Your fascination with Muslim women’s bodies has a long misogynistic history

Media Diversified

by Nadia Atia  

In the early hours of Wednesday 18 November, Hasna Aït Boulahcen, aged 26, of Moroccan origin, was killed in an explosion in Paris. Initial news coverage of the young woman’s final hours branded her ‘Europe’s First Suicide Bomber’ and stressed a hedonistic life (see for example the Independent). In some reports, brief mentions were made of a childhood lacking in love or stability, and an adolescence devoid of religious faith. Newspapers quoted neighbours, friends and acquaintances who remembered Aït Boulahcen as a vivacious, if somewhat vulnerable, young woman, often seen in jeans and a cowgirl hat or cap before her decision to begin wearing various forms of hijab in recent months. It was later reported that Aït Boulahcen did not in fact detonate her own vest, indeed she may not have been wearing a suicide vest at all, but that the force of a blast…

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