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Dear Mona Eltahawy,You Do Not Represent “Us”

When Samia Errazzouki came across Foreign Policy’s recent issue, she couldn't believe her eyes. It really was a nude woman covered in a black body-painted niqab. As a Muslim woman, she was even more enraged at Mona Eltahawy's accompanying article, "Why They Hate Us," which portrays veiled women as helpless and in need of rescue. 

When I first came across Foreign Policy’s recent “Sex issue” cover, I thought it was an attempt at blackface, but upon zooming in and reading the title of the article by Mona Eltahawy, my eyes were not fooling me. It really was a nude woman covered in a black body-painted niqab. 

They tell you do not judge a book by its cover. But as an Arab-American Muslim woman, I could not get that image out of my head long enough to even begin reading Eltahawy’s article. I kept thinking about how the image degraded and insulted every woman I know that wears or has ever worn the Niqab. This was the image Foreign Policy chose to set up an article about the treatment of women in the Middle East and North Africa.

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