Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't Mention it.

The "hijab girl" case has sparked a great deal of talk about Muslim religion and women and the role in western culture. There has been a great deal of tsk-tsking about Muslims and their opression of women.

What has been almost completely missed is that this is, at bottom, a domestic violence case. Yes, the cause of the clash was the hijab. In a western household the tension could have been caused by the company a girl kept. Or her clothes. Or the fact that she didn't clean her room. It does not change the fact that the father hit the girl. She had bruises to prove it.

The home situation was so bad that she had moved out to stay with a friend. She was terrified of her father. Not just apprehensive of him. Terrified. This is not normal. Children do not usually leave home unless the home situation is so bad that the option of leaving is less bad.

This is a case of child abuse. Teenagers will rebel. It is the nature of teenagers. In this case, the point of contention was the hijab. It happens to be a symbol that is easily recognizable as a Muslim thing. The media is having a field day. They are not addressing the problem.

Child abuse. No culture in the world sanctions it.

Don't let the fog of religion confuse the issue.