Ilham Moussaid, the NPA’s veiled candidate.

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The French New Anticapitalist Party has put forth as a candidate for an upcoming regional election c. Ilham Moussaid, a muslim woman who wears the headscarf. As reported by France24, the NPA issued a statement which says:

“Moussaid is a militant feminist, anti-capitalist and internationalist who happens to wear a headscarf for religious reasons. […] The NPA welcomes young people, the unemployed and wage-earners of all walks of life who hold our ideals dear. Religious faith is a private matter that should in no way be an obstacle to the NPA’s fight for its fundamental principles of secularism, feminism and anti-capitalism.”

This is a checkmate move in the national debate about the headscarf. In the apparent “contradiction” in a woman who is at the same time a radical, militant feminist and wears the hijab, lies the only way to overcome the deadlocks of the mainstream liberal discourse. As Zizek would have (sort of) put it, it’s the liberals who need the radical left, to preserve their core values in the face of the rising populist right and religious fundamentalists.
After all, Muslim women in Europe and elsewhere cannot be “liberated” from the outside, from an establishment that otherwise debases their lives with economic exploitation, precarity and cultural exclusion (not to mention imperialist wars and neocolonial exploitation outside Europe). Emancipation can only be done on their own terms.
(At the top, a graffiti of Leila Khaled at an Israeli checkpoint in Bethlehem. The photo is by tsweden, some rights reserved)

Posted via email from black cat ★ red cat

Ilham Moussaid, the NPA’s veiled candidate.

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