Friday, January 26, 2007

Why are people so obsessed with hijab?

I found this little "article" today, and for my own part became slightly irritated. I really just think some people have no shame, no shame at all.

And here is something else, from another blog. (Emphasis mine.)

"Most men and women in the west work, go to school and live quite comfortably having work mates, fellow students, doctors etc that are not Muslim and are of the opposite gender. If I can walk into a meeting at work, sit at a table full of Non Muslim men, be able to exchange ideas and build projects from the ground up, why can’t I do the same, with such relative ease with my Muslim brothers? Why must we maintain these facades of fake modesty, to the point that we are incoherent around each other or we refuse adamantly to meet each other’s eyes (having no problem doing so with other people?) "

I noticed this at an MSA meeting last night. About half the sisters present wore hijab, the other half not. Neither group was being immodest by any stretch of the imagination and the ones without scarves weren't especially flirty nor the ones in scarves being anti-social, but uniformly brothers seemed to have problems talking/listening to a sister in hijab, but not the ones without. Brothers who have no problems in general talking to women who aren't Muslim, or even Muslims without hijab, go totally weird when talking to one in hijab.

Why? Why is there this fake modesty, and why is it associated with hijab?? Are women who wear hijab merely pretending to be pious, and thus deserving the scrutiny of their peers? Or are they actually more pious, and the others are just jealous? Or is there no difference? I hate when people say hijab is just an outward sign, that it's a behavior as well--rather, I hate when they say this with the intention of dismissing the item itself. The truth is, wearing it makes a certain kind of behavior easier, but doesn't make other behaviors impossible. Do they say that women who wear hijab aren't any more modest than those who don't... so they just shouldn't wear it? Is that their point? Does anyone else find that conclusion bereft of logic?

What then, is the reason for the change in behavior? Suddenly a woman dons hijab and then is too high and mighty for communication with men? Men, even Muslim men, who would chat quite freely with women uncovered, and non-Muslims as well. That is fake modesty, a game that serves no one.

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