them while they were walking to and from school.

    Now we get this newfangled version of such bigotry in reverse.

    Wear the hijab, don’t wear it, debate the symbolism of it if you wish, agree to disagree if an impasse is reached, do not resort to banning, deplatforming, rioting, and the like.

    Can university students who are immersed in difficult scientific and other studies really be finding these notions so hard to understand?

    Apparently so, nowadays, at least among a significant minority. Should this attitude metastasize, genuine higher education is finished.

    A worst-case scenario, and perhaps alarmist. Yet many such scenarios, as we all know, have come true and are continuing to come true in whatever remains of the grotesquely disunited USA.

  18. Nobody Special
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I suppose that if the University does the right thing and refuses to expel the student on the grounds that there are no grounds, accusations of Islamophobia will be levelled at those responsible for failing to meet the demands of ‘im still here’ (who has yet to learn the not-so difficult art of punctuation despite her University education).
    I’m a little confused about her claim to own the campus, though; surely if it is her campus, she can kick Ms. Zhu out without needing to stir up the hordes of the perpetually offended.

    • Filippo
      Posted February 5, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      ” . . . accusations of Islamophobia will be levelled at those responsible for failing to meet the demands of ‘im still here’ . . . .”

      Ms. “I’m Still Here” and her ilk are demonstrating Islamofascism.

      I contemplate their reaction had a trans woman, presenting as quite feminine and not declaring her gender to them, had donned the scarf, had her picture taken with them, and then later revealed the subterfuge for all the world to see.

  19. JohnH
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t those running the booth be expelled for trying to force other students into cultural appropriation?

  20. nicky
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Just for bullying will do.

  21. Nobody Special
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised that some enterprising right-winger hasn’t photographed all the be-hijab’d women as ‘proof’ of the Islamification of America’s universities.
    Trump would put that person in charge of immigration tomorrow.

    • mikeyc
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that that was why Ms Zhu took the photograph in the first place; she is a Trump supporting conservative activist. Of course she got better than she hoped; the useful idiots on the left played right into her hands.

    • Posted February 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I think you do not need to put “proof” in scare quotes.
      A bunch of Islamists bullying women to cover looks exactly like Islamification.

  22. Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    … she didn’t even ask questions …

    Why do you wear a symbol of empowerment to

  23. RPGNo1
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    The women in Iran are protesting against the compulsary hijab. But these US-students are encouraging other females to wear a hijab? This is insane.

  24. Jim Smith
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    If they wanted to prove that wearing the hijab is a choice I think the hijabists could choose not to wear it once a year to prove it’s a choice. But they don’t. For reasons that have nothing to do with choice. (Snicker)

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink


      And where did this choice come from?

      A man. Men all the way down.

      What are the choices?

      But we never hear about that, do we.

      Put another way, it’s an offer the women can’t refuse.

  25. Posted February 4, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    “I’m writing… for the expulsion… due to her rejection to participating in wearing the Islamic dresscode.
    “There is no compulsion in any religion.”


  26. Jon Gallant
    Posted February 5, 2018 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    My first reaction to Ms. “im still here” was that she ilustrated why the term Islamofascism is redundant. But the comment by the Australian imam somewhat falsifies that. My second thought was to notice a certain parallelism between this little episode and the Evergreen State case. “Wear a Hijab” Day parallels “Whites Off Campus Day”. More to the point, Ms. “im still here” responds to polite criticism of her project in exactly the way the regressive left at Evergreen did—expel the heretics! So, the tactic of Ms “im still here” is not Islamo but regressive-Lefto —fascism.

    By the way, some of the Evergreen State FACULTY(!) who signed that letter calling for Prof. Weinstein’s dismissal might call themselves Liberals, and the invertebrate Evergreen President Bridges would no doubt self-identify as “Liberal”. So that sort of thing is the reason Kathy Zhu referred to “Liberals”. It is up to authentic Liberals to dispel this reputation by speaking up, like our host, in cases like these.

  27. Posted February 5, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    A perfect example of how the hijab is not empowering, but is oppressive. If you refuse to wear it, even on a university campus in the West, then you will be hassled and intimidated.

  28. Posted February 5, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    At some campuses I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an Iranian students association. Many of those will be in disagreement with the regime in their original country. Time for a showdown? 😉

    Also, I’d follow the money on the hijab-hander-outers …

    (Incidentally, I have semi-against my will worn a yarmulke, despite being not in any sense Jewish – once as a guest at the religious part of a Conservative wedding and once earlier in the home of the parents of one of the people involved in the later wedding when I got caught up in an impromptu Chanukah ceremony. The question of whether a non-Jew should wear explicitly came up in that case.)

  29. nate
    Posted February 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    “First thing liberals do when they get someone that doesn’t agree with them is try and get them kicked off campus”

    Right. So those were liberals trying to get Ward Churchill fired… Got it…

    I get that there are regressive lefties on some college campuses, but having attended a college in western Michigan, it goes both ways.

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