From Conservative Tribune: A Muslim woman who decided she cared more about her headscarf than about passing the bar exam reaped the inexorable results of those priorities, as she ended up failing because of it.
Charlyane Souza, a 29-year-old Brazilian Muslim, went to take the test in Sao Paulo on March 15. What happened next would spark outrage among liberals and Muslims alike.
The Brazilian bar — as well as many other competitive exams — doesn’t allow for concealing headgear, as it may allow cheaters to conceal Bluetooth or other electronic aids prohibited by the exam.
Souza, however, didn’t think her hijab was a problem. The Organization of Brazilian Lawyers (OAB) thought differently, and one of its female officials pulled her out for questioning.
“She asked me if I really was Muslim, and if I had a way of proving it, because I could be just disguising myself as one,” Souza said.
Souza was allowed to return to the test, but she was later pulled out by Rubens Tilkian, the president of the OAB’s examination’s commission. Tilkian asked her to take off her hijab to continue with the test, as her flaunting of the rules made other test takers “uncomfortable.”
Souza refused, and was taken to a private room to complete her test. However, she claims the distraction led her to score a 31 out of 80, which was well below the passing score of 40. The OAB has announced she’ll be able to retake the exam, this time with her hijab intact (H/T Opposing Views).
If this had occurred Saudi Arabia, she wouldn’t have been asked to take off the hijab for a test. However, that’s because there are minimal educational opportunities for women to begin with, let alone opportunities at the postgraduate level.
For all the outrage over Souza being asked to take off her hijab for the bar exam, in many Muslim nations the very idea of a woman being allowed to sit for an exam to become a lawyer would spark fear and loathing on an unimaginable scale.
If you’re taking the test and you insist on wearing religious clothing, it’s your responsibility to know the rules and to make arrangements with the testing authorities if said clothing violates them. If you don’t, then it’s your fault, not society’s.
Islamophobia isn’t to blame here. Charlyane Souza is.