Adding to my “The Benefits of Hijab…” Post

I would suggest some of you take a look at this article written by Darah M. Rateb over at altmuslim. It’s called “The dehijabization phenomenon.” What struck me the most about the article are the following quotes which are in line with what I have discussed several times on this blog:

Many others [hijabis] grew exhausted of the ‘out-of-place’ feeling they had- either because they were in a majority non-Muslim country, where the hijab was viewed as dehumanizing, or because they were in a Muslim majority country which, as a consequence of Westernisation, increasingly viewed the hijab as ‘unsophisticated’ or a sign of poor education.

and this one:

With that kind of ‘Muslim uniform’ in the 21st century comes a sad if unintentional reality – the individual Muslim woman is simply aggregated into one big, undifferentiated lump, leaving her just as objectified as the “sexually liberated” non-Muslim Western woman. Many, whether in the West or in the Muslim world, choose to give her uneasy glares and glances, while boxing her as an “oppressed woman”, who has the inability to do anything unless it is explicitly related to Islam.

The flip side of the coin is that because of the same obsession with the cloth and not its meaning, Muslims in general will demand that any Muslim woman in a hijab not simply be Muslim, but morph into an infallible angel. In this regard, the blame falls much more on the Muslim than the non-Muslim, for the Muslim should know that nowhere in the Islamic tradition is the hijab a sign of perfect character. Rather, it is the fulfillment of an Islamic duty – just like many others.

Ooh, someone out there is feelin’ me!!! I promised myself that I wouldn’t post anything else about hijab (because, frankly I’m tired of talking about, lol) but once I came across this article I couldn’t resist posting it.

Let’s discuss…

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5 responses to “Adding to my “The Benefits of Hijab…” Post

  1. Oooooooooooooh, good post! Thanks for sharing the link!

  2. Yeah, we have this kind of perception too in my country…;-(

    ~Lis

  3. This is something I’ve heard a lot from sisters.. “I don’t want to wear the hijab because I’m not ready” or “I don’t want to seem like a hypocrite.”

    It’s understandable, I guess, because the hijabi feels like a spokesperson for her faith (people see her and KNOW she’s Muslim), so any misstep may look bad for Muslims and Islam, especially in places where Muslims are few and far between. I imagine it would be like being the only black person at work or in class. You feel like the entire black race is depending on you to represent it well. At least that’s how I can imagine it. You know what I mean.

    A friend of mine and I put on the hijab at the same time. She eventually took it off after a few months because she felt that she wasn’t ready, and at that same time, I started to wear a scarf that covered my hair and ears, but not my neck (in a way that most would consider “incorrect hijab”). But for me, it was just what I felt more comfortable doing… I think it related the the behavior thing, but also just the fact that I felt so much like an outsider. Wearing the scarf in the way that I wear it now doesn’t make me feel AS different, but also, since people see me wearing it every day, they realize that I must be Muslim (or something!).

    I think that there are some people don’t think about the hijab in the context of whether or not they SHOULD BE wearing it, but rather, whether or not they really feel comfortable wearing it OR whether or not they “act right” wearing it. And I also notice that many sisters put on the hijab once married. Maybe it’s their feeling a need to look more “physically attractive” so that they can find a husband in the first place? (Not to say that those in hijab are not attractive!) And also, it goes back to the idea of engaging in ideal behaviors while wearing the hijab. People feel less inclined to do “wrong” when they’re married (ie, no need to go to clubs, flirt, go out with guys, etc.) so wearing the scarf wouldn’t be an issue.

  4. Wow. Really great post and topics. Especially about how in some places hijab might be seen as “backwards.” Do you know if the author has written about how in some places (Egypt) women who cover themselves actually receive more attention and sexual harassment? I don’t think it is necessarily hijab only, but those who wear ababya or niqab seem to have increased incidents of harassment. I think this might be a factor too. Also, I would like to add that just b/c a woman is Muslim and wears hijab does not mean she is not sexually liberated. I would say that a woman who chooses not to have sex and is happy with her decision and makes the decision between her and her god is actually more sexually liberated than someone who gives into societal pressures (not saying that everyone who has sex outside marriage is giving in to peer pressure, some of them are also basing decisions off of their beliefs and maturity).

  5. Pingback: Friday Links — April 3, 2009 « Muslimah Media Watch

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