This visible symbol of Muslim identity serves as an instant tool of connection with other Muslims especially those not from a Middle Eastern ethnicity but also serves as a signifier as different in the American dominantly Christian community. “Several women noted being repeatedly removed from flights for security screening, having difficulty gaining employment after appearing for job interviews, and receiving angry looks and even shouts from passersby on the streets, to name just a few.”(D 303). It also serves as a behavior check, as it reminds them to act in coordination with their religious and personal values. How is that any different from when we are in our social and personal lives representing something we believe in? As a Bishop McNamara student I wasn’t constantly reminded what that stood for and how that should be reflected in my behavior. No matter if I went somewhere with my uniform on or was just interacting with people I believed in the Holy Cross Values and it often has kept me in check with the way I present myself anywhere I go. The hijab helps resist objectification and sexual exploitation and is also a form of self respect. The idea of modesty and self respect are often tied ideals. The desire for women to be valued as individuals rather than aesthetics is not singled in this single community. The hijab is a source of freedom because women can be liberated to focus on their own personal values rather focusing on the trends and perceptions of beauty that American women conform to. She holds to the highest esteem of being a woman and a human
If the author wanted to learn more about Muslim women, she should have sought them out and spent time with them — those who wear hijabs as well as those who don’t. Then, instead of speaking on behalf of Muslim women’s “unheard voice” by talking about her own hijab experiment (“My hijab silenced, but simultaneously, my hijab brought unforgettable words”), she should have asked them to share their own experiences as Muslim women. Then they would have a voice.
One of the most common human characteristics is the impulse to make sense of things by asking: why are things the way they are? Whether it’s from judgement or just plain curiosity, it’s in human nature to ask why one is wearing this or doing that. The essay "My Body is My Own Business" is written by Naheed Mustafa, a Canadian Muslim woman, who discusses the stereotypes and judgements that Muslim women in the western world are subject to because of the hijab. Mustafa talks about how it is unnecessary for women to follow the beauty standards that have been predetermined for them and also how true equality could only be achieved without women displaying themselves to the public.
Abayas, shailas, burkas, and chadors: all are forms of veiling in the Middle East, and all are perceived as symbols of oppression and patriarchy by the West. The veil worn by a Middle Eastern woman is striking and beautiful in its simplicity and elegance. The hijab, the most common form of veiling, leaves only the face visible with the neck and hair completely covered. Onlookers are in awe at the mystery and symbolism associated with the many veils created out of fine, exotic silk. But such notions of oppression and patriarchy often associated with veiling are not only inherently biased and ironic – it would be interesting to explore the symbolism behind a mini-skirt or a pair of five-inch heels, no? – but they are also inaccurate. Although veiling has most definitely been used in the Middle East as a “mechanism in the service of patriarchy, a means of regulating and controlling women’s lives” (Hoodfar, 5), it has also been used as a mode for rebellion and self-expression. Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian woman who grew up during the Islamic revolution, resisted the regime and the universalizing nature of the veil in the hope that she could maintain her individual identity whilst communicating her political ideologies. By examining the way in which the veil is represented in Satrapi’s graphic memoir, Persepolis, while also considering the history of veiling in Iran, it will become evident that the veil is not just a political tool used by male chauvinists; it also presents an
Having lived my whole life by the teachings of the Islamic faith, I understand the appreciations and values associated with the Hijab. However, also living in Canada, a pro-western society, I also see how some might see it as an oppression set upon Muslim women; objectively isolating them from the rest of society. I believe that the Hijab means much more than just a piece of cloth covering a woman’s hair. It represents their identity and their pride. It is considered to be the flag of their way of life, their religion. Unfortunately, people of other cultures see it as a horrific tradition of the past that degrades a woman’s rights and freedoms.
