Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 12/02/2008

The Head Scarf, Hijab Issue

The fact that we humans are ONE as a species, is strangely illustrated by head covering.

Scarves and shawls have been a universal and common issue among many nations on our globe. For some nations, it has been the general and accepted practice at some point in their history. For others, it has always been part of their tradition, to such an extent, that the precise reasons are infused with the culture till the two are inseparable or indistinguishable.

The religious teachings in effect overlays the culture till the commanding terms are seen as law with reprisal being the norm in certain parts of our world. We would have to retrace cultural antiquity to find the origins of these practices.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) …” (Qur’an 33:59)

NEWS

Last Thursday in Turkey a constitutional amendment was approved, allowing female students to enter universities wearing Islamic head scarves – a move some Turks see as a threat to the traditional separation of church and state.

 

conservative woman

The picture is from Carols post.

Over at American Bedu, Carol describes her life in the Kingdom of Saudi, in particular she has an article to the issue of “Why Do Some Women Veil and Wear Black Gloves?”

Some more interesting pictures at Flikr.

FRANCE

The French caused uproar in many parts of the world as the BBC states:

The French government has passed a law banning the wearing of Islamic headscarves in schools, which comes into effect at the start of the new school year on 2 September. BBC News Online examines the controversy surrounding the ban, which will affect millions of Muslims.

Q: Why was a law banning the wearing of headscarves passed?

The French had been debating this issue for two decades, but it intensified in the past couple of years, with dozens of girls expelled from secular schools for refusing to remove their head covering.

Achelois

I should also mention Achelois, as I owe her an apology for quoting her in another article but forgetting to link her post. Sorry Achelois, aptly named being;

Your interview with Shazrad “Interview: Achelois, Simply A Woman” was excellent and as a non-Muslim it gives me hope that people can have a sincere and honest dailogue.

I liked this

002.062 YUSUFALI: Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Obviously this is a controversial issue and I welcome your thoughts.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Winslie,

    I appreciate your thoughtful and informative piece!

    Best Regards,
    Carol (American Bedu)

  2. Carol
    I am the one who should thank you for getting the ball rolling – – so to speak. The subject of head covering, Hijab or Niqab appears to conjure up nuances that are deep seated.

    I would like us (the world at large) to at least try to understand another’s point of view.

  3. Well, I feel the French stance is done a rather disservice especially in the Muslim world where only the banning of the headscraf is mentioned when the ban is on ALL ‘conspicous’ religious symbols breeding a sense of victimhood. (Its a big issue for Sikhs as well due to their turban).

    Being someone who values liberty, I do think its a bit over the top and well reactionary. Though having said that the contrary defence that muslims put up to the idea of a ban on Hijabs/Niqabs as an affirmitive action, that it isn’t forced but is a ‘personal’ choice is a bit of a joke as well. Its no more a ‘personal’ choice than it is for Pavlov’s dog i.e it is decreed by God and must be worn whether you like it or not to be ‘right’. I do believe it is a symbol of patriarchy stemming from the idea that men need to protect the ‘honor’ of women and must keep thier women under control etc. etc. BUT forcing a woman to take their headscarf off is a bit too paternalistic as I see it. Let ’em make thier own mind up I say whether it is patriarchial or not. Education will help a long way in doing so and exclluding them from the education systems will as I see it do more harm than any good that comes from the ban.

  4. Prophet Ali
    Thank you for drawing our attention to the Patriarchal background. I do agree that every child has a right to education and society must do all in it’s power to ensure that the education providers do not exclude anyone.
    We need to accept diversity.

  5. @Prophet Ali
    The name raises interesting nuances.
    Does it offend others?

  6. Yeah it does actually. Enough for death threats online but they’re kinda handed out without much thought these days.hehhe

  7. If God wanted to cover us up, he would have made us with clothes. I don’t see how God would make such silly rules about dress codes…

  8. […] it strange, that the issue of a Muslim woman´s choice of clothing should have such […]

  9. If I were still a good, virtuous and reasonable person, I would say that its good to hear hijab, as long as one doesn’t take it too seriously. For example I used to wear a kufi all the time. One day when I took it off, my friend said, “I thought you weren’t allowed to take that off in public.” to which I replied, “It’s hot, man. I’m religious, not idiotic.”

    It’s good for both men and women to dress modestly. It’s good to demonstrate solidarity with one’s brothers and sisters in faith.

    I hove, however become an unrepentant degenerate, so I hope the French establish some ridiculous dress code for their schools like skimpy sailor uniforms.

  10. I AM MUSLIM AND I JUST MOVE TO LAS VEGAS,NV IN ORDER FOR TO GET MY LICENSE I WAS ORDER TO REMOVE MY HAJJ, THEIR WAS MEN AND WOMEN LOOKING ON AND A (MAN) THAT SAID THAT WE CAN NO LONGER WEAR OUR HAJJ THAT THE LAW WAS JUST CHANGE THIS WAS 7/19/08.AT THIS TIME I FELT MY RIGHTS WAS TAKING AWAY FROM ME .I WAS BORN IN THE USA WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS NOW


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: