World Hijab Day!?


Today is World Hijab Day!

What next?

Maybe we can all try to mutilate our daughters on World Mutilation Day or marry off our girls on World Child Marriages Day? How about a day when our male guardians can track our whereabouts to make sure we aren’t leaving the country.

I know adult women have a right to wear the hijab (given the threats and compulsory nature of it in most places – this is very often just a formality but nonetheless) but to ask others to wear it is a tad absurd – if I’m being polite.

I am sorry but I don’t think I am the cause of fitna/chaos in the world and therefore find the veil abhorrent.

So here is my tribute to the hijab:

maryam

Comments

  1. Alizaf says

    Dear sister, my heart goes out to you. You are so far gone from the truth that there is no hope for you. You left our beautiful religion and that is not enough, you also need to denounce Islam in any way you are able to. I feel so sorry for you and will remember you in my prayers because God is all forgiving and even you are worthy of forgiveness. Live and let live peacefully! Salaams

        • alanflynn says

          logicthoughts, you are right about the ‘naked’ (sometimes) because Maryam is demonstrating solidarity with the Egyptian woman who received death threats from muslims for posting a naked photo of herself online. As an avid reader of this blog you’ll know all about that outrage of course (the death threats, not the photo by the way). I consider Maryam’s response to be not ‘senseless’ but sensible – in opposing murderousness; not ‘ugly’ but beautiful – as is the human form; not ‘shapeless’ – frankly don’t know where you’re coming from there; and not ‘vulgar’ – but in the best possible taste!

      • jay says

        Instead of “Err I am definitely NOT your sister” the more usual formatting would be:

        ENOTSIS: “I am definitely not your sister”

        • Drew McIntosh says

          Umm, the emphasis on the NOT works fine for what Maryam is saying. All you’ve done is make the sentence less impactful.

    • alanflynn says

      How exactly is God “all forgiving” when the Qur’an says that: “those who disbelieve, for them are cut out garments of fire; boiling water shall be poured over their heads. With it shall be melted what is in their bellies and (their) skins as well.” Surah 22: 19-20. Intelligent people like Maryam have long realised that this talk of hellfire is a) repellent, indicating that your god is a psychopath and b) silly nonsense.

      • Comtessa de Metoncula says

        I could not but agree with you more..Just the image of many men nowadays..Men need guns to make their point..Women are stronger and have their bodies to make their point.. To all of you chauvinistic men ( I skip pig because I do not want to insult the Pigs) there is one thing you will never be able to do EVER and that is to bear and produce a life a human life..Get that into your ignorant empty skulls!

      • Munira says

        Im sorry are you a scholar of the Quran sir? Because I believe you are taking a quote OUT OF CONTEXT. Please stop pretending to understand my religion, my lifestyle and holy book.

    • Suzie Q says

      ALIZAF: Did you know that islamic countries are the proud achievers of the lowest I.Q. scores on the planet ? Which would explain why you think islam is a beautiful religion.

      Anyone that venerates a guy that raped, mass-murdered, raided and pillared entire societies in order to achieve power is definitely deficient in intellect.

      Coming back to body covering: medical studies prove that children born from mothers who cover their bodies are I.Q. deficient and are prone to diseases other kids don’t get.

      Women in Pakistan are covered up and are still raped and harassed and assaulted continuously on the street.

      BRAVO TO MARYAM.

    • Comtessa de Metoncula says

      You are right, you stay within your backward beliefs, Myriam does not need your prayers, you need them for living without seeing, hearing living because your are slave to an ideology not real life!

    • P Green says

      Alizaf
      You should check the dictionary to clarify the meaning of truth. Maryam is speaking the truth backed up with reason and science, you on the other hand are going on faith which is not based on truth or logic.

    • Abbey says

      Alizaf I know many coming to your beautiful religion because they are appaled with people like Maryam who lie about iran and demonize the people. Bless you and stay strong in your faith sister!

  2. Nash Man says

    Hijab Today……Burka day tomorrow….. no thanks we want to go forwards not backwards. Culturally this allows the males to dominate your whole life…..like keeping a pet. You women should rise above it & say we are equal to all men & not covered up like a bad smell. FREEDOM to all who seek it.

      • P Green says

        You seem very angry, lets work together so we can focus in on our objective which is to demand that women be treated equally in every part of the world. This should be the number one priority of everyone. Shame on you Obama for not addressing the problem.

  3. Janet says

    I am furious about this wretched “hijab day”. How dare anyone invite free women to express shame for inflaming male violence? How dare they blame us for crimes committed against us!