Culture permeates every part of life. As Americans, maybe this is harder to see. Yet, everything from the way we talk to what we choose to wear is the result of culture. This makes it vital to understand that many things have a cultural significance. Abu-Lughod expresses her dismay over the “obsession with the plight of Muslim women” being focused on the burqa (209). Many people have adopted the burqa as the symbol of the oppression of Muslim women. Yet, the burqa is simply a form of covering originally specific to the Pashtun people. Each form of covering is part of the Islamic religion. Each holds significance for the community that wears it. The purpose of women wearing a veil of any kind is to “assure their protection in the public sphere from the harassment of
Saudi Arabian women should feel free about the way they present themselves in public places. There’re a lot of rules and regulations about what women can wear and do in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Women aren’t allowed to drive, they must always have a guardian, and there are separate buildings and lines for women and men. For example, women must cover her whole body in public and in front of men. In the essay “Saudis in Bikinis” by Nicholas D. Kristof, talks about a time where he was in Saudi Arabia, and women were wearing a abayas. An abayas is a long black cloak worn by Muslim women, it covers the whole body head to toe, but their eyes. Kristof calls them, “black ghost”, it’s part of the women’s culture to wear
Despite all the values that the hijab is representing in different countries of the world, the only value that is demanded is the egalitarianism and justice value, whether a woman is wearing the veil or not, they are “calling for equal access to divorce, child custody, and inheritance; equal opportunities for education and employment; and abolition of
Women who cover themselves are assumed to be coerced or capitulating to make pressure, despite the fact that wearing an enveloping. Over is mandatory (in public) in only a few settings and that educated Muslim women in the past thirty years have struggled with the opposite problem: They must defy their families and sometimes the law to take on what they value as pious Islamic dress. (pg.17)
1. Abu Lughod argues that the “liberation” from burqas, wanted by American women for Afghan women, is an extension of colonialism and western domination because the western women fail to understand what liberation is for the Afghan women. Western women think that the Afghan women are unhappy with their religion because it physically restricts them. On the contrary, Afghan women like their burqas because they feel it brings them closer to Allah. They also culturally disagree with the openness of American fashion. The idea that western women do not take into account the Afghan woman’s perspective on life, and automatically assume that they are trapped by their way of life, can be compared to America’s way of “helping” nations that they believe
The hijab used as a symbol of the Muslim culture is just one characteristic of how it can be perceived; the hijab is also a sign of life, safety and personal identity (Tabassum, 2006, p. 37). Tabassum (2006) interviews an individual by the name of Raheelah who identifies the hijab as not just a piece of clothing that covers a Muslim women’s face, but also as a portrayal of themselves as a person (p. 37).
Within the Middle East, the largest population of the men and women are Muslim. The Muslim religion suggests that the women wear a veil or hijab, which is a headscarf that only exposes a woman’s eyes, accompanied by a burqa which is a full body cloak. The sole purpose of the clothing is to cover a woman’s feminine features from men’s eyes. The Qur’an, an Islamic scripture supports, and slightly obligates the uniform by saying that women are to be conservative, “Let them wear their head covering over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments.” (Qur’an). Muslim women, instead of feeling oppressed, view this as a positive aspect in their lives, influenced by their devotion to Allah. Their acceptance could be influenced by their
One of the main disputes in the battle of Islamic women’s rights is the conflict over dress. According to a popular Islamic leader and Egyptian television personality, the sight of women is so alluring that it can be “intolerably distracting to men” and can “even
Within the Middle East, the largest population of the men and women are Muslim. The Muslim religion suggests that women wear a veil or hijab, which is a head scarf that only exposes a woman’s eyes, accompanied by a burqa which is a full body cloak. The sole purpose of the clothing is to cover a woman’s feminine features from men’s eyes. The Qur’an, an Islamic scripture, supports and slightly obligates the uniform by saying that women are to be conservative, “let them wear their head covering over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments.” (Qur’an). It could be inferred that women wear the burqa and veil willingly because of their geographical location. However, when Muslim women are withdrawn from the Middle East, and are placed
Hijab – a covering which is worn by women of Islam faith this wrap covers their “head and chest” this is used to shows the woman’s modesty (Hijab)