A TikToker was accused of Islamophobia after making insensitive comments about burkas and women’s oppression.
TikTok user @anotherscienceguy posted a viral duet to another TikTok of a woman covering herself with baggy clothes at the gym to avoid “creepers.” He jokes that this woman was “reinventing the burka” by covering up her body. She was not wearing an actual burka. His video, which was uploaded on Nov. 11, received over 570,000 views
“Rather than [the burka] being a symbol of women’s oppression, it was going to be one of empowerment,” TikTok user @anotherscienceguy says. “One of women taking their bodies back from men’s prying eyes.”
The burka is a body-covering garment some Muslim women wear as part of their religious practice, which values modesty.
Although @anotherscienceguy turned off comments under his video, many users criticized his commentary on burkas under a separate viral video calling out his remarks. TikTok user @albificairo, who wears a hijab, called @anotherscienceguy an Islamophobe. Her video has received over 200,000 views since Nov. 18.
“Tell me that you’re an Islamophobe with veiled Western third wave feminism without telling me…” the text reads on @albificairo’s duet.
Commenters agreed with @albificairo, pointing out that the Muslim practice of modesty is often misconstrued.
“As always, if the west do it, it’s empowerment, if we do it for our belief, it’s oppression,” one user commented.
“Muslim women are not oppressed, we cover ourselves for Allah,” another user commented.
As some commenters suggested, @anotherscienceguy’s jokes are part of a much longer history of Islamophobia. In the wake of 9/11, women and girls wearing hijabs or other veils have faced harassment and violence. Several countries, such as France and Belgium, have banned burkas.
On another video joking about burkas, in which he uses a comic featuring a woman in a niqab (a different type of covering), commenters asked him to stop making light of Islam. In response, he told them to “lighten up.”
“It’s satire,” he said. “Why do Muslims have such thin skin?”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @anotherscienceguy and @albificairo via TikTok for comment.
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