    Every woman who colludes in this ludicrous pretence — that the sight of hair makes innocent men attack women — is weakening social pressure on men to behave responsibly. Every woman in a free country who covers her head increases the danger for women who refuse to do this. Shame on them, in the name of women under islamic rule who are killed for daring to show their faces.

    Then i saw your wonderful riposte, Maryam. You represent the irrepressible human spirit. And now instead of feeling helplessly angry, I’m laughing at the stupidity of people who try to crush that spirit. More power to you and to everyone who stands up against oppression.

    • Munira says

      Janet i think you misunderstood the meaning of world hijab day. It is definately NOT about expressing shame for inflaming male violence.
      I have posted a video at the bottom if you would like to educate yourself on why it is important to people.

  4. Ed Romero says

    I’m sorry Maryam but that should read, “If your body looks like this, you should consider veiling it.” No offence intended, and I’m sure no offence taken.

    • Janet says

      Of course you intended offence with your wimpy little jibe, Ed, but I strongly suspect none was taken. You’re talking to a woman who’s had death threats from killers. I don’t think you’d worry her.

    • Suzie Q says

      And your name really is Ed Romero, right?

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Each person has its preferences and there’s something for everybody on this planet. Looking at the photo, what struck me first was the aura !

      • Freedom says

        Haha, what about “Beauty is in the heart of the beholder” (H. G. Wells)? Or “Love is the beauty of the soul” (St. Augustine)? Or “Beauty… is not something physical” (Sophia Loren)? M Namazie is hating, which is not beautiful.
        However, she seems to be hating detriment, which is sensible.

        The things that have been done and are done to females in the name of Islam are preposterous and not Islamic. Things that have been done to women in the name of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and other religions are also absurd and not Islamic and may not follow their respective teachings either. It’s not at all problematic to hate violence, but it may be problematic to confuse the source of that violence, which is ignorance, culture, and male power.

    • says

      Ed Romero, you are just an ignorant Male Chauvinist with no balls because you are making an anonimous comment. Show us your real face and lack of balls!
      That woman Myriam has more balls than any man I have met or known and that includes some male members of my own family. She does not need a GUN to make her point and you men do need guns because you lack COJONES. Have a nice day!

  5. Fatenaal says

    Just the same way you think it’s “abhorrent”, others think it’s beautiful. It’s not for you or anybody else to tell women what to wear. That is as oppressive as men telling women they should wear the hijab. Those non-Muslim women were told about it, but nobody forced them to try it. It’s their choice, not yours. Oh and I don’t think you’re one of those ladies who get attention once they go naked. I mean, well, don’t take it personally, but look at your body lol. Seeking fame through nudity is such a narrow-minded approach. Try something else ;)

    • Akosua says

      Where in the post does it say that each individual woman shouldn’t choose for themselves what it is that they want to wear? That by the way is perfectly compatible with making a value judgment about whether or not a woman should cover up. This post is hilarious and utterly stupid. First it moans about a point that is not actually made in the post and then it resorts to insults. Listen Maryman, you look beautiful! And as for the rightness/wrongness of the veil- it really depends on a woman’s reasons for wearing it.

      • Munira says

        Maybe @Akousa the fact that Maryam is protesting AGAINST women celebrating world hijab day is sign enough that she thinks that women shouldnt observe Hijaband THAT is telling women what they should and shouldnt wear!
        This blog had a lot of people with no common sense.

    • Comtessa de Metoncula says

      Get a life and stop dictating what others should do with their lives..We are here for a short while..A mind is like a parachute: It only works when it is open..Yours in on a crash course back to earth and I am getting out of the way!

  6. Farah Maria-Rahman says

    Fatenaal and lenad: shame on you…. You basically think a woman should be embarrassed about her body if she doesn’t look like a porn star or a size zero model? That is so oppressive and small-minded. Younger and younger girls are developing anorexia due to distress about what society thinks they should look like. Maybe you should stick to reading the Sun and leave off commenting on serious issues. Maryam’s piece has nothing to do with looking like a capitalist advert for sun cream; it’s about the oppression of women, in which you at this moment are partaking in.

    • sara says

      Here, here!… mention of a hijab with a photo of a naked woman certainly brings out comments from some of the most mentally, deficient morons…unbelievably missing the point entirely.
      You are an inspiration Maryam

  7. alanflynn says

    The people on here (presumably men) who have denigrated Maryam are simply displaying their own ignorance and spiteful attitudes. They are actually exemplifying the need for her stand. She disrobed in order to defy the bigots who seek to control women. Her protest – and that of all the other women in the calendar – stand as an affirmation of the human body and a defiant challenge to misogynists worldwide.

