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‘Burkini Resistance’ — the New Leftist Sham

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Modeling a burkini (Photo: Pexels.com)
Modeling a burkini (Photo: Pexels.com)

The latest campaign in the war to normalize Islamism is the push by the Leftist media on ‘burkini resistance’ that is painting wearing a burkini an act of resistance. On August 22, 2019, Huff Post published an article making this preposterous claim with a headline reading, “When Swimming as a Muslim Woman Becomes a Political Act.”

The article, written by Rowaida Abdelaziz, saunters into a long romanticized melodrama about “persecuted” Muslim women denied access to beaches and pools because they choose to wear a burkini, a bathing suit that covers the entire body as well as the head.

Standing at the point where land meets water, a burking-clad Muslim woman is painted with the same brush strokes as iconic civil rights acts of resistance in the U.S., aping the June 2019 campaign by French Muslim women, who drew parallels between civil rights leader Rosa Parks and their own defiance against France’s burkini ban.

The truth is that in America, while you might get the odd stare, most people don’t care what you wear.

As an American Muslim women who often leans towards modest clothing and has worn the hijab firsthand in some of the smallest towns in America just for the experience, I can tell you this narrative of “resistance” is part of “fantasy Islam.”

 

What is ‘fantasy Islam?’

Not unlike fantasy sports where entire teams and player histories are created and lived out for entertainment, fantasy Islam is a construct of grievance mongers that indulges in the myth of oppression.

In fantasy Islam, the faith’s philosophy toward women is sprinkled with a generous heaping of fairy dust in order to transform underrepresented narratives of women in early Islam into some pièce de résistance about the intersectionality of faith and culture.

While original Islam struggled to treat women as more than sidekicks in transactional arrangements, proponents of fantasy Islam would like us to believe that Islam is a feminist religion. They would also like us to believe that ushering in orthodoxy under the cloak of Leftist politics is some significant milestone in religious rights.

But the significant milestone we’re still waiting for when it comes to religious rights of Muslims in America is to see Islamists identified, branded and isolated as radicalizing elements pulling American political and civil discourse further to the fringes of extremist rhetoric.

In order to prop up fantasy Islam, Islamists need to undermine both the Islamic faith and the constitutional values of the United States that demand separation of church and state.

Instead, what we’re seeing are brazen propaganda pieces like the Huff Post burkini resistance article paired with the shameless political theatrics and airtime given to ring leaders like Congresswomen Ilhan Omar.

Islamists have built this fantastic imaginary version of faith by exploiting American political Left’s obsession with identity politics, which looks at cloth, creed and color as a yardstick to measure the value of narratives.

Islamists quickly recognized that the only way to move the needle toward their agenda was to present Muslims as an oppressed minority.

This softened the landscape for increased Islamist representation in the media — whether that means extending a platform to organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and painting them as representative of Muslim voices or the  insistence on framing those wearing hijabs as representative of Muslim women.

Language Coloring Reality

In recent years, Islamists have exploited themselves as the media darlings by associating themselves with the Left —  conflating the Islamist interpretation of Islam with the trend toward resistance language and movements.

This is why we see Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, for example, saturate their tweets with buzzwords like solidarity, resistance, oppression, justice and so forth. Abdelaziz’s article dips into the same language with a subheading titled “Muslim Women on The Frontline of Hate.”

This frontline is a fiction; it doesn’t exist in our shared collective reality as Americans. A few odd looks here and there or a random occurrence of verbal and perhaps even physical assault, as unfortunate and uncalled for as it is, does not constitute systematic hate.

However, fantasy Islam encourages a form of dissociative reality disorder whereby followers experience a lack of continuity or schism between thought, memory, actions and identity, which allows followers to escape reality.

Fantasy Islam requires setting aside the reality that Muslims in America enjoy more freedom than Muslims in Muslim majority countries, including freedom to practice whatever type of Islam they choose.

 

RELATED STORIES

Muslim Women Draw From Rosa Parks to Defy Burkini Ban

Sports Illustrated: Halima Aden Poses in Burkini 

Why I’m Sick of Talking About Hijab

 

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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.