Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Prejudice, the hijab, and the “e-word”

Sydney lawyer Randa Abdel-Fattah is a whinging, spoilt princess.

As far as the hijab – as with any sort of religious get-up – goes, then I (and, I assume, almost all Australians) oppose any form of discrimination against its wearers. I am proud to live in a free country, unlike, say, Turkey, where wearing the hijab is banned (so leading many hijab-preferring Turkish women from rich families to study in the hijab-friendly USA instead).

Sincere religious belief is one thing; career “empowerment” and the landing of a scarce, high-paying white-collar job are quite another. If Randa really thinks that the upper echelon of the legal profession is some kind of last bastion of hijab-prejudice in Australia, then she simply hasn’t got a clue. Muslim girls and women are getting physically attacked on the streets of the working-class suburbs where most Australian Muslims live.

But don’t let that depressing thought worry you too much, Randa. Large city law firms don’t usually do criminal law; meaning that there’s little chance of you ever having to deal professionally with the victims of such crimes – or the perpetrators.

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