  8. K Ali. says

    FYI, to be observed and understood properly, World Hijab Day should be observed by men alone, so they can understand more fully the implications of being veiled.

    • Janet says

      Wonderful idea! I’d buy a drink for any man I saw wearing a ‘he-jab’.

      Another thought: is there a website for women to post pictures of their uncovered hair, and messages of support (to those who defy hijab and those who are forced to endure it) from men and women? I’m thinking of something like the “We are not afraid” site, where people posted life-affirming messages and pictures after the 2005 bombings.

  9. yung6 says

    We don’t need to start name calling. If u can make something good why not stop making it bad. Its your choice that you left islam and that same volition belongs to muslims to decide what they do. Telling people about world hijab day is not absurd. People are free to choose whatever it is they wanna do. I think your blog should have a 18+ or parental guidance logo cos the way you’re displaying your body is not fit for little children to see.
    The top five countries with highest reported cases of female violence are not islamic nations so what is the talk about hijab and violence. Please get ur point straight before u confuse people.
    U all get crazy when it comes to muslim women and their hijab but u all keep quiet when catholic nun leave only their faces uncovered. Religious bigotry I call it. I know someone will reply this post either by calling me names or something offensive but I implore u to be reasonable in doing so.

    • Portia, wishing for spring says

      I don’t see anyone passing a law that says all women must cover their heads in a Catholic majority country. So false analogy is false.

    • mycrofth says

      yung6 – you write
      “The top five countries with highest reported cases of female violence are not islamic nations so what is the talk about hijab and violence.”
      1)
      It’s “violence against women”, not “female violence”.
      2)
      According to the Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma and Qiyas there is no such thing as domestic violence or marital rape. So they go unreported, as are Namus killings and acid attacks. One of the countries with the highest reported rate of rape is Sweden, but that is because Swedes see many acts as rape and violence which the Qur’an explicitly prescribes as desired. So, your statistical argument is flawed.
      3)
      You write: “the way you’re displaying your body is not fit for little children to see.”
      Well, little children don’t have any problem with nakedness. Old and bigoted folks often do…

    • No One says

      “the way you’re displaying your body is not fit for little children to see.”

      What a silly thing to say. Among the first things children see is a woman’s breast, up close. Your neurosis is showing sir.

      • Freedom says

        Don’t you think that’s a silly rebuttal, since, at that time, we’re babies? (We don’t have sexual desires and we do not remember.)

        (Interested in dialogue if anything, not attempting to belittle or attack.)

  10. Zahra says

    Hello;

    You defiantly do not know the true meaning of Hijab, Hijab is not just covering up yourself and not showing your body, you truly have to understand its meaning. I don’t necessary agree with what Iran has done, but it has kept our society in Iran cleaner, unlike Western countries where unreal standard of beauty has been dictated and leaves women feeling inadequate. Hijab is a sign of modesty that safeguards the personal integrity and honor of a women. It is not only in Islam but it is also in Christianity and Judaism. When a Muslim woman covers her hair, chest and body, she is sending a silent message that she respects her body and like a pearl in the ocean, she covers it with her beautiful shell (Hijab).

      • says

        Yes Hijab is not only about covering. It is about sex apartheid and gender segregation. It means girls can no longer mix with boys, swim, listen to music… It means separate entrances for women. It means lesser rights. Women must sit in the back and not be seen or heard. Certain fields of study and work are denied them.

        Look racial apartheid has been discredited. The same needs to happen to gender apartheid.

        • Zahra says

          Maryam:

          Are women less-equal in Islam?

          No. In fact, when Islam was established, one of the first things Prophet Muhammad (saw) promoted were rights for females; to own property, to choose their spouse, to be able to divorce, to have their own business, to have equal pay, to lead.

          The Hijab is often made out to be an object of shame women are forced to carry simple for being a woman, which is far from the truth, the Hijab in fact should be seen as a symbol of Woman’s rights, equality and freedom.

        • Liyana says

          It is not true when you say Muslim girls can’t mix with boys, swim, listen to music etc. We can mix with boys, but with proper attitudes towards the men and vice versa. We can go swimming, but with proper attire and controlled environment. We do listen to musics and do various other things. As long as we follow what Quran and Sunnah tell us to.
          Those things you say on having lesser rights and denied works are only happen to those who put limits to Muslims women. but if the nation’s leader give equal rights for us to contribute to the society as what they give to men and nonmuslim women, then, I think the country will get benefits by everyone.

      • Zahra says

        They do, but as explained above the Hijab is much more than just the headscarf, men in Islam are required to be modest in their dress also, wearing tight, revealing clothes is prohibited relatively. Men are obliged to not look at women with lust as part of their Hijab, as this erodes the morals of society.

