Posts Tagged ‘hijab’

Muslim Girl Problems

My current obsession is the Twitter site

Some samples of her tweets:

love when a muslim grl announces her engagement to nonmuslim friends & they say”we didnt know u were dating someone!” #thatsbcwemet4daysago

my cousin got yelled at by her parents because she does not know how to iron and cook properly #shesaneurosurgeon

We all remember the day when someone told us we shouldn’t eat Lucky Charms and marshmallows bc there is pig in it. #wehatethatperson

I know there are people who aren’t happy with her observations or don’t think she’s funny, but I think she speaks to the majority of Muslims.

There are certain issues that come along with being a Muslim, and it’s fun to read someone else reflect on them in a “I totally know what you mean” way.

I’ve read plenty of literature written by Muslims, and my issue with these books has always been that I can’t relate to the experience that they’re putting across. Muslims tend to gloss over any realities of growing up with Islam and sugarcoat it for a non-Muslim audience. Read the rest of this entry →



07 2011

Keeping the Veil

These days taking it all off is celebrated more than keeping it on. For instance the recent NPR special on “Lifting the Veil” spotlighted Muslim women in America who have decided to stop wearing the hijab, or headscarf.

Now I know that for something to be “news” it has to be new and exciting. I remember a journalism professor telling us in college that “dog bites man” would hardly get some inches in a newspaper, but “man bites dog” – now that would make the front page.

A Muslim woman appreciating her headscarf, working with it, living a normal life with it, is not news.

And so it continues, this insatiable quest to uncover the latest problem with Islam. However with this story unfortunately, instead of non-Muslims telling us what is wrong with our religion, we have Muslims trying to justify what is wrong with the concept of hijab.

There is no need to get into the nitty gritty of hijab, why it is part of the Islamic dress code, etc. These days the word hijab has become synonomous with the headscarf or chador that some Muslim women wear. Delve into the Holy Qur’an, and you find that hijab actually talks about a “barrier.” Despite one woman’s claims that a headscarf has no place in Islam and is merely a part of Arab culture, the Holy Qur’an has in fact talked about the actual garment women are required to wear over their heads and chests.

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05 2011

The Tricky Hijab Question

Recently, another argument (I guess you could call it a discussion) about hijab has come up. The issue resurfaces every once in a while when something shocking happens or when someone has a new thought about the topic.

An article appeared on altmuslimah in response to this article in The Guardian.

As a woman who wears hijab, I must say I agree with The Guardian writer. He writes about a trend in Egypt of young girls wearing hijab, which he says sexualizes them. The Altmuslimah article argues that this is an oversimplified view, but I do think it brings up some relevant points.

It worries me when someone prior to puberty starts wearing hijab or is told to wear it by either their schools or parents. I understand when they are praying or reading Quran, but it’s disturbing to me in an everyday context. I think it does sexualize young girls unnecessarily because that is the point of wearing hijab: To cover up modestly after you have reached puberty. There’s no point in subscribing that to someone who hasn’t reached that age of maturity yet.

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12 2010

A Woman is a Woman’s Worst Enemy

If you’re a fan of “Mad Men,” then you’ll know this past week illustrated the early struggles of feminism. Joan, part of the old guard of working women from the ‘40s and ‘50s, finds that the young men in the office don’t respond to her va-va-voom style the same way that the older generation did. She goes about her old, more subtle way of punishing a young employee who is disrespectful to her, but the results aren’t materializing. Peggy, the 20-something face of the ‘60s workplace, takes matters into her own hands and fires the employee. Both get the results they want, but Joan isn’t too happy that she needed to be “rescued” by this new generation and Peggy is confused as to why her way of doing things aren’t satisfying to her older counterpart.

I see the same scenario play out in masjids all the time. There’s a struggle between the old guard of Muslim women and the new generation. One issue that is constantly coming up is the idea of a partition between the men and women’s sections of prayer. Despite which side you’re on in this argument, it’s a contentious one. Neither side wants to compromise, and both think they’re right.  The sides are usually split between older women – who think it’s right to have a partition – and a younger group, who don’t want to be separated from the goings-on at the mosque.

The same idea comes up with the discussion of hijab. I can say from my own experience, and from what I’ve heard from many friends, that most of the people who’ve objected to us covering our hair are Muslims. I’ve had maybe one or two confrontations with non-Muslims who have issues with hijab, but most of the objections I’ve heard are from Muslim women. There are those who think I’m limiting myself and representing Islam as repressive. On the other end, there are those who think I should do more to cover my body.

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09 2010

The Niqab Ban

Like many other Muslims, I was angered by France’s move to ban burqas – or full facial coverings – in public.  For me, it boils down to being government-sanctioned racism, allowing the forceful removal of a religious covering. The ban, which was passed by France’s lower house of parliament and will go for a final vote by the Senate in September, also includes a provision to punish men who force their wives to cover their faces.  I have no problems with that, but I think French officials have far from benign intentions. They may think they’re coming from a legitimate place, but their justifications are just masking a deeper resentment. President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a speech given in June, said the facial covering is “not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience.” [link]

Like the ban on wearing hijab in government schools that was passed in 2004, it seems that the French want to either ignore that there are Muslims in the country or make it so hard for them to live there that they’ll leave on their own. They’re moving to isolate Muslims in France, which is far from solving any problems.  Plus, most reports show that the actual number of women who wear burqas in France is just about 1,900. [link]  So what, exactly, is the point of a law that would affect so few?
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07 2010