#Society: NIKE LAUNCHES PRO HIJAB – Remember the Burkini?! || The burkini, is a piece of clothing, that covers the body from head to toe, that allows Muslim women to practice sports, like swimming, while respecting the modesty of the body, that they want to maintain.
“I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away” Ahead Zanetti.
This gave freedom to Muslim women, that wanted to practice sports, but were not able to do so at this point, for lack of appropriate clothing. But it also gave the possibility of modest women and people with skin cancer for example to be able to go to the beach and have a good time.
The burkini suffered intense criticism in France, and was banned.
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Now Nike, has stepped up and created the Nike Pro Hijab. The product’s spokespeople are Amma Al Haddad (Weightlifter), Manal Rostom (Triathlete) and Zahara Lari (Figure Skater). Of course, Muslim women, have been competing with the hijab for quite some time now, so the product is not exactly new or innovative. But the fact that a “big” brand made a mass market product to be in shelfs for sale in 2018, is something new.
This started a backlash once again, of people saying that Nike was supporting the oppression of women, to boycott the brand,…
It is not religion that oppresses women. It is individuals that choose to use religion as a way to oppress women. And that is the difference.
Many women chose freely to be a part of Islam, and wear a hijab. Many women choose to be a part of Islam and not wear it. And many women want to wear a hijab because they are modest and do not want to show their hair and neckline. All of these choices are individual choices that represent the diversity and the freedom to choose the way you want to live your life.
Oppression of women is not about religion, but about the oppressors that on occasion use religion to justify their actions. These are the one’s that should suffer backlashes and boycotts.
However, we are going into dangerous paths since the Court of Justice, European Union Court, this Tuesday, ruled that companies can ban the political, philosophical or religious signs, and that that does not constitute discrimination towards employees.
To not allow an individual choice that is done freely and respectfully, is discrimination. To not allow the practice of a religion and the use of the hijab, is discrimination.
Women have fought long and hard to wear a bikini, a short skirt, and crop top. And now we have to fight once again to wear modest clothes and religious symbols. It is frustrating to say the least.
You have the right, to be who you want to be, and express it without suffering consequences that come from uninformed minds and points of view. Instead of pushing for laws that will limit the freedom of women, we should push for laws that protect women, their choices and that target the oppressors.
We have a long way to go, and this ruling from the Court of Justice, is just another step back, showing us that patriarchy is alive and well.
So I will leave you with this quote from J.K. Rowling:
“We stand together. We stick up for the vulnerable. We challenge bigots. We don’t let hate speech become normalised. We hold the line.”