    • K Ali. says

      sorry, can’t buy this last perspective as it unfairly idealizes a woman based on what she putting on –anyone (male or female) with questionable morals can “put us on” by putting on a material veil of modesty.

      also, Zahra’s Paradise, the place and the graphic novel, testify to how unclean Iran has continued to be…

      • Akira MacKenzie says

        If Iran, a police state that murders and represses in the name of invisible cosmic tyrant, is Zahra’s idea of paradise, than I am happy to reside here in the decadent West. While I admit that we have a long way to go in regards to gender equality, I do believe that we stand a better chance of addressing it far away from the patriarchal idea that women are “pearls” who need to be covered because some so-called “men” believe they can’t control themselves and that any woman who dresses in less somehow deserves to be molested.

        Well, here’s my response to that mentality where ever it rears it ugly head.

  11. Nadia says

    I’m sorry but you look disgusting. I respect all opinions about hijab (pro-against) but to feel the need to go nude to express your opinion is just repulsive. In every religion, women are told to cover themselves up. Women don’t have to be pieces of flesh to prove they are strong and free.

    • mycrofth says

      1)
      “I’m sorry but you look disgusting.”
      Well, not at all. Maryam’s beautiful in a mature, confident, powerful way. Neither disgusting nor degrading, and not “sexy” at all. But apparently you did not dare to have a closer look… Where does all that passion come from?
      2)
      ” In every religion, women are told to cover themselves up.”
      For the abrahamic religions, which cover less than half the word’s population, you may be right. Medieval Christianity had similar concepts of “modesty”, as do Haredi Jews.
      The rest of the word covers their genitalia in public, men and women alike.
      You’re so used to being inferior and a lesser being that you don’t see the difference?

      • Munira says

        How dare you tell her she is inferior. You seem to be championing women’s rights on this hateful page and then all of a sudden just because someone disagrees with you, you call them inferior and a lesser being. Now whos making a women feel degraded? What a hypocrite. Hope you are ashamed of yourself.

  12. Mattir says

    I would consider covering my head ONLY to support my friend who wears hijab in a majority fundamentalist Christian community in a rural community, to experience (possibly) some of the harassment that she experiences on a daily basis because she is identifiably Muslim.

    If I lived in a place where veiling was mandatory, I would stand naked with Maryam. No one has the right to make clothing decisions for another person. If you don’t want to look at other people’s bodies, wear a blindfold or stay indoors.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    Nadia @ 14

    I’m sorry but you look disgusting.

    That’s your opinion. I think Maryam looks beautiful.

    I respect all opinions about hijab (pro-against) but to feel the need to go nude to express your opinion is just repulsive.

    Why?

    In every religion, women are told to cover themselves up.

    “[E]very” religion? First of all, please provide evidence that every religion demands that women cover up. Second of all, why should we listen to what ANY religion says about ANY topic, much less how women choose to dress… or undress.

    Women don’t have to be pieces of flesh to prove they are strong and free.

    That seems to me a major contradiction to me: In order for a woman to be considered “strong and free” they must adhere to a male-dominated religion that demands they cover up?

    • Z says

      In Christianity:
      In new Testament, Paul says:

      “…And everywoman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head – it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head”(Corinthians 11:3-10)

      As indicated by paul in these verses the veil represents a sign of male authority as well as a symbol of Woman’s subjection to man and to God. Some Christian denominations, keep their women veiled to present day.

      In Judaism:
      In Judaism according to Rabbi Menacham Brayer a biblical professor at Yeshiva University in his book “the Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature” he describes that it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering, sometimes even covering their whole face leaving one eye out. Rabbinic law even forbids the recitation of blessing in presence of women with uncovered hair. He also mentioned that during the first Jewish history Jewish women’s failure to cover her head was considered an offence to her modesty.

  14. leni says

    I’m sorry but you look disgusting.

    I’m sorry, but you look disgusting too. At last your words on my computer screen do.

    I respect all opinions about hijab (pro-against) but to feel the need to go nude to express your opinion is just repulsive.

    Why is it so repulsive?

    In every religion, women are told to cover themselves up.

    That’s not exactly true. Nudity is not that big of a deal in a lot places. It isn’t considered “disgusting” or even sexualized. It just is.

    Ever heard of a Sauna? People bring their children in them naked! With mixed genders and sometimes not even family members! Oh no gather the stones!

    The Finns considered them sacred and their use, while naked, was part of their religious practice. It’s not about sex, and it’s not disgusting once you understand that. You should really ask yourself why you responded so strongly to the simple sight of naked woman.

