Contents: Muslim Women on Hijab/Veil (Issue 16)
Posts tagged ‘Hijab’
By Varsha Basheer
There are Muslims who believe the headscarf is mandatory, as well as those who think it is not. Some find the diktat in the Quran asking Muslim women and men to dress in a particular way and to be modest is one of the most important parts of following Islam; and some take it as not literally an act of covering but being modest in attitude would suffice. However, it is unambiguously clear that non-Muslims find the act of covering hard to comprehend. The thought of a woman covering herself up to please an unseen god forsaking worldly recognition is a conundrum.
By Nazreen Fazal
My move, incidentally, took me from a Muslim-minority to Muslim-majority country and suddenly it was different. I found myself surrounded by women wearing the hijab, working as taxi drivers, receptionists, professors, bankers, doctors, vendors....I realized that here hijab was just another clothing and was not as enmeshed in politics as in other parts of the world.
By Safiya N.Y.
My first tryst with the outside world was school. And the curious reactions began from there. It seemed to me that an above average student believing in Muslim ideals cannot be accepted. Since they are intelligent and educated, they should conform to the ideals of the general ‘modern’ world. Only the uneducated, the backward and the uncouth maintain their religious beliefs, no matter how good-mannered and principled they are.
By Noorunnida M.
I still remember the day when I first wore the pardah to college. The conductor of the bus, who until that day used to flirtatiously ask for the ticket, mocked, “Where to thaatha (elderly Muslim lady)?” Until then, I was a ‘normal’ student of my college, but that day I became a girl infected with the epidemic of religious consciousness. Some were anxious that I wore pardah succumbing to compulsion imposed by my family.
By Minu Fathima
As a free thinking Muslim woman living at the crossroads of these multiple contexts, my initial skepticism over the veil was replaced by a decision to veil when I felt a desire to do so. To veil or not to veil is therefore a choice I exercise, but instead of viewing veiling and non-veiling as a pair opposites, I consider them as two different possibilities, each having its own meanings, contexts and above all, legitimacies. Neither do I see my veiled self as a walking prisoner begging the sympathy of a patronizing world, nor am I apologetic of my unveiled self as an unwrapped candy inviting male gaze.
By Anila Basha
The western feminist notions of liberty and freedom prevent and, sometimes, openly accuse women wearing hijab as submissive. To some, hijab is a sign of blind adherence to patriarchy and never an act of self respect. This, in fact, is a false accusation because in truth the decision to follow an Islamic dress code is a choice that one makes through deep understanding of the Quran and Islamic culture.
By Feba Rasheed
The bottom line is, every of one my friends and foes were disturbed. They simply could not comprehend why I would make a choice to wear hijab, which for them is a symbol of oppression and patriarchy. For them I was indoctrinated. My agency divested. They decided for me and they spoke for me and, thus, were effectively silencing me. My questions regarding the “indoctrination” in sari or miniskirts or any other attire were conveniently ignored.
By Jenny Rowena
Soon, I realized that feminism was not just excluding many women but it was also oppressing them. It was trying to wrench them out of their own sense of the world and their social locations that are closely tied to their communities and literally forcing them to convert into a liberal worldview in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice.’