Israeli supermodel rips off Islamic niqab for ‘pro-freedom’ clothing ad. Will the left recover?

An Israeli supermodel has been accused of promoting “Islamaphoba” for participating in an ad that encourages oppressed women living in Islamic communities or countries to rip off their mandatory headgear and embrace Western-styled freedom.

In the ad for the Israeli clothing company Hoodie, supermodel Bar Refaeli is first seen with most of her face covered by an Islamic niqab and the question “Is it Iran here?” plastered underneath.

The 33-year-old model than rips the headgear off her face and proceeds to celebrate the freedom that comes from not being encumbered by the oppressive rules of Shariah law.



Following the ad’s publication on YouTube earlier this week, many among the left began complaining about its alleged Islamophobia and Refaeli’s ‘toxic misinterpretation’ of Islamic culture.

“Thinking of the hijab or niqab as garments that contribute directly to women’s oppression is one of the most toxically persistent misinterpretations of Muslim tradition made by those in the West and elsewhere,” commentator Helen Holmes opined for the New York Observer.

Numerous leftists on social media concurred:

It’s unclear why they feel this way given that it’s a verifiable fact that women in Islamic nations — particularly Iran — are routinely mistreated for not wearing their required headgear. Earlier this year Haaretz published video footage from Iran showing exactly that.

“A video from Iran showing a woman being violently attacked for her ‘insufficient’ head covering by what activists say are the country’s so-called morality police went viral on Thursday,” the Israeli outlet reported at the time. “In the video, the woman shrieks and weeps as she is manhandled and thrown to the ground by women whose black robes expose only their faces.”

“A crowd gathers around as the attack continues, and at one point a woman who does not appear to be part of the religious police is seen attempting to comfort the victim.”


This sort of abuse tends to be ignored by the identity politics-focused left, which seems more concerned with deflecting criticisms of Islamic culture than defending the rights of women forced to live under the oppressive tenets of Shariah law.

This discrepancy was noted by many on Twitter, who found it odd that the same faux feminists who complain the loudest about the alleged culture of rape and misogyny that exists in America — evidence suggests such a culture doesn’t exist here — refuse to be equally critical of Islam.


The latter Twitter user’s reference to “[r]eal feminism” was based on the growing belief that the mainstream “feminism” promoted by the left is a fraudulent movement rooted in the Democrats’ desire for power, not a genuine interest in helping women.

The left’s reactionary response to Refaeli’s ad suggests this theory is correct.

Vivek Saxena


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