    In Miryam’s defense, she is absolutely not disgusting and frankly, you should be ashamed for saying so.

    You could have just disagreed, but you just had to throw in the remark about it being disgusting and then excused it by pretending “every religion in the world” agreed with you. They don’t.

    What’s really disturbing is your visceral repulsion at the sight of something which probably doesn’t look that much different from you.

    Women don’t have to be pieces of flesh to prove they are strong and free.

    Yet you see her that way. Why?

    Because the nudity bothers you? Well, it bothers me too but in a different way. I see a woman who is exposing herself to a great deal more than your childish criticism. But to death threats, rape threats and very possibly worse. I see vulnerability and strength and I have unsettling feelings about that, but disgust is not one them.

    Until I read the casual cruelty of you and Ed Romero, anyway.

    You made it into a disgusting thing by calling her a piece of flesh. You chose to ignore the context, her point, and her humanity and only saw her nudity. You put that on her. Why?

  15. leni says

    Akira:

    …they must adhere to a male-dominated religion that demands they cover up?

    Or by only disrobing on command at the “appropriate” times and places.

    Otherwise, you know. Disgusting.

  16. Deborah Weisz says

    The Muslim religion is one of violence against anyone who opposes their rules and culture as is written in the Koran.

    The alarming spread of it around the world is like an infectious disease with no cure.

    If they are happy with their backward customs & culture, why don’t they stay in their countries where it is all set-up?

    Their aim is to produce as many children as they can to take over the world whilst living off Government hand-outs.

    They migrate to the West with this aim in mind.

    As their numbers grow, so do the demands for their rights whilst denigrating ours.

    I do not understand why countries allow them to migrate there.

    I feel they are all hypocrites. I see Muslim women (in Sydney Australia) with heads covered smoking and young Muslim girls with scarves on wearing tight jeans, platform shoes and makeup. How is that being modest & averting male attention?

    They are obviously defying the restrictions placed upon them which is a good thing but why bother with the scarves?

    I was working at a shopping centre in a predominantly Muslim area. There were a few of us working on this stand outside of the shops. The other girls were all very attractive and young. Packs of Muslim youths would surround each girl. I found this quite disgusting and concerning because of the intensity of the attention they gave each poor girl. They were very openly being overtly sexual with them like a pack of dogs. I told them to get lost (politely) as they were stopping customers seeing what was on offer. I was looking out for a security guard to get them to move on. I was also worried these animals would follow one of them home & told them to watch out when they left the shopping centre.

    We had a horrible incident years ago when a pack of these people would come to Bondi beach, get young white girls to leave with them and then rape/bash them. They were caught. Some of them had smirks on their faces when in court facing charges. Some were gaoled but some got away with it.

    So what was their message? It’s ok to rape and brutalize white women? Where is that written in the Koran? Where did they get that attitude from? Their leaders, their fathers, uncles or other males in the community?

    They cannot expect us to respect their ways when they refuse to follow them themselves.

    Apologies, but I have no respect for them and wish they would all leave our wonderful country.

    We don’t need them for anything.

      • Munira says

        @Deborah Weisz
        You are a racist and do not know anything of Islam. You are speaking the words of a Fascist. Btw rape and crimes against women are committed by ALL and you shouldnt distinguish one case because of the religion/race of the offenders. Shame on you. Crawl back under whatever rock you came from.

        And @Maryam. I hope you record this offence and report it. As you said yourself “Please don’t respect my opinion. If we respected all opinions we would end up respecting fascism and barbarity. I will not respect any opinion that is inhuman and anti-woman.” I hope you dont ‘respect’ facism and racism!

  17. prayhard says

    Beautiful, simply beautiful …

    To Muslim males and females commenting here … Here’s a little Psychology 101 for you cretins …

    You ridicule this lovely lady because you fear women and or hate yourselves. You fear and hate women (yourselves) because you refuse to grow up and be men (or women). You’re stuck at a toddler stage of fear of and dependency on women and hate yourselves for it. At most, you attain a pubescent emotional level regarding women (yourselves). There’s a simple solution to this … leave Islam and grow up. Your comments reveal nothing but your immaturity and inability to deal with reality. Freud would have such a good time with you. Muslim women, why are you complicit in hating yourselves. Do you think because a woman is naked that she is a piece of meat? That speaks volumes about you, but nothing about the naked woman. And, it sounds strangely like it might have come out of the mouth of a male originally. Don’t carry the burden of your abysmally immature males. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not. Take your body bags off. Show the world how lovely you are.

