Hijab emojis reserved a space for Muslim women
Emojis have taken over the words in 2016. The day emoji grace our phone keyboards who need words anymore to communicate when you have emojis.
There are a number of emojis representing the different profession, emotion, moods, and identity. Whatever the thoughts on emoji are, it is quite clear that tiny little images help to express ourselves and matter more than we give them credit.
There are several emojis on our keyboard either men or women specifically but no emoji to represent 500 million women wearing hijab living on Earth including Jewish women who also cover their head.
Although emojis are annually updated according to the trends like emoji of Game of Thrones especially mother of dragons has been introduced.
New emojis for women empowerment has also been launched. It has been proposed that the female emojis should be expanded to reflect some of the professions women are engaged in including business, education, farming, and technology.
A teenage Saudi girl Rayouf Alhumedhi came up with this idea when she was unable to find an emoji for herself to make a title of group with her friends. She is Muslim and wearing hijab, but there was no emoji representing women with hijab.
So, she submitted a proposal to Unicode in September 2016 to launch and design the hijab emoji. In the age of digitalization, pictures prove to be a crucial element in communication,” the proposal says. “Roughly 550 million Muslim women on this earth pride themselves on wearing the hijab.
With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them.” Apple released a preview of 12 new emoji hijab emoji was revealed on World Emoji Day on July 17, 2017.
Hijab is the dignity and identity of Muslim women. But unfortunately, it has always been controversial to developing countries. There is a strong Islamophobic wave created by Donald Trump in America.
To have look at history, France became the first country in Europe to ban veil (niqab) in public places came after former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the veil violates “women’s dignity in 2009.” UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland have banned niqab.
Completely denying the fact that Jewish also wears hijab they symbolize it as oppression and Muslims as repressive.
The hijab emoji is a message that it is a cultural identity of Muslim women and symbol of peace. It’s more than just a scarf, it is a modest style. 43 % of the population of 10 lakh Muslim women in the United States prefer wearing the hijab according to a research.
Respect to Muslims women Quran indicates that Hijab for a Muslim woman is to safeguard her body as a manifestation of the order of Allah; rather than showing off her body. It is an act of righteousness (Taqwah) for her.
There are two schools of thoughts regarding hijab emojis. Westerns portray the hijab as a symbol of oppression and slavery of women. They are promoting hatred for Muslims in the name of women rights. The second type of reaction, which tries to minimize the importance of the hijab emoji as a separate route of discrediting it how they “save lives.”
The Hijab emojis are not just fighting for female visibility. They are inclusion and representation for average Muslim in the mainstream media.
With the recent debates against the ‘burkini’ swimsuit bans by France and the hostility faced by immigrants in Europe where women are often pulled out by their head scarfs, ‘Hijab’ emojis could provide a way for young Muslim girls to belong in the digital world.
It feels particularly empowering for young people to see themselves represented. So this is at least a step forward to portray a positive image of hijabis.