Buzz about Hijab Policy in Egypt Final Project

Posted on December 6, 2012 by

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Prezi – Buzz about Hijab Policy in Egypt

In Egypt, changes are occurring, lead by President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood political party. At the beginning of September he lifted the ban on women wearing headscarves on state television that the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, had enacted. The media surrounding the lift of this ban has been politically focused on Morsi’s connection the Muslim Brotherhood political party, as well as, his conservative Islamic religious beliefs.

Scott Sayare, “Egypt Abuzz as Newsreader on State TV Wears Hijab,” The New York Times, 9.2.2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/world/middleeast/egypt-abuzz-as-woman-in-hijab-reads-news-on-state-tv.html?_r=0

The headline of this article, “Egypt Abuzz as Newsreader on State TV Wears Hijab” gives the impression that the author is clear and concise. The author shared the necessary details about where this news it coming from and what is regards. However well it does its job at explaining what the article is about, it does not do it in an interesting way. Religion, which is a main reason for wearing a hijab is not mentioned in the headline either. However, in the first paragraph the word “Islamic,” in regards to head coverings, is mentioned. From this, I get the feeling that the author did not want to make religious beliefs the focus of the article, but wanted to educate people on why the hijab was banned from state television.
After the introductions were made about the topic of the article. The author pointed out some political reasons behind the new rule allowing women to wear head coverings on state television in Egypt. The author talked about Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi. Instead of sharing information about how his time as president has been, the author points out the fact that the current president was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is a political force in Egypt that focuses on Islamic ideologies. This is the first clear political message of the article. It is not focused on any political group, but it seems to highlight the fact that the current President of Egypt is a Muslim. This leads readers to believe that the reason behind the policy change has to do specifically with the current president and his beliefs.
In the closing paragraph, the author made a leap from information about television and media to information about President Morsi’s changes to the Egyptian government. The focus of the article clearly shifted gears and comes across a lot more politically focused then the headline made it appear.

Miriam Berger, “Fifty shades of hijab in Egypt,” Haaretz, 10.3.2012 http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/fifty-shades-of-hijab-in-egypt-1.468078

The headline, “Fifty shades of hijab in Egypt” is playing off the popular novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Due to the novels popularity throughout the world the author made a good choice to incorporate it into his headline to entice readers.
The first paragraph set the precedent for the rest of the article by mentioning the revolution that had occurred in Egypt. Then, the author went on to discuss Egypt’s government. They explained how the government in Egypt is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood. The author talked about the regime under the last president, Hosni Mubarak, and then switched to the Muslim Brotherhood controlled government. This switch did not make me feel as if the author was bias either, but that a hijab, which is associated with Muslim culture is now allowed on state television because Muslims are running the Egyptian government.
Deeper into the article the author starts to discuss what other sources have been saying about this policy changing news. It is continued to be discussed as a political issue, rather than a former way to discriminate against women. The author talks about the past banning of wearing hijab’s by former President Mubarak, even though the state’s established religion is Islam. It is pointed out by the author that the news surrounding this policy change is directly focused on the political atmosphere and not on the freedoms just granted to women.
To end the article, the author drew the focus back to the hijab and the religious meaning of it. Instead of finally discussing the importance of this policy change for women, the author talked about the history of the hijab. The author also compared it to the practices of Jewish women, which made the policy change appear less significant because the attention was no longer focused on the ban being lifted.

Sara Malm, “Female Egyptian news presenter becomes first to wear Islamic headscarf on state TV after hardline regime reverses BAN on hair covering,” Daily Mail, 9.3.2012 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197790/Fatima-Nabil-Female-Egyptian-news-presenter-wear-Islamic-headscarf-state-TV-Muslim-Brotherhood-regime-lifts-ban.html

The headline “Female Egyptian new presenter becomes first to wear Islamic headscarf on state TV after hardline regime reverses BAN on hair covering” for the Daily Mail article was quite descriptive. However, it did not encompass the full aspect of the politics discussed in the article.
In the second paragraph, the ban of wearing headscarves on television was discussed in regards to politics. The author talked about how under Hosni Mubarak’s regime women were not allowed to cover their hair on television. Now, that the government is being controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood regime though the ban has been lifted. Different political leaders means different policies, and different beliefs about what should and should not be allowed on state television.
The article continues to defend its political argument that the Muslim Brotherhood regime is giving people back freedom and democracy. The author also talked about the new president’s more conservative tendencies, which felt more like they were trying to defend his Islamic religion without directly saying he is a Muslim. The author fails at discussing the more important elements of this news. They disregard the fact that women have gained a personal freedom and right by being allowed to wear their headscarves on state television. The freedom of religious expression is also ignored in this article.

In conclusion, the three articles discussed did not emphasize the new found freedom for women in Egypt, which allows them to wear a hijab on state run television. This is a big deal because it means religious expression is allowed, as well as, more consideration is being given to women and their rights in Egypt. The media however do not see it this way. They choose instead to focus on the political meaning of this policy change. Instead of focusing on the freedom of religious express they choose to look at the current president of Egypt and his wife. Then, compare them to the former president and his wife. The religious differences are evident in there clothing choices. Instead of caring about what this change in policy means for women that wear hijab’s as part of their religion they focused on the fact that the president who changed the policy is Muslim and part of the Muslim Brotherhood party. Religion and politics, the two things that should never be discussed at dinner parties, were the focus of all reporters be they from the United States, United Kingdom, or Israel. However important the religious and political aspects this change in policy has created, the freedom of expression for Muslim women should be the focus.

Sources:

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/fifty-shades-of-hijab-in-egypt-1.468078

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/world/middleeast/egypt-abuzz-as-woman-in-hijab-reads-news-on-state-tv.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197790/Fatima-Nabil-Female-Egyptian-news-presenter-wear-Islamic-headscarf-state-TV-Muslim-Brotherhood-regime-lifts-ban.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/09/201292141141604598.html

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-09-02/news/33552246_1_veil-presenters-soap-operas

http://www.knowswhy.com/why-should-muslim-women-wear-hijab/

http://www.ikhwanweb.com/

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