Thursday, 13 August 2009

Muslim women uncover myths about the hijab

This article appeared on the CNN website as part of the Generation Islam series, where several Muslimahs share their views about wearing hijab:

By John Blake
August 12, 2009

(CNN) -- Rowaida Abdelaziz doesn't want your pity.

She doesn't want your frosty public stares; the whispers behind her back; the lament that she's been degraded by her father.

What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn't wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.

"It represents beauty to me," says Abdelaziz, the 17-year-old daughter of two Egyptian parents living in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

"My mom says a girl is like a jewel," Abdelaziz says. "When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found."

The nation has heard plenty of debate over racial profiling. But there's a form of religious profiling that some young Muslim women in America say they endure whenever they voluntarily wear the hijab.

Read the rest here.


NeverEver said...

It gets a little iffy when the girl starts talking about how the hijab makes it to where no boys are interested and she can't get dates... but overall good! :)

thanks for the post!

Maryam Hajar said...

Yes, in the "Land of the Free"--the U.S. i've been harassed by women when they see me in even grabbed me by the arm and shook me (in a grocery store) and told me not to "become a terrorist"..since then i'm always looking out for people who have hostile stares, and ignore the 'frosty stares'. CNN's article was pretty good, but their "authority' that they consulted with was incorrect, i believe, on what the Qur'an says about the Hijab...when he said it's not clear on whether to wear it or not--implied perhaps. From all the scholars, etc. I believe that it's very clear that women are to be covered w/hijab. thank you for this post.

Le-Ann Mariamlelue said...

mashaAllah its high time the muslim women voice their opinion of wearing the hijab because all we hear is what other ppl think who are not even related to Islam in anyway.
thank you for sharing!

Anna said...


Getting a little irritated whenever I see the 'pearl' argument. I wear hijab, but I am by no means convinced that it will protect me from anything, it could, but it is no guarantee at all. Even God/Allah does not claim that it will, but rather that we (hijabis) will be recognized as muslim women, and therefore we hope to be treated as such. At times this might be a nice thing (discounts, being greeted, etc.) but at other times it can be very annoying and hard (muslim men hitting on you, as hijab is perceived as 'attractive' by many, or just plain discrimination by non-muslims, or muslims who think that hijab is not islamic in purpose).

I do not wear my hijab for men, nor out of fear that they might find me too attractive without (which I am not, and my hair is certainly not my best asset). I wear it because it is demanded/asked by God/Allah for me to do so. Its purpose is not completely known by men, nor do we completely understand why we have to circle the Kaaba, but we do it, because God/Allah asks to do that. Why we never question that, but do question hijab, or give our daughters weird, untrue reasons to wear it? I have never been as much sexually insulted as when I wore hijab, as many muslim and Western men alike find it attractive, in a very sick way.
As a mother I cannot tell my daughter that she will protected when she will wear it, because she could still be raped, wherever she is at any time of the day. Those scholars who teach us differently are unaware of the society we live in nowadays, and do not understand the problems women (of all races, religions, ages and class) face in this life.

And yes, I do believe that there are many reasons to why it is good to wear hijab (protection against the sun, recognised as a muslim woman etc.), but it is sole and complete purpose is only known by Allah/God.

Sorry, I am venting.....

Cecilia said...

this is a great article!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your comment Anna!

Maryam Hajar said...

Masha Allah, I agree with you Anna. The hijab is something we wear in obedience to Allah ta ala. As scholars, etc say, it is also to protect us from lustful stares and act as a 'protective barrier' from men's stares, but i agree that it can also be intreging and attractive to see a woman in hijab is a symbol of purity and innocence that 'wolves' would like nothing more than to consume, in this age of sexual perversity and women shown, dressed, and treated as in demoralizing ways. So sexual assault can be a real threat to us who wear it...especially our young daughters. We need support from our men: fathers, sons, husbands, brothers in our Muslim commnities to be taught respect for women's right to privacy concerning her body...which runs counter to our contemporary culture. Having their support sends a strong message to non-Muslim men: "Hands OFF!"--thus the notion of the "Pearl" can be honored and preserved, as Allah ta ala intended,insha Allah. But this can be a tall order for some who have bought into this consumer-driven culture wear everything appears to be available for sale. It's a difficult problem not be resolved easily. My daughter in law lives in a Muslim country and wears niqab/hijab..i'm concerned that when they move here--to the U.S it will be very difficult for her.

AyuVanda said...

Nice posting! :)


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