The storm will eventually die down, InshaAllah, and by the time it does you will have gained new ideas that otherwise might not have crossed your path. It is within this perspective that I hope you will consider my reasons for entering this debate. I am writing to you not because I share your faith, but because I share your gender.
What saddened me about this whole controversy is that most of the people criticising Tagouri's interview where ones totally oblivious to the actual content, of it which had nothing to do with what Playboy is famously known for. They were fuming at the mere fact that the word 'hijabi' and 'Playboy' were being used in the same sentence.
The hijab worn by Muslim women is still regarded by many as a problematic ideological symbol; thereby making many women vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence. Islamophobia that is spreading in some parts of the world should be scrapped because, as a religion, Islam is the same as other dominant religions in the world; namely, one that respects differences. Would it not be boring if everyone was uniform in their beliefs?
She wasn't shown to be a zealot constantly praying or sharing words of wisdom with her fellow inmates. She read books not exclusively about Islam and even participated in a money-making scheme some of the other African-American inmates organised. She. Is. Normal. And I can't tell you how awesome it is to see a 'normal' Muslim on TV.
Yesterday saw a Twitterstorm with #TraditionallySubmissive trending. This was in response to comments made by a Downing Street adviser that the Prime Minister David Cameron thinks that Muslim women are traditionally submissive. It got Twitter going. It was good to see people reacting to this, both, Muslim and non-Muslim. There were some really funny tweets, which proved that submissive or not, Muslim women do have a very good sense of humour.
A long time ago, my father taught me that there is one identity that surpasses all others - the human identity. Both, in terms of us as individuals, and in terms of how we relate to one another as one people. If there is to be any leading British value, it should be the freedom to express that identity in the way we choose.