Mahsa Amini's Murder Revealed the Truth: Hijab Is a Tool of Oppression | Opinion

I am grateful that Mahsa Amini's name is making headlines.

Mahsa is the 22 year old Kurdish girl from Iran who was beaten to death by the morality police—a morality police devoid of any morality—for not covering her hair to their satisfaction.

I am grateful that people are paying attention to this young woman who was killed because of a few strands of hair. But I am also incredibly angry, frustrated, and infuriated that our screams have been ignored for so long. I am so sorry that it had to take a young woman losing her life by being brutally beaten until she was brain dead for the world to finally notice our screams.

It's not for lack of trying on our part.

We screamed when Aqsa Parvaz, a sixteen year old girl in Ontario, Canada was strangled to death by her father and brother over hijab.

We screamed when two sisters from Texas, Amina and Sarah Said, were shot and killed by their father as well.

We screamed when Banaz Mahmod was killed by her family in the United Kingdom, chopped up and stuffed into a suitcase and buried in her family's backyard.

We screamed every time women in Pakistan, Algeria, and Egypt were killed over hijab.

But no one heard our screams.

SEPTEMBER 21: People participate in a protest against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi outside of the United Nations on September 21, 2022 in New York City. Protests have broke out over the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody for allegedly violating the country's hijab rules. Amini's death has sparked protests across Iran and other countries. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Instead, people in the West continued to regurgitate the Islamist propaganda, insisting to we who know better that that wearing hijab is simply "an empowering choice."

What are our choices? Wear it or suffer the consequences? The word "choice" is a lie in this context.

We watched major corporations like Nike and Lululemon endorse this tool of misogyny by putting their insignia on hijabs.

We watched politicians, journalists, and other female leaders choose to subjugate themselves by wearing the hijab and covering their shame when they stood to address a religious extremist man.

You continued to parade the hijab on the cover of your magazines and books as if it was nothing more than benign cultural dress.

You not only ignored our screams, but you actively supported our oppressors. You actively supported extremists who encouraged you to make child-size hijabs in the name of inclusion and diversity.

Endorsing hijab on children is endorsing child abuse and gender segregation. Those are not cultural values; those are toxic misogynist ideals.

As Masih Alinejad, the fearless campaigner for Iranian women, has said, "It is an insult to a nation to tell us that hijab is our culture, that gender segregation and misogyny is our culture."

Iranian women and their supporters are not interested in upholding misogynist traditions that demand we cover our shameful bodies, shameful hair, and even shameful faces. We are interested in the same bodily autonomy and personal freedoms that you enjoy.

We are not aliens from a subspecies. We are human beings too. We are fighting for our lives and the lives of our sisters and our daughters and all the women and girls who will come after us.

We are not even asking you to support us. We are just asking you to stop supporting our oppressors. We are asking you to hear our screams.

Yasmine Mohammed is the author of Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam and the Founder and President of not for profit human rights organization Free Hearts Free Minds.

The views in this article are the writer's own.