    • Munira says

      @prayhard
      I shouldn’t have to ‘take my body bag off’ to show how lovely I am. Are you implying that a women should undress herself to prove to YOU that she is lovely? How backward! It should be a given fact that she is lovely.
      Your point is rendered useless because of that last senseless comment. How stupid.

      And citing Freud? YOUR the cretin.

    • Zahra says

      our beauty is not for everyone to see , we are not property just because you don’t understand Hijab doesn’t mean you have to talk against it.

      • No One says

        Just because you say the hajib is one thing does not mean it is so. I understand what you might think or claim it to be. I have no problem with you wearing one. But forcing someone to wear it? Fuck that. Even thinking that all women should wear one? Fuck that. Any religion that thinks that all women should wear one? Fuck them all.

        • Zahra says

          Compelling a woman to wear the Hijab is against Islam , and Islam does not force but is a right given by god and I am totally against forcing Hijab

      • Akira MacKenzie says

        “…we are not property…”

        And yet, you parrot the dogma of a male-dominated religion and adhere to taboos that are enforced nd created by men.

  18. Steve M. says

    I salute and support you Maryam. Your simple and effective response is incredibly brave given the irrational hysteria surrounding the subject.

    Perhaps a ‘World No-Hejab Day’ would be a more convincing way to show the world how free and liberated Muslim women really are?

      • K Ali. says

        Rather than have a World Hijab day, which reinforces the male Muslim gaze, we would ideally have a Worldwide “Compulsion-free day” in which males and their complicit females would cease to force (whether through direct or indirect means) women to hijab, etc.
        Such a day would remind all that the hijab is rarely a choice within Muslim-dominant societies. Understand, of course, that non-veiled women are treated more brusquely in such societies than veiled women are in non-Muslim-dominant societies; ironically, the fervor for the hijab amongst some Muslim women in the West appears to grow out a need to reinforce a sense of separated-ness that, in general, has historically limited women’s economic, political, creative and social potential in Muslim-dominant societies, especially if their family, tribal and/or economic status is marginal.

      • No One says

        And here lies the difference. Any human being has the right to adorn their body as they see fit. You can wear a hajib if you want to. No one is stopping you. Stop expecting others to follow your religions dictates.

        • Janet says

          “Any human being has the right to adorn their body as they see fit?” If only that were true.

          In some islamic countries, women are forced to cover their whole bodies, and even their faces.

          Even in free countries, muslim women may be intimidated by the people around them into wearing hijab. They are warned that showing their hair encourages men to attack them. The more women give in to this, the more dangerous it becomes for women who refuse. Where is their “right to adorn their body as they see fit”?

          • Munira says

            Janet while unfortunately you are right and these things do happen. It is a very small minority of women. I am a Muslim women who observes hijab and I am proud to say it was my own choice.

    • Munira says

      Not really @Steve here we are again a MAN telling a WOMAN that they shouldnt wear what they choose! Even if it is a choice what exactly are you trying to achieve? Look into Islamic history and learn how free we REALLY are.

  19. Johan Hedberg says

    Courageous and brilliant! We have to stop accomodating the bronze age practice of forcing women to cover their bodies. It’s just so blatantly an expression of a primitive urge
    In men to claim ownership of female reproductive capacity. Your bravery is a true inspiration.

  20. Deborah Weisz says

    I like this picture and what it means for Muslim women and all women. It is freedom to do whatever you want with your body.

    People go skinny-dipping, to nude beaches, topless on beaches etc and it’s acceptable. If you don’t like it, then don’t go to those places.

    There is a famous photographer who has hundreds of naked people in a shot & they are works of art. So what?

    Maryam isn’t saying, ‘admire my sexy body so I can have sex with you’ or that she has a perfect body. She wants to rid herself of the oppression dictated by the ignorant, cruel misogynistics of the world who are on power trips. Their rules have nothing to do with religiosity.

    We came into the world naked so how is it something to be feared?

    We all look the same without clothes.

    Sex is a beautiful thing between people in love & is an expression of their love.

    It is the rapists, sex addicts, pedophiles, those men who enslave women/children just for sex, those who just want sex without commitment that make it something ugly.

    These ‘religions’ condemning women by oppressing them to be modest and the rest of the nonsense rules do not address the animalistic sexual nature of the men in their communities.

    Why aren’t they taught to be loving husbands/fathers and given instructions how to control their sexual urges instead of inflicting suffering and misery everywhere?

    Monks, nuns and other religions take a vow of celibacy, therefore men can control themselves.

    Men can also learn tantric sex which enhances love between couples. The man learns to control his ejaculation and he can last for days. It is looking into your partner’s eyes sitting cross-legged in front of each other before making love. You honour each other. There is a lot more to it, of course.

