Home News Reports Christchurch Mosque shooting: New Zealand women wear Hijab to show solidarity with Muslims, critics term it 'cheap tokenism'

Christchurch Mosque shooting: New Zealand women wear Hijab to show solidarity with Muslims, critics term it ‘cheap tokenism’

Last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden had also worn a black 'Hijab' when meeting members of the Muslim community after the shootings.

As a mark of homage to the victims, women all over New Zealand on Friday wore Hijabs and scarfs along with some men who wore the scarf around their shoulders, to express their solidarity with Muslims a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, reported New Zealand Herald.

According to the reports, a doctor in Auckland, Thaya Ashman, came up with this idea to inspire people to wear a ‘Hijab’ after hearing about a woman who was too scared to go out as she felt her headscarf would make her a target for terrorism.

“I wanted to say, We are with you, we want you to feel at home on your own streets, we love, support and respect you,” Ashman said.

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Last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden had also worn a black ‘Hijab‘ when meeting members of the Muslim community after the shootings. Interestingly, on Friday, Radio and TV stations across New Zealand has decided to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. Meanwhile, journalists and TV anchors are wearing ‘Hijab’ or scarfs to express their solidarity with Muslims in the country.

However, a Muslim woman has written an opinion piece in Stuff.co.nz, calling the so-called solidarity movement as a “cheap tokenism”.”The attack in Christchurch was not just about Muslims, it was against any person of colour in a ‘white’ country so this focus on hijabs is derailing the examination of white supremacy, systematic racism, Orientalism and bigotry,” she said.

In a dastardly shooting attack, nearly 50 people were killed and several others were injured in two New Zealand mosques last week after a terrorist had opened fire. The mass shootings have taken place one at the Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and another at the Linwood Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.

Hijab or a headscarf is one of the most regressive and patriarchal symbolism in Islam, which depicts the sign of female oppression. Throughout the world, there has been a growing movement across the world, especially in Islamic nations against regressive practices of forcing women to wear ‘Hijab’.

Even some of the critics have pointed out that women in Iran, who are protesting again oppression, are discarding their headscarf indicating that ‘Hijab’ was an expression pointing towards negativity and regression. It is rather perplexing to understand why a progressive society like New Zealand chose a symbol of oppression and discrimination to mourn a shooting incident.

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