[Muslim women] are are a topic of feminist attention because Islam itself is considered to be a primary problem standing in the way of feminist work. More and more, Muslim women in my world feel the irony that dominant western feminism simultaneously ignores us and is obsessed with us. It is an attitude that echoes the colonialist mind.Asifa finds and stresses the parts of the Islamic tradition that serve the interests of women and that make a stronger basis for arguments to people in Muslim countries than Western-style feminism and criticisms of Islam.
She asks: Why is the veil so important to Westerners? Aren't you subordinating Muslim women when you impose your interpretation that it symbolizes subordination? She says there could be an interpretation that veiling is empowering. Moreover, there is an Islamic tradition that can be understood to give women personal choice about covering her head.
Asifa is wearing a headscarf as she says this, and she talks about how she is perceived by Muslims and western feminists when she's wearing it. Then she removes the scarf and asks us if we now hear what she is saying differently. Something is gained and something is lost either wearing the scarf or not wearing the scarf — and she's seen this and struggled with it since she was a girl.