Arab Social Media Debates U.S. Citadel Student Banned from Wearing Muslim Garb


JAFFA, Israel – The decision of the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, to reject the request of a Muslim woman to wear the hijab, a traditional Muslim headscarf, alongside the school’s uniform, has sparked a heated debate in the Arab world.

The Citadel said that no addition to the standard uniform can be considered, including a hijab. The candidate’s family said they were considering “all legal options,” an advocate of the student told the Washington Post.

Arab social media users were torn between criticism of the college and criticism of the woman who considered studying at a military college.

“May Allah humiliate the damned infidels,” Ben Alamoush tweeted.

He then added: “If she showed them her thighs and breasts they would admit her on the spot. Dear sister, don’t give up your hijab and Allah will not let you down.”

“It’s a land of freedoms, but up to a point,” Mohammed tweeted.

“Initially, there was a ban on serving in the armies of the infidels and the dictators in our lands because they were fighting against Islam,” Hamid wrote. “I think it’s better if she left the college and find another path – anything except cooperating with these tyrants. A Muslim woman is better off wearing a hijab and being a housewife.”

Faisal concurred: “What was she doing at a military college in the first place?”

Al Arabiya readers were also critical.

“Are there no other colleges except the military one, where the discipline is so strict?” one wrote. “In addition, the physical requirements are inappropriate for a woman, and even Western women stay away. And this Muslim woman is asking for trouble – and got it even before school started.”

Mohammed wrote: “Every Muslim woman who joins the American army is in violation of our religion.”

“Why do you need to go to a military college?” Kamal asked.”It’s strange. Military colleges have their own conditions and circumstances. The environment is demanding, and you ask to be allowed to wear a hijab in addition to all this. You’ll be much better off studying medicine. The college has the right to reject your application”