Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Weight Of The Hijab

My personal opinion about the Hijab is that if a woman wants to wear it, that's her right and if a woman doesn't want to, then that's also her right. I don't care either way simply because her choice is between her and God. Sometimes I see people who are not Muslim who strongly object to the hijab out of an apparent disgust, not for any sophisticated reason. My opinion is that those people have a personal issue with Islam and I hope they one day resolve their prejudice. Basically if someones religious dress bothers you then your issue is with that religion not the clothing.

There is a more important issue surrounding the hijab which are the exhausting expectations people who dont wear a hijab have for people who do wear it. Recently a former Egyptian model (Naira El-Sheikh ), who made headlines for choosing to wear the hijab, is making headlines again for choosing to take it off because of those expectations.

I do believe Hijab is not just a dress code, it's a statement, a behavior and an attitude that you embrace,' said Naira. Nevertheless, she said that the society 'has come to expect so much from a veiled women.'

Upon donning the veil, the woman has to adopt certain conformist behavior that include maintaining a low-profile in public and abstaining from 'casual relationships' with the opposite sex.

Although this strict understanding of the veil is not outlined by the Koran, Naira explained that she tried to strictly abide by this socially-backed 'behavioral code' when she first took the veil on.

'I drastically changed my lifestyle but still it did not fit the expectations of some hardliners from both extremes - the so-called liberals and the so-called conservatives,' she observed.

Naira wore the headscarf, but juggled baggie pants, long skirts and long-sleeved shirts to preserve her individual style. Islamic scholars still disagree about the extent of how a Muslim woman should 'cover up.'

I've seen it a thousand times myself, there will be a girl who wears a hijab and everyone expects her to walk with her head down and never speak, its disgusting.

Naira is making a long overdue statement and I only hope the "conservative" jerks in Egypt don't make her life miserable.


At 5:03 AM, Blogger Arima said...

Good post D.B. we need women in Egypt who are willing to stand up to the bullies and show their integrity and spiritual beliefs at the same time.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger ravine85 said...

Great post. The conservative jerks in Egypt as you put it, could use a swift kick in the ass.

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Mimz said...

I think it's complete ignorance from their side when non-Muslims look upon Muslim hijabees as "oppressed".
Their lack of knowledge about Islam is what's actually driving them to make assumptions about what the veil is all about.
If they had bothered to look up some info on the history of hijab they would've known it's a sign of respect and a gift from god, and that Muslim women wear it proudly.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Look D.B., I got a quick point I'd like to add.

Sure, in a perfect world, where people are treated equally, it would be totally acceptable. If a woman wanted to wear the hijab, no problem. If she doesn't want to wear the hijab, then no problem as well.

But let's be realistic because Egypt is far from a 'perfect world.' And in Egypt, if a woman isn't wearing the hijab she gets harassed. Period. And we all know it's true, right? I can't tell you how many stories I've heard from girls in my church who lived in Egypt and were constantly harassed for not being veiled. From what I gathered, it was difficult to walk from point A to point B without some dickhead saying something.

So, until Egyptians are mature enough to not discriminate based on the hijab - I don't like it. It helps some people discriminate. Just like the 'religion' category on I.D.''s all a big part of the problem in Egpypt.

And then where does it end? Are we gonna start seeing the niqab all over. It's started already.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Pete- I hear you loud and clear. What you're saying goes hand in hand with the topic of the post. There is a perception that a woman who wears the hijab is supposed to be a certain brand of woman, basically a walking angel! In the same sense there is an assumption that is attached to women who dont wear the hijab and I find it equally, if not more offensive.

I have noticed myself that girls in Egypt who dont wear a hijab are sometimes treated like prostitutes, harrassed and sometimes even grabbed. The scum bags make the assumption that if they arent wearing a hijab they are "asking for it"! Its sick and I hate it.

At 10:58 PM, Anonymous izzi said...

it's just hair and a cover what's the big deal and who cares? people have too much time on their hands... that's why they waste time judging each other... now the problem would be, if women opted to wear bikinis to work per example...

At 6:30 PM, Blogger "The Evolutionary" said...

She certainly is an incredibly beautiful young woman. And I love your blog.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

I'm kind of up in the air on the whole veil thing. I mean if a chick is really hot i'm anti any clothing that covers her up. If she's not so hot then i think it should be up to her.
If i ruled the world this would be the law. I wouldn't even allow any debate.
I wish i was king of the world so i could just make stuff up like that.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

That one girl is so darn pretty she is in danger of being falsely accused of something by those other chicks glaring at her. For the other chicks, may I suggest a full on Afghani style Burqua and face mask!

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Carmen said...

One day, ONE DAY, women will be left alone. I'm hoping by the time I have a little girl the world will just let her BE.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

They will never let us be, Carmen cuz we got something they want, every minute of the day. It just chaps their hide!


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