    I do not accept men have to rape and brutalise women when there are positive alternatives. I also do not accept it’s man’s God-given right to be completely consumed by sex desire to the detriment of everyone else.

    It ‘s not how a civilised society works.

    • says

      Amen! I could not have expressed it better.. I am an Atheist not bound to a Man made belief system and my only religion is to be nice and helpful to evey sentient being on this little Planet which is just a tiny speck in this immense Universe..Why should we even need to empower women? We should all have the same birthrights, right at our inception. Every being on this planet has rights but just by our lifestyles, we are killing everything on this planet. All life on this Planet is a necessary link to the survival of the enormous ecological chain with one exception: The Human Animal, the most dangerous and destructive animal on this planet.
      Have a peaceful Sun day!
      Namaste

  21. Freedom says

    This seems like an obsession with physicality; I thought your point was that appearance shouldn’t matter.

    And why not ask others to engage in something if the purpose is to help build understanding?

    Just like Deborah Weisz said in her comment, “It is the rapists, sex addicts, pedophiles, those men who enslave women/children just for sex, those who just want sex without commitment that make it something ugly,” it is male dominance/power, culture, and ignorance practiced by Muslims that misrepresents Islam and makes it something hated by society, when in fact there is much beauty in it. Of course, I see that people posting do not know about how Islam empowered women when it was first revealed and how it empowers women, and how it is Indian/Arab culture among others (not “Muslim/Islamic culture”) that strips them of their rights, so I don’t expect everyone reading this to believe me when I say there is beauty in it but putting the truth out there for anyone interested (not implying nor do I believe that everything else on this page is false).

    • homonym says

      What is wrong with wanting sex without commitment, as protection is being used and both parties know what the deal is? It is of course wrong for a man to deceive a woman into thinking he wants commitment when he does not so that she’ll have sex with him under false premises, but if both the man and the woman (or the man and the man, or the woman and the woman, let’s not be heteronormative!) are both solely interested in having fun with each other, what is there to stop them?

  22. says

    Without women, there is NO HUMAN life on this planet.
    Religion is a very recent phenomenon in our human animal history. It is Man Made and inspired by a Man made invisible misogynist entity. An entity that says it is ok to sell your daughters into slavery, that it is ok to kill a person who works on Sabbath , to sacrifice your first son to this same invisible entity.. I am halucinating..Human sacrifice ?..A very vile and nasty misogynist entity indeed.
    I cannot believe that we have ideology dictating every aspect of life on this planet and that is why we are in big trouble on this planet now in 2013.
    Are you all stupid or what?
    To make women cover their faces and whatever else is pure man dictatorship, nothing else, because they consider women as a commodity, not a human vessel for human life..
    Several so-called prophets would now be jailed as Pedophiles..To sacrifice a little girl to bear children with an old ugly fart and be raped each time is the biggest of crimes..You imbeciles all of you, you have no clue of what is real and our short passage on this planet that will soon look like the Moon if we continue the trend..Bunch of hypocrites in Afghanistan who use little boys for their pleasure and Muslim Monarchs consuming alcohol.. My father who was a major exporter of all sorts of goods exported the most alcohol to Muslim countries.
    Get a grip human beings. Organized religion is the worst thing that happened to the Human Animals!
    Animals are atheists and do not engage in Genocides, in Wars where you kill anything that is in your way and this for profit to a small minority..Have a nice Sunday the only God I know because without Sun, there is NO life possible on this Planet!

  23. Comtessa de Metoncula says

    Thank you dear Myriam for being so strong and your strong message with your beautiful ” Mother Earth ” body.
    You made my day!
    And to all of you who don’t agree..That is too bad! Today is a beautiful day and I am going out for a walk to the beach..It could be my last and I am not going to worry about some stupid man made ideologies!
    Namaste!

  24. Faraaz valera says

    I’ve recently come to know your work and admire your dedication, if only there were more sensible people in the world.

  25. jeannieinpa says

    You are very brave!

    Here’s a thought: Shouldn’t World Hijab Day include men? Shouldn’t they get to wear a scarf all day and see how it affects their work, their bodies?

    • homonym says

      I would take part in male niqab day, but I’m afraid that going into stores would be a problem, they would think I was trying to rob the place!

    • Munira says

      I agree it should include men as HIJAB is not specifically a piece of cloth but a characteristic. Maybe men should observe not a physical hijab (scarf or niqab) but a mental hijab (stop watching porn and subjegating women)

  26. haters_will_hate_cause_the_don't_get_it_straight. says

    The hate surges like a raging storm. I wear a hijab. I was never forced. My mother used to always tell me: people will never be satisfied until you are like them. I now know what she means. The only reason people like this hate is because they don’t get it straight. Ok it’s your opioin and I guess I have to respect that….but please do not insult this religion. I would never go as far to this…with all due respect this is very ignorant…I wish you would go out and do more research before you put up stuff like this..

