Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am not asking for your approval

March 26th, 2007. Kameelah Janan Rasheed

I have spun myself into a web of non-stop, albeit non-linear, intertextual journeys and discursive shadow boxing matches towards a coherent narrative about hijab. I feared that in writing about hijab that my thoughts would be so reminiscent of previous works, that my narrative would be surrendered to the museum of embalmed anachronisms and clichés. This fear kept me running as far as my short legs could carry me away from the oppression versus liberation paradigm, and hiding in a dark corner away from self-hating confessionals about the ugliness of Islam.

I am not interested in proving to anyone that I am in fact liberated or that by wearing hijab in America I am engaging in a radical feminist act. Just as I gave up the task of proving my blackness or womanhood years ago to those who were skeptical of my ‘credentials’, I do not plan to spend time here validating my humanity or agency. Such a task is a distraction. The task here is not to shuck n’jive or discursively gyrate towards a presentation of hijab and myself that will grant me entrance into the feminist or ‘mainstream’ community. I do not want to spend time convincing people that in fact my hijab is not surgically attached to my scalp.

(Click here to read more)