Apple introduces hijab emoji, racist tweets flood Twitterhttps://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/creeping-sharia-apple-introduces-hijab-emoji-racist-tweets-islamophobia-twitter-reaction-4756305/

Apple introduces hijab emoji, racist tweets flood Twitter

It all started in last year when a 15-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia Rayouf Alhumedhi studying in Germany raised the pertinent question about hijab being excluded from the list of emojis. She even submitted a proposal to Unicode Consortium, suggesting there should be a emoji for men too, wearing a keffiyah.

Apple CEO previewed the emojis on the occasion of World Emoji Day but received backlash on the micro-blogging site. (Source: Twitter)

Emojis are no longer just basic smileys forming part of our social and virtual life. They are the universal visual language that is all inclusive, accommodating all — from LGBTQA communities to every colour and race. Hence, there was a wide debate as to why hijab and headscarf emojis have been kept out.

After series of petition and debates, finally, in November 2016, Unicode Consortium said a hijab designed by Alephandra Messer will be introduced in 2017. And tech giant Apple, on World Emoji Day – celebrated on July 17 – previewed some new emojis which it will be adding to its various devices. CEO Tim Cook shared a few new emojis and a hijab-clad girl was among them. The list also includes a bearded person, a woman who is breastfeeding, along with an emoji of a person doing yoga. The list also includes new animals and creatures, and new smiley faces as well. Sandwich, Coconut are the new food items being added to the emoji list. On the animal side, T-Rex, Zebra are on the list. There’s also going to be a Zombie and Elf emoji as well.

While there were many who were happy with the inclusion, there were also a few who did not welcome the hijab emoji openly.

Some of the users opined that it is a “symbol of oppression” and hence must not be promoted. While another commented, “There should be an emoji to show what happens when the Muslim woman takes off the hijab.” Many others pointed out that people should be as welcoming as when a woman decides to not wear a hijab. Few Islamophobics also asked about “beheading emoji”.

It all started in last year when a 15-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia Rayouf Alhumedhi studying in Germany raised the pertinent question about hijab very close the uproar when France banned burkini. She even submitted a proposal to Unicode Consortium, suggesting there should be an emoji for men too, wearing a keffiyah. Arguing that over 550 million Muslim women around the world wear the hijab with proud, she stated, “With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them.” She also noted that many people Christians and Jews also cover their heads and a emoji would represent them all.