Sara Iftekhar’s place in the Miss England final is a reminder that hijab-wearing Muslim women deserve to be in the public eye

There are many misconceptions about Muslim women who wear the hijab: that we’re oppressed, forced to cover our hair by male relatives; that we’re submissive, and incapable of being “integrated” into life in the western world. These misconceptions are perpetuated everywhere: from articles in newspapers condemning women for covering their hair or faces (or for wearing different kinds of swimwear), to the one-dimensional depictions of Muslim women on TV.

Muslim women are not a monolith, there isn’t one way to for us to be, and we certainly don’t embody the stereotypes that are foisted on us. In the past few years, I’ve been heartened to see Muslim women taking control of our own narratives and being visible in the public eye. Younger hijab-wearing women can turn on the TV and see Fatima Manji covering the news on Channel 4, or Nadiya Hussain presenting a show on the BBC.


1 reply

  1. It has bothered me for quite a while when women around me think that by covering only the hair they are observing hijab.

    Actually, if one refers to the Holy Qur’an, it tells women to use the same piece of cloth that they cover their heads with to cover their bossoms.

    Unfortunately, most women not only wear tight fitting clothes, but cover only the head and neck which does not reach any further. That is not what the Qur’an says.

    We are supposed to wear loose clothing as well as use the same piece of cloth that covers our head to also cover our bossoms.

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