Friday, 2 October 2009

TE'A Project on Hijab

This video from The TE'A Project aims to "get under the veil to dispel stereotypes associated with women who cover and their choice to wear the hijab". What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

great project..

Many times I meet people here in New York who think I'm uneducated just because I'm an South/SoutheastAsian-looking-woman who wear headscarf. This stereotyping is annoying.

dee - Bronx, NY

Mona said...

Very nice Ma Sha Allah!

Anonymous said...

Asalamu alaikum,

I having been wearing the headscarf/khimar for about four months now and have been muslim for two yrs. Even when I was not ready to wear it, I knew that one day I had to do so. I recognized that the only 'choice' I had in the matter was to obey what was decreed by Allah (Swt). I believe that the hijab is necessary for both women and men and the only choice we have is to do what is obligatory has we have been give the choice to do what is what is right and wrong. I am fully aware that I am not a scholar or an Imam, however; I strongly believe that given the logic behind hijab, how could anyone not want to please Allah (Swt) or at least work towards it? Please note that I understand the hesitation behind some women not wanting to wear it or even taking it off. I am not trying to attack them whatsoever as each person has their own path. As for the film itself, it was concerted effort to keep constructive dialog open and it was interesting none the less.


The Power of Words said...

It's interested and definetly there is some effort put into this. However, I feel they should have included more Hijab's in there and espacillay convert women who wear the hijab who can explain the full meaning of the hijab. As for the wome who so she wore the hijab for 9 years then took it off becuse she said the way women dressed is only mentioned twice in the Quran, what a weak argument. That's like saying we should drink alcohol becasue there is only one verse in the Quran that forbids the comsumption of alcohol
(the two other verses mentions its harmful and not to pray while intoxicated). So since the hijab is mentioned in surat Al-Nur, that means its an order from Allah (SWT) and we as muslim women sould strive to please God.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who insisted that his wife wore the hijab when he married her. When they met, she didn't wear the hijab. Clearly as she wanted to marry the guy, she wears it.

I know women who wear it, and choose to do so. However there are some places in the world where that is not a choice.

TOS said...

Well, it seems to be a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Salam sisters,
I am not sure how I feel about the product of this 'mission.' I do feel their intentions are great, trying to represent Muslim women in a positive light.

However, there always seems to be an antagonist during these types of programs and I see it being the woman in the audience disputing the hijab. This is the PROBLEM with this ummah. We can't seem to unanimously be on the same page anymore.

Clearly hijab is a requirement, and this sister was trying to tell people that it wasn't important. She is saying that the command of Allah is not important. I didn't appreciate her feedback personally.

Sure, say the hijab is difficult for you....say you struggle with wearing it because of X Y or Z but do not say that you don't feel Allah is not requiring it "because he only said it twice in the Holy Qur'an." Allah is The All Knowing, all He has to do is tell us something once, and that should be enough.

If this ummah could unite and stand strong together, we would be a success....I don't know if that can ever happen again in this life. But as Allah tells us, we should hold strong to His rope and hold strong as a community.

I am a revert myself, I come from an American Mother was a model and I was raised much differently than how I am living my life now, alhamdulilah. Anything is possible so long as you open your heart to Divine Inspiration.

We should not bend the Divine to us, but rather we bend to the Divine.

With love and peace...


Arielle said...

I'm just really confused by the brunette who is presented as a hijabi. Also the confusion they seem to have about hijab being the veil as opposed to the whole way of dressing.

Because the brunette in the first performance is showing her neck and just has a sloppily wrapped scarf. And then in the second version she's wearing short sleeves! This seems vastly inconsistant. I feel like if you're going to try and "clear up" an issue you shouldn't make it even more confusing by not even portraying a group correctly

Maryam Hajar said...

It's opening up a dialoge on a hot topic right now...they should take it 'on the road' to France and other places where the hijab is banned. I really loved what the lovely young woman in the red sparkly hijab was saying--she was very very powerful and inspiring.

Femme said...

As a Muslim woman who is not a full-time hijabi, I appreciated that they represented women who do not cover as well. I wear hijab sometimes, and perhaps one day I will wear it all the time- I have not yet decided. But the fact is, there are unique challenges to being a Muslim woman that doesn't wear hijab, and it's important to represent those struggles as well as the struggles of hijab-wearing women.

That said, I hope this project challenges people to reevaluate their stereotypes about Muslim woman. The criticism of women in headscarves is only a part of the larger stereotype that all Muslim women are controlled, oppressed, even brainwashed. It is so offensive to tell a woman you don't even know that she is unable to think for herself. I hope people who see this will take the time to think and ask questions.

The Power of Words said...

I like what Anonyamous said about this being the problem of the Ummah, as we are not all on the same page. Sadly, this is true, even some Muslim women themselves are misrepresenting their religion and giving out wrong messages about Hijab. I have heard Muslim women tell non-Muslims that Hijab is not really an obligation, it is up to the woman if she wants to wear it or not! Some say Muslim women have to wear it once they are married! I mean, where do they get this information from? Seriously, some women just like to make up excuses and find justifiications for not wearing the hijab. It's very clear that it is an obligation for women to wear Hijab and to dress modestly. That woman's argument in the audience is due to her lack of of faith. How dare she say that hijab is not that important because it is only mentioned twice in the Quran? Oh so does that mean that the month of Ramadan isn't important since it is only mentioned once in the Quran?

