"Hijab4Men" Is A Social Media Satire That Calls Out Double Standards In Muslim Discourse
"What would it be like if men and beards were treated like women and headscarves?"
Sunnah -- the prescribed way of life based on the prophet's teachings and the Quran -- dictates that Muslim women wear headscarves and Muslim men maintain beards.
There has long been a double standard online regarding the enforcement of those prescriptions. On social networks, it has manifested itself through the ubiquity of images such as these:
Aside from posts that simply condone the wearing of hijab, there are several that emphasize the correct way to do so.
"A Man's Hijab" a.k.a. "Hijab4Men" is a recently launched Facebook page that produces similar images, but reproduced to apply to men and their beards.
The page's description simply asks: "What would it be like if men and beards were treated like women and headscarves?"
Referring to the way women are compared to flowers, pearls, lollipops, candy, etc. in pro-hijab discourse, a note adds: "This page is SATIRE and shows how ridiculous the analogies are."
Several Muslims and non-Muslims alike have expressed support for the movement.
And, of course, there has also been some backlash.
Sana Saeed of The Islamic Monthly argues in her most recent column that the page should make viewers uncomfortable:
Hijab4Men is hilarious but it should, at the end of the day, make you uncomfortable. If you think it's making fun of Islamic jurisprudence or the Sunnah – you're right. But you're only right insofar as you understand that those reminders directed at the "sisters", from which Hijab4Men borrows near verbatim, are no less offensive. Hijab4Men isn't what's offensive. It's that language that treats us women like infants, the language that reduces our faith, practice, identity and existence to what is ultimately part and parcel of our faith – it is not our faith.