Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scary Scarves

What's wrong with hijab? Why is it so terrifying? In schools, courts, we see the hijab being banned, or being mocked. Hatred of it runs so deep among non-Muslims that even Muslims start to have a hard time accepting hijab.

Of course, hard feelings aren't universal. But what I want to know is why the hijab specifically seems to be such a polarizing issue--between different faiths and even between Muslims.

8 comments:

Amber said...

My theory is because it's so visible. If you see a woman in hijab, chances are good that she's a Muslim - it makes her different and we all know we don't like things that are different from us.

Tie that in with the fear that people have of Muslims and Islam, and hijab becomes a very divisive thing.

Hamza SA said...

Shaytaan was quite happy to allow a plethora of different practices and beliefs to be adhered to in Mecca, but once the truth came...he made the society hate it.

I believe that the same applies here. Shaytaan will never allow Islam to become dominent without a fight and the Hijab is one of hte most identifiable symbols of Islam and an eas target.

Yusuf Smith said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

I have always been puzzled by the fact that they hate women so much when, any time Muslims have caused real trouble, it has been men. I do think white female intellectuals, particularly in Europe, resent Muslim women for rejecting their leadership; I also think that it's easier to pick on a woman in hijab because she's obviously different, unlike most Muslim men (they can't get them to shave their beards off for court, although a bearded Muslim male can face discrimination in the job market).

Also, some of these haters are just cowardly bullies. It's just easier to pick on a woman. For some (as we've seen in the news here in the UK in the past couple of weeks) the disabled are the preferred target.

Brad said...

As others have said, the hijab is one of the most visible parts of being Muslim. For a man, we can be Muslim and go unnoticed.

And all the sisters I know who wear the hijab do so out of modesty and as a duty for being Muslim. Not one of them says they are being forced to wear it or feel oppressed by wearing it.

Personally, I think the hijab is a beautiful thing and it brings me comfort when I see a sister wearing the hijab around town. I don't mean that in a creepy way.

Amy said...

I feel like I should have more insight into this question. I personally hated hijab before converting to Islam, and even for a short time afterwards.

I got over it eventually, but I feel like there was something embedded in my psyche that made the idea of covering my hair noxious and intolerable.

Most converts I know didn't have that experience, they either adopted hijab early on without a hitch, or they still struggle with wearing it regularly.

Alhamdulillah I was able to get over my mental block and adopt hijab, even to the extent that I currently wear it, but I wonder why I had that hangup in the first place, and if it's the reason many other women also take issue with the hijab.

Salma said...

Salam sis...people see it as a sign of oppression. I've been asked..."why would you CHOOSE this?" So there is the idea that women are forced to wear it or they will be killed, and of course the horror stories do not help.

For Muslims who have a hard time...I think fear is a part of that as well. Nobody wants to be picked on on a daily basis.

Ikram Kurdi said...

The hijab is a symbol of Islam. Islam happens to be dangerous to Israel so they need to demonize it. It is this simple.

Zaeneb said...

I started wearing my hijab differently with a scarf around my head and then a second large scarf wrapped around my neck which provides the same coverage as the other way, but you just have to get used to it. It really made me feel much more at ease because I don't look like that 'image of an Arab/Indian/Pakistani/etc Muslim woman'anymore, and I don't have to deal with the same amount of scrutiny all of the time because of my profession. I have been able to really forge my own identity as a Muslim woman outside of the media portrayal of cultural Islam, and I find people much more comfortable in talking to me about Islam. So, in short, people seemed to not react to the fact that I was Muslim so much as they reacted to me as a 'cultural Muslim' as represented in the media. It opens the door for people to see the religion without the visceral prejudices.