We need to learn how to represent our faith correctly and as Anonyamous say, BE ON THE SAME PAGE.

I understan some drawbacks and struggles women might have with the hijab, but that does not meen to deny the fact that it is an order from God, and God is All Knowing, and has ordered women to wear hijab for their own protection and modesty. To liberate us so we are not judged by our body shapes, but our intellect.

Sarah said...

I think this is wonderful progress. It might not be the idealistic production to some, but it's important to recognize that this is progress. Perceptions are not going to change over night, and we must start somewhere.

I am glad that non-Muslims are putting on the show because as the young lady in the video said, other people expect Muslims to say positive things about our faith, but when these positive things come from an outsider, someone with an unbiased perspective, other non-Muslims will be more open to accepting it.

I think its wonderful that others are now realizing the importance of dispelling misconceptions, and I, though I do believe in the headscarf, think its important that they implemented the suggestion of the lady in the audience to recognize those Muslims who chose not to wear it, highlighting the choice aspect of the matter, and recognizing that though some people don’t have that choice, for most others, it is not oppressive at all.

Our job as Muslims now is to support such publicity to motivate others to contribute to it as well. This is how we will grow and become better understood as Muslims in society.

JAK for posting this video, Jana.

Anonymous said...

some very interesting comments masha'allah and some wonderful words from the sisters here - I enjoyed reading everyone's comments above more than the video itself!! i love it when we open up and speak from the heart masha'allah, may Allah swt reward and bless you all for the excellent point made.

As for the video - i liked it, I think. I appreciate their efforts and message. The lady in the audience who took her hijab off after 9 years - you could see on her face that she was very emotional and that hijab is a sensitive issue for her = why is that I wonder? perhaps because this is an issue she has with herself in her heart - may Allah swt guide her, ameen. I didnt agree with what she said but she spoke about something personal to her and mayb with time she will come back to hijab and understand it better as part of her ibadah to Allah s.w.t - we should make du'a for her and all other sisters who are struggling with hijab as it is big issue for a woman - but that is part of the test that the Almighty has set us. We are all on a journey - insha'allah we are all guided to his Straight Path, Ameen.


Minaretmuse said...

Hmm, interesting. I'm all for dispelling stereotypes about Muslim women. And the interviewee, Sultana was great mash'Allah - confident and upbeat. However, the play itself made me wince. The slipping-off hijabs, the comparison with Christians wearing a cross, removing hijab in political solidarity with women who have no choice - it all seemed well-meaning but a little off-key and 'lost in translation'. I don't believe that only Muslims have the right to tell Muslim stories - but I *do* believe that the authoritative voice in such dialogues should be a Muslim one. In particular I'm tired of hearing other people speaking 'on behalf of' Muslim women - whether they're Muslim men, feminists, actors, orientalists or would-be 'liberators'. There should be a range of voices of course - but the authoritative predominant voice in that spectrum of representation should be ours. Within that ideal context this video wouldn't be as well-meaningly annoying as I find it right now. But perhaps I'm being unduly harsh..

*~Ange~* said...

yeah, have to agree with what other people already said about the "twice in the quran" being a very weak excuse.

hijab isnt a sunnah. it is a clear order in the quran, making it fard, so on that basis i dont really agree that muslim women have the 'choice' to not wear it in islam because most of us know that in the quran it is stated that once Allah decrees upon a matter, then it is final and not for us to decide upon.

hijab falls into this catagory for me.

Anonymous said...

having been born and bought up as a muslim (south-asian) you hear some interesting stories and theories behind head covering and Hijab, having viewed the video and read some of the comments, there is still an awful lot of confusion. I studied at an Islamic School from the ages of 15-18, wore Hijab whilst I was there, continued wearing for a year or so after but as I didn't really understand it, despite my education, I abandoned it and my faith. I have recently returned to praying and trying to learn more about my faith and have also recently returned to covering my head, despite my belief that Hijab was not a requirement of faith. This is a video which has opened up dialogue and caused people to discuss the requirements of hijab, which is what is required in order for everyone, muslim or non-muslim to gain an understanding of why woment cover their heads. Criticising the actors or the production just because you don't agree with it is not Islamic in my opinion and not the way forward.

Anonymous said...

I salute the honest effort to tell womens' stories, but if you want to represent a woman in a headscarf, please don't do with while she is wearing short sleeves and a skin tight shirt. It detracts from the entire point.

Minaretmuse said...

I'd be interested to see this Muslim-written theatre production : Hijabi Monologues by Sahar Ullah. "A three-woman production about the experiences of young Muslim women who choose to wear the veil." Veil meaning hijab here.

Anonymous said...

i would like to put here a doubt, that woman who doesnt wear the hijab in the show she talks as if she knows the whole holy book, and i think that to be recognized as a muslim you wear the hijab, once you dont have it, people say OH SO YOU ARE NOT 100% MUSLiM, YOU DONT WEAR IT...unfortunately the ideas people have about women who wear the scarf was totally introduced by media and it will remain, cause the non muslims are really not interested to spend time and know who we are and why we do what we do


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