Hijab 4 a Day


If you haven’t already heard, people are running a “World Hijab Day” to spread more awareness about the practice.

Here is the thing. There is a LOT of racism aimed against Muslims.

However there are a lot of problems with regards to Islamic practice. Now the problem is differentiating what is Muslim and what is Islamic.

“Because I’m not very skilled I’m wearing what you could call a one-piece hijab – you just pull it over your head. But I’ve discovered the scope is endless. There are all sorts of options.” “She assured me that I didn’t need to be Muslim, that it was just about modesty, although obviously linked to Islam, so I thought, ‘why not?'”

There in lies the problem. The major problem of the hijab is it’s used to oppress women through a lovely piece of “logic”.

It’s about modesty is it not? If modest women wear hijabs then what do immodest women wear? Who wants to be like those immodest women right?

This actually exacerbates the problem (something my mother has complained about).

You see, in the UK we have a rule for doctors. We have to be bare below the elbow. No watches, no rings, no sleeves. A big no no for modest Muslim women resulting in an impasse. Do you let people believe in their faith or do you tell them they cannot come into a surgical ward unless they stop wearing full sleeved clothes?

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and divisiveness. It’s a visible target that often bears the brunt of a larger debate about Islam in the West.

There is a problem with World Hijab Day. And it’s not this.

“My parents, their natural reaction was to wonder if this was a good idea,” says Rhodes, who decided to wear her hijab for a month.

“They were worried I would be attacked in the street because of a lack of tolerance.”

Rhodes herself was concerned about the reaction, but after eight days of wearing the headscarf she has actually been surprised by how positive it has been.

And sadly yes, the wearing of the hijab would make you the target of bigots… BUT…

This day, then, is about showing the world that women can choose the hijab willingly.

Rhodes says it’s a choice she will continue to make.

“I will wear it from time to time,” she says of her hijab. “I’m saying to the world, my beauty is for my family and my partner. Any woman can wear this.”

Rhodes has a choice. She wore the Hijab out of CHOICE. And the reason for her choice is moronic as fuck. You are saying to the world that you think a piece of clothing that is forced upon women with the notion that if they don’t wear it they will attract men so much that they won’t be able to control themselves resulting in rape. They are forced to wear the damn things to be treated as “honourable women” because if they don’t they are “super sluts”. They are forced to wear the damn things.

You are saying to the world that you think a method of excluding women from life is somehow empowering to you because it makes you think your beauty is for your family and your partner. The cynic in me wants to suggest wearing a cardboard box and brown paper bag over your head because that’s got the same effect and is possibly less offensive to women who are desperately fighting to be seen as equals in larger parts of Islamic culture.

The Muslim women do not have that choice in many parts of the world INCLUDING the USA. They can straight up suffer the consequences ranging from ostracisation from their culture to being a target for honour crime. The Hijab may not a symbol of oppression, even if you think that covering your head in cloth somehow works as a chastity belt.

The CHOICE of wearing one is what is oppression.

If a Muslim woman were to choose not to wear one while being from a hijab wearing culture (I know many Muslim cultures don’t advocate it) she would be a pariah. She would be WORSE than us slutty non-hijab wearers because no one we care about is calling us those things for not covering our heads. Her entire culture and faith would call her a slut.

Comments

  1. says

    I just can’t get behind something like “everyone wear a hijab” unless all the men wore them for a month, too. If they are so liberating and wonderful, why wouldn’t a man want to wear one?

  2. Sastra says

    Excellent points, all. It’s as if the women who are “empowering” themselves through Hijab 4 a Day are living in a vacuum, and are equating the hijab with a fashion statement completely divorced from the context. It’s like 19th century free blacks voluntarily putting on chains and shackles in order to show that they CAN do it on purpose, if they want. And so they can. They can also take them off.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if the people promoting Hijab 4 a Day decided to promote their next great idea — “NO Hijab 2Day?” Women all over the world could discover the scope of all the options on how they could arrange their hair! And say to the world “My beauty is for the world to see; anyone can do this!” For one day.

    I say that unless they can flip it around, it’s not “empowering.”

  3. Fred Salvador - Colonialist says

    Here is the thing. There is a LOT of racism aimed against Muslims.

    No.

    ‘Muslim’ isn’t an ethnicity. There’s certainly a lot of religious bigotry directed against Muslims in nations where Islam is not the dominant socio-religious delusion, but that’s little to do with ethnicity (as the many British converts in the UK who face Islamophobic discrimination will attest). There’s also a lot of racism directed against ethnic groups hailing from nations whose culture has grown around an Islamic nucleus, and part of that racism includes essentialising the association of those ethnic groups with Islam – even if the individuals or families being abused are not Muslims. Which suggests such racism is less to do with Islam, and more to do with shit-heads finding any excuse to hurt and harrass the Other.

    If you’re going to do rhetoric make sure you do it right, because if you do it wrong you risk helping to retrench this essentialism, and that’s a very bad thing indeed if your ultimate aim is to extricate ‘Muslims’ from ‘Islam’.

    Agree wholeheartedly with everthing else. From the article:

    “I will wear it from time to time,” she says of her hijab. “I’m saying to the world, my beauty is for my family and my partner. Any woman can wear this.”

    This ranks amongst the most self-indulgent, insipid nuggets of bullshit I’ve seen in a while. Of course any woman can wrap a piece of fucking fabric around her head you abject clown; many millions of women do it every day, because if they don’t they face arrest, prosecution, and physical harm. Nothing empowering about that, is there?

  4. Buffy says

    It’s about “modesty”? Apparently I’ve been a slut all my life without even knowing it, showing off my hair to the entire world.

  5. hm says

    Thank you for putting the reason why I find the hijab offensive into words. I’m a woman of south Asian decent living in Canada. Every time I see the hijab or the full face shield, I feel it as a judgement against my upbringing.

    I’m also not Muslim but can be seen as someone who is. My background is Sikh, in which people, both male and female choose to cover their hair, in respect for god’s creation. Idiotic as well, but done by choice by both sexes after becoming Amritdhari (not sure of spelling).

    I have a visceral reaction to both head coverings but only the Jonah and face covering cause me to go “wtf, you are judging every women not wearing it as being unworthy of respect”.

  6. S Mukh says

    Gwynnyd said what I was thinking — how is it that only women are supposed to volunteer for this Hijab Day. Why don’t men wear it too?

  7. says

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  8. bradleybetts says

    Bah, this whole day is a stupid idea. The people who take the piss out of people for wearing Hijabs aren’t taking the piss out of Hijabs, they’re taking the piss out of Muslim culture as a whole because they are Islamophobic morons. So wearing a Hijab is not going to change a damn thing. They’ll just call you a “Paki-lover” or some such shite and continue on in their bigotted little life. Hijabs and Burkhas and Niqabs are oppressive and misogynistic and, while you may be doing it for all the right reasons, you are still doing the wrong thing when you legitimise them and the culture which enforces the wearing of them.

  9. bradleybetts says

    @Fred Salvador

    “I will wear it from time to time,” she says of her hijab. “I’m saying to the world, my beauty is for my family and my partner. Any woman can wear this.”

    This ranks amongst the most self-indulgent, insipid nuggets of bullshit I’ve seen in a while. Of course any woman can wrap a piece of fucking fabric around her head you abject clown; many millions of women do it every day, because if they don’t they face arrest, prosecution, and physical harm. Nothing empowering about that, is there?

    This. Yes to all of this. Big ol’ plus one.

  10. says

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