By Musa Touray
The uninspiring video doing the rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp featuring two women dressed in peculiarly Muslim outfits and involved in an acrimonious clash with storeowners for alleged shoplifting is an unwarranted slander against the image of Muslimahs, particularly those who practically conform to the religiously ordained sartorial prescriptions, which proscribe exhibitionism and enjoin modesty, in a world heavily desecrated with sexual immorality and countless behavioral perversions.
Contrary to popular belief, the scene was not captured with surveillance cameras; it was filmed to undermine the nobility of the garments, even if secondarily. Such a dishonorable act insidiously heightens the climate of Islamophobia and anti-Islam misogyny.
The inspiration for the ignoble video must have stemmed from the deplorable incident of theft that happened last year in Serekunda involving a hijab-wearing woman. Even though the woman’s identity and religion were initially anybody’s guess, her action suddenly sparked a cancerous stream of bigotry against covered Muslim women.
Rape is a horrendous crime of significant global concern and is sometimes triggered by the shameful, half-naked appearance of eventual victims. Therefore, it’s worthier—and even wise—to create such a video and depict the vulnerability of those who dress half-naked to sensitize the people.
No one in their right frame of mind would denounce what is meant to sensitize the people on a matter as grave as rape. Even the rights activists would silence the same way they’ve been doing when the vestiary freedom of Muslim women has been threatened. That is, at least, what morality requires of them.
It’s even worse in some countries. Wearing a niqāb is always viewed in an unflattering light and weaves unnecessary suspicion among people who dislike Islam and its ecumenical success. In a typical illustration of the Streisand effect, their secular attempts to dim the light of Islam popularize it even more.
The world should also know that crimes perpetrated by individuals or groups alleged to have affiliation with Islam by their appearance are the works of sponsored Islamophobic infidels who impersonate Muslims of either gender to drive their evil. They have no association with Islam, which despises such acts in the strongest terms.
This essayist does not think that every Muslim is a saint and does not transgress in their actions; there exist fifth columnists who are hell-bent on distorting the profile of their religion for material gains. However, he advises that their transgressions be attributed to them severally and not as a representation of the character of their faith, as has been the case in biased media reportage.