Female speakers’ faces deleted from Peace Conference poster

You would think that the hijab makes women anonymous enough as part of a collective but even a hijab wasn’t enough to ” protect” the female speakers at a Muslim peace conference according to the male organisers.

IT is neither good enough, nor believable, that female speakers at an Islamic Peace Conference had their faces ?deleted? in promotional material because the men running the event wanted to ?protect them?.
Of the 15 speakers advertised to appear at the March 12-13 event, the three women were the only ones whose faces were obscured with shadowy shapes superimposed on stylised pink veils.

The excuse stumped up by organisers when this story hit Facebook was that organisers wanted to ?protect the women from right-wing extremism?.

That has to be the lamest excuse on the planet. If they truly want to protect women from being identified as Muslim by these mythical?violent, right-wing extremists then they should be encouraging Muslim women to stop wearing the hijab as it is that religious symbol that theoretically would make?them a target. After all, there are so many right-wing extremists these days that are running around, flying planes into buildings, trucks into crowds, stabbing civilians and blowing up marathon runners so it would make sense to remove the target from their back that the hijab surely is.

Reactions by women in the community on Facebook reflected a healthy outrage: they accused the conference chiefs of ?making women invisible? by ?reducing them to faceless beings?.

Um yeah, Islam does that. Ever seen a burka?

Protestations that this was done to spare these accomplished women, psychologist Monique Toohey, social worker Nina Trad Azam and Islamic teacher Umm Jamaal ud-Din from potential harassment ring hollow.

Were they even consulted before finding they were depicted on the flyer for this event at the Melbourne Convention Centre as blank figures in pink hijabs?

Given it?s being reported that they have given permission for their images to be used in any future promotion, it seems unlikely anyone bothered to ask them if they would agree to full pictorial promotion like the men above them.

If the women did request they be represented identity-free, why was this not articulated on the flyer to allay the inevitable message it sends: that these are tokenistic female presences added to boost the event?s gender cred.

As one Facebook commenter said, these are knowledgeable and professional women: a psychologist, a social worker, and an Islamic teacher.

It seems ridiculous that women strong enough to be chosen to speak about the Koran at a major public event to which tickets are free for the first 500 people ? so, a widely open event ? would deem themselves too vulnerable to risk having their identity shown.

As worst it is grossly sexist to black out these women?s faces when the men?s faces are shown. At best it is patronising and belittling to make decisions about how they should be depicted based on the patriarchal old concept that women need men to look after them and make decisions for them…


Islam is grossly sexist by Western standards and the surprised reaction from women on facebook only shows how uneducated most feminists are about Islam. Islam is hugely patriarchal which is why I tear out my hair when third wave feminists protest Donald Trump and microaggressions when the worse possible example of the oppressive patriarchy is right under their ignorant noses.

?’The bigotry of low expectations sees much forgiven and overlooked by those who pretend to care about equality and women?s rights.’

-Council of ex-Muslims of New Zealand FB