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Video

Dirty Dick

Edward Salem asked Mithajibat women in Paris to wash the filthy windows of a brothel in Pigalle, Paris' red light district (Muslim women who cover their hair are known in Arabic as Mithajibat). The French government has outlawed the burqa and attempted to ban the hijab from public schools on the pretext that these garments oppress women. That these proscriptions are motivated by xenophobia masquerading as concern for women is evidenced by the government's protection of the Pigalle brothels, where women are degraded in a way not even comparable to the wearing of a headscarf. In the context of a simple and voluntary act of service and protest, the condition of the Muslim women is contrasted with that of the prostitutes, whose debasement is perhaps the truest measure of the French government's concern for women.

Film by Edward Salem





 
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