President Joe Biden denounced the latest anti-abortion law, which prohibits women living in Texas from aborting their babies after 6 weeks of pregnancy, describing it as an “unprecedented” threat to women’s rights. The law has appalled a number of Americans who believe that Women have the right over their own bodies. The problem, however, is that social media platforms are filled with racist memes and hashtags, using pictures of Muslim women wearing Hijab and Niqāb as examples of what women of Texas will be in the not-too-distant future. Social media users, for instance, are using hashtags like #TexasTaliban, drawing naïve comparisons and further fueling Islamophobia in the West.
Wardah Khalid, a political analyst based in Washington, writes: “As a Muslim woman from Texas, I’m disgusted by the Islamophobic rhetoric people are using to describe the new Texas abortion law (like #Texas Taliban). It further perpetuates anti-Muslim bigotry by tying Islam to extremism and endangers Muslims, or those who appear Muslim.” Ilhan Omar, likewise, has denounced such comparisons, calling on people to stop using “Muslim women as tropes in their social commentary”.
Since the onset of the so-called “war on terror”, which ironically fueled extremism, not vice versa, anti-Muslim rhetoric has been increasing dramatically.
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, a researcher, writer, and award-winner wrote: “The war on terror, as purposely broad and vague a term it is, which is intrinsically connected to Afghanistan, is what gave birth to the global Islamophobia industry that is thriving today and benefitting many of the oppressive nations you or your parents are from.
The problem lies in the fact that Muslim migrants, especially veiled women are increasing day by day, and definitely portraying these women as oppressed will further perpetuate the stereotypes around them.
It’s noteworthy that Islam allows abortion in exceptional circumstances and women, in general, are respected under the Sharia. Hence, using a very domestic law such as the anti-abortion law and tying it to Islam is, by all means, wrong and unethical.