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Sloppy Journalism #28: bilge from NZ journalist on hijabs and MAGA hats

28/05/2020

Today we have an entry from a new entrant, gushing article favouring Ardern and attacking Todd Muller for his MAGA hat.

The article which appeared on the Stuff website was bylined Donna Miles-Mojab.

Who is Donna Miles-Mojab, well according to this blurb at The Spinoff

Donna Miles-Mojab is an Iranian New Zealander interested in justice and human rights issues. She lives in Christchurch and works as a freelance journalist as columnist for The Press.

She wrote this in the article at Stuff

Unbelievably, some people argued that the hijab our prime minister wore in solidarity with our grieving Muslim community was as bad as Muller’s MAGA hat because, to some women, hijab was a symbol of oppression. Most Muslim women, even those forced to wear the hijab in places like Iran, respect the hijab of solace and faith when it’s worn voluntarily.

Our prime minister’s hijab was a beautiful symbol of unity and love unlike the MAGA hat, which has become an emblem of exclusion and hate

I have highlighted the last sentence, because it encapsulates so much that is wrong about this discussion.

It speaks to how identity politics, wokeness and frankly intolerance and prejudice have come to dominate much of our thinking.

Personally, I would not buy a MAGA hat because I detest Trump, however neither would I buy or have a Hillary Clinton pin, because I do not like her either. However, as part of a collection of political memorabilia I am not exceptionally concerned. Much of the ‘outrage’ over Muller’s MAGA hat is, I suspect manufactured to stir up negative feelings about Muller and National.

The hijab issue is different, it is whether Ms Miles-Mojab accepts it, widely seen by many as a symbol of oppression. Indeed in Iran  and in Saudi Arabia for example religious police enforce strict dress codes for women. Similar rules are enforced elsewhere in Moslem countries.

I do not accept these words:

Our prime minister’s hijab was a beautiful symbol of unity and love

How can a mode of dress enforced by men, often in societies where women are treated as chattels effectively be seen as anything but a symbol of oppression.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    29/05/2020 14:59

    What staggers me is how this perpetually-outraged person can in any way link a MAGA hat with the March 15 mosque shootings?

    I was looking for an explanation of the way in which these two things are connected, and this was as goods as it got: “Soon after, we learnt of the shooter’s connection to white supremacist groups emboldened by Trump.”

    The shooter mentioned connections to and inspiration from a very wide range of people and groups, and even described himself as an eco-fascist. I’m yet to see any evidence that Trump has “emboldened” any groups, white supremacist or otherwise. This is a trope used by many failed journalists that have no evidence so make stuff up.

    There’s no connection between a MAGA hat and the shootings, and I’m annoyed and disappointed that Muller backed down. Monday was a very poor day for him, on a few levels, I very much hope he improves and the signs are there already.

    Disclaimer: I won a MAGA hat in a fishing competition, and I even wear it sometimes for sport.

    Like

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