    • says

      Please don’t respect my opinion. If we respected all opinions we would end up respecting fascism and barbarity. I will not respect any opinion that is inhuman and anti-woman. Yes of course we have to respect human beings but a criticism of the veil and the ideology or religion behind it is not in and of itself hatred towards you or a disrespect to you. The same holds true for criticising religion. If people can’t criticise religion and that which is taboo, we would still be living under the Spanish inquisition or racial apartheid or slavery…

  27. says

    When I was in Pakistan my main complaint was the complete lack of privacy. The men in particular found that funny–they asked what I needed privacy for. From the beginning of my involvement in the Muslim community I found everyone always had their nose in every other person’s business, esp. in the family. This is why I found your response to World Hijab Day entirely appropriate–it is actually what they are always looking for and want to see.

    • Munira says

      Im sorry to hear about your experience but not everyone has been through this and is till dont get how you can relate this to WHD?

  28. Amanda says

    Im really sorry for this stupid women comment its so dumb of her to disrespect a religon like that and show a naked pic like that
    I sorry but I think she is sick minded everyone has their own religon and praticing it ….
    U either respect it or Dont say anything
    but its touching bec. they can practice what their religons says that is the hardest part for them is to be diffrent and unqie for a reason AND that is y they deserve their own day !!

    • alanflynn says

      Maryam is not specifically setting out to disrespect a religion in this instance, Amanda, and is certainly not sick-minded – what is sick about the portrayal of the naked body precisely? I do understand however that she, like myself, does not respect religion for many reasons & does not consider that it should be immune from criticism or ridicule. Her protest against Islam is a valid defence of freedom. You say that “everyone has their own religion and practising it’, but this is certainly not true within the Islamic world, as other religions are either suppressed or banned outright. You add that, “you either respect it [religion] or don’t say anything”. This attitude reaches its zenith in large parts of the Islamic world where people who do have the courage to speak out against the religion place themselves in grave danger of losing their lives. Perhaps you don’t care about freedom of expression and conscience, but secularists do, and consider these to be a cornerstone of a free society. Whilst it may be “the hardest part [for veiled women] to be different and unique” in the West, it is significantly harder for non-veiled women to be different in large parts of the Islamic world – it is actually illegal in many countries and, in some, veiling is enforced by religious police. The Islamic world expressly forbids people – most especially women – ‘to be different’, as Egypt’s Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, found to her cost when she received death threats from Muslims for having the temerity to post a naked picture of herself online. In this wonderful photo, Maryam, along with the other calendar girls, is engaged in an act of defiant solidarity with Aliaa, and despite it being by her own admission a very difficult thing to do, she has made a profound protest against enforced veiling, as well as a wonderful demonstration of true respect for the human form.

  29. says

    Maryam, your answer to the World Hijab Day is right.
    “Nakedness is only answer to covering. Not porn but frankness of the body ” – Gita Saghal in reference with the Calendar.

  30. logicthoughts says

    I think the following statistics shows western countries need to support hijab day at least to prevent some Muslim girls (living in western countries) if not all from lustful male hypocrites and demagogues including MARIYA NAMAZIE who promote nudity, pornography, sex openly by which they intentionally or unintentionally pushing innocent angels (girls and women) in the den of women and child traffickers which is rampant in western countries but never heard or little known in Muslim countries.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    Effect of nudity–>
    Child Abuse in America
    Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths. 1

    A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
    –More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
    –Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 1
    –It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. –More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
    –Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
    –About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuseAbout 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.

    Child Abuse & Criminal Behavior
    –14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children.
    –36% of all women in prison were abused as children. 7
    –Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more
    likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.

    http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics
    **************************************************************************************************************

    VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE USITED STATES. : STATISTICS.

    Despite the fact that advocacy groups like NOW have worked for two decades to halt the epidemic of gender-based violence and sexual assault, the numbers are still shocking. It is time to renew our national pledge, from the President and Congress on down to City Councils all across the nation to END violence against women and men, girls and boys. This effort must also be carried on in workplaces, schools, churches, locker rooms, the military, and in courtrooms, law enforcement, entertainment and the media. .
    MURDER
    In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.2
    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Intimate Partner Violence or Battering)
    Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.3 According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.4 Less than 20 percent of battered women sought medical treatment following an injury.5
    SEXUAL VIOