“Don’t force your cultural values of what constitutes oppression. Making the choice to wear the veil is not a symbol of oppression, rather it’s a reflection on the deeply ingrained beliefs regarding women as a whole. Why should women be judged on the basis she is wearing a hijab? Dare to interrupt the male gaze and brace yourselves for accusations your oppressed-and the implicit assumption is your too dumb to notice”.
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“When Nazma Khan steps up to the podium, the crowded room grows quiet. Her exquisite face is framed by a brightly patterned silk scarf wrapped around her head and neck. We all lean in closer to hear her soft yet vibrant voice. She begins the story of her journey to the United States from Bangladesh at age eleven and how she was the only person in her Bronx school to wear the hijab—the veil or scarf that is worn to cover the head and chest of many post-pubescent Muslim women. Her peers in the Bronx tormented her throughout her time in middle school and high school, spitting at her, calling her names, and incessantly questioning why she wore the hijab. Her ordeal peaked when she began her studies at New York University shortly after 9/11. At a time when some in New York City were wary of Muslims, her hijab made her a target for ridicule and suspicion.
“I was made to feel like a criminal,” she says, “as if I was responsible for 9/11 and owed an apology to everyone.”
#WorldHijabDay on TIME Magazine Top 50 Site.
Dear Brothers… Where is your Hijab !?
► Why your eyes are always roaming here and there?
► Where you have lost beard? Love to mitate women !?
► Why your clothing are always dragging on the floor?
► Have you forgot that, Hijab was at first made Fard for YOU before Muslim women?
People usually only discuss ‘hijab’ in the context of women. However, in the
Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijab’ for men before ‘hijab’ for the
women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is
well acquainted with all that they do.”
By: Nihan Junaid
In the eyes of the western world, save a few, the word hijab triggers an immediate negative reaction. Amongst the many baseless accusations is a distinct one which claims that it “opposes feminism”. Such allegations can most definitely be pronounced unjustified if one only takes the time to closely scrutinize the situation at hand. For instance, in every standard dictionary, or even Wikipedia for instance, the definition of “feminism” would resemble this- “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women’s rights.” It can be observed that this definition, does not oppose the general idea of Muslim hijab. The word “hijab” refers to the modest Muslim styles of dress in general.
The Arabic word “hijab” literally means curtain or cover (noun). According to Islamic scholars, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality; the words for a headscarf or veil used in the Qur’an are khimār (خمار) and Jilbaab(جلباب), not hijab.
One of the major misconceptions about hijab that it is an obligation forced upon the Muslim woman by religion and male family members. This is definitely not true as in most cases; it is the sole decision of the woman herself to adopt this unique way of dressing. Hijab is a way of protecting oneself and ensuring their privacy. It is based on the idea that women are not just show pieces and thus ought not to parade their physical beauty for all to see. Thus women who adopt this decide that they won’t dress as if they were for sale and would rather be evaluated on the basis of their intelligence and aptitude rather than on the futile basis of external beauty.
Sumayya Syed, 16, says that parents or men have nothing to do with it. In fact, she astounds people who ask by saying that every woman should have this form of liberation. Syed maintains that when a woman is covered, men cannot judge her by her appearance but are forced to evaluate her by her personality, character, and morals. “I tell them that the hijab is not a responsibility, it’s a right given to me by my Creator who knows us best. It’s a benefit to me, so why not? It’s something every woman should strive to get and should want.”
Then again, Islam granted women independent rights way before western world did. Muslim women had the right to own individual property and inheritance rights way back, 1400 years ago while in the west the women were allowed a share in inheritance and the right to own property only in the 20th century. They were allowed to have the final say in the issue of marriage and were free to make their own decisions. If they felt that they were not satisfied with their marriage, they were free to dissolve their matrimonial ties. In fact they were given every right, and in some cases, additional liberty in accordance with the time. Then it is highly baseless to label the muslim woman as “oppressed” just because her religion directs here to conduct herself in dignity and humility in public.
On the other hand sexism is a societal evil very much prevalent in modern western society. For instance, lyrics to popular songs reflect the view that women are used for decoration purposes only. For instance, in Timbaland’s video for “Carry Out” featuring Justin Timberlake, The women in the video are projected into stereotypical roles as servile beings. “You’re looking fine,” is the first thing that is said directly to the females in the video. Certain lines in the lyrics, such as “I’ll take you home, let you keep me company” are particularly offensive to feminism. Such phrases clearly suggest that women are viewed as nothing more than pieces of property or like pets.
Now is the concept of hijab against feminism? You decide.
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