Sunday, 2 October 2016

Smiley face (or part-face)

A classic Radio 4 Sunday feature this morning:

We heard from Muslim headscarf-wearing Rayouf explaining "why this matters to her", then BBC presenter William Crawley talked to Vyv Evans, professor of linguistics at Bangor University, about emojis and religion. William worried about the "danger" that someone might combine such an emoji with the head of a dog....

...presumably this sort of thing...

.... "which would be offensive to many people" ....

.... but wondered if "an emoji hijab on a smartphone" might "actually change how some people see hijabs in the real world".

Prof. Evans thought it might and this this hijab emoji is "very, very important". Such an "inclusive" development might also make hijab-wearers feel better about themselves, and take such technology beyond "white, middle-aged, male, corporate" types.

Classic Radio 4.


  1. Personally I couldn’t care less if there is a emoji sporting a hijab. I don’t use them - emojis that is. But many hijab wears already use the hijab as a means of “feeling better about themselves”, or at least as a personal statement about their separateness from non Muslims. Considering how universal the mobile phone has become, there is hardly any need to take the technology beyond corporate middle-aged males. What a silly statement.

  2. To me that last comment is racist and sexist similar to "Stale, male and pale" and yet it seems perfectly acceptable for the media to use such terminology.

  3. I heard it and it wad truly farcical. Would have been amusing if Crawley had done his job - on a Sunday morning slot - and asked Rayouf and Evans if they would wish for a Niquab-wearing emoiji?

    Or a emoiji wearing a cross perhaps? Or Jewish cap, etc., etc.

    It just came across as a desperate attempt to ensure that something Islam-friendly be included and encouraged on the programme.

  4. I heard the programme, and now every time I see an emoji I feel offended because I don't have a bright yellow face.

  5. Whilst people can wear what they wish, for me one of the main issues is describing hijabs and burkhas as 'modest', implying that those who wear them have greater virtue than those who don't. Basically the Madonna/whore complex writ-large.