Why Wearing a Hijab Should Be No One’s Decision But My Own

Source: Teen Vogue

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In celebration of Muslim Women’s Day on March 27, Teen Vogue is highlighting the real stories of Muslim women. In this op-ed, Mariam Ansar talks about the problem with the recent European Union court ruling that employers can ban hijabs in the workplace.

“C’mon.” My friend nudges my knee with hers as we sit, hijab-less, on her bed. “Have you ever thought about taking it off?”

She doesn’t mean taking it off in the way that we do as soon as we get home, sliding keys into locks and fabrics off our heads as we close the door on the outside world, the way that we just did. She means it in a different way. The way that most Muslim woman have turned over in their heads at least once, musing over the meaning of what it means to cover our hair and how we, as those who have chosen to wear the hijab, deal with it. I grip the gray piece of cloth that had covered my hair, now simply covering the crossing of my legs, with the tips of my fingers, rolling it between them as though maybe it’ll say something about itself if I do that.

“Doesn’t it annoy you that the world keeps talking about this?” I say after rolling my eyes at her. I gesture at the space between us. “Including me and you?”

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5 replies

  1. How can a headband and long skirt be described as ‘too religious’? Ridiculous. I see nothing wrong with wearing a headscarf, and find the French outlawing of them unfair and unnecessary. But there are other religions and sects that insist on a certain dress code for their followers, most orders of Christian nuns for example, are also covered from head to toe. Girl dressing modestly is seen as a religious symbol, yet girls in short skirts hitched up revealing their knickers is perfectly acceptable and not an insult to Christianity and therefore also a religious issue? It’s funny how democracy is linked to freedom when it seems to be taking people’s freedom away, the freedom to choose.You shouldn’t be able to order a woman to go around wrapped up from head to toe, but you shouldn’t be able to order her to go around half naked either. What is wrong with a girl wearing a long skirt.

    According to a Japanese revert, “the hijab reminds people who see it that God exists, and it serves as a constant reminder to me that I should conduct myself as a Muslim. Just as police officers are more professionally aware while in uniform, so I had a stronger sense of being a Muslim wearing my hijab”. ‘Revert’ not ‘convert’ coz every human were born into Islam but the environment changes one faith. Wearing the hijab soon became spontaneous, albeit purely voluntary. No human being could force me to wear it; if they had, perhaps I would have rebelled and rejected it. However, the first Islamic book I read used very moderate language in this respect, saying that “Allah recommends it (the hijab) strongly” and since Islam (as the word itself indicates) means we are to obey Allah’s will I accomplished my Islamic duties willingly and without difficulty, Alhamdulillah.

    The hijab reminds people who see it that God exists, and it serves as a constant reminder to me that I should conduct myself as a Muslim. Just as police officers are more professionally aware while in uniform, so I had a stronger sense of being a Muslim wearing my hijab. My hijab made me happy; it was both a sign of my obedience to Allah and a manifestation of my faith. I did not need to
    utter beliefs, the hijab stated them clearly for all to see, especially fellow Muslims, and thus it helped to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood in Islam.

    Muslims are accused of being over-sensitive about the human body but the degree of sexual harassment which occurs these days justifies modest dress. Just as a short skirt can send the signal that the wearer is available to men, so the hijab signals, loud and clear: I am forbidden for you.

    Practising Muslims, whether those born in Muslim families or those reverted to Islam, choose Islam rather than the illusory freedom of secular life. If it oppresses women, why are so many well-educated young women in Europe, America, Japan, Australia, indeed all over the world, abandoning liberty and independence and embracing Islam?

    A person blinded by prejudice may not see it, but a woman in hijab is as brightly beautiful as an angel, full of self-confidence, serenity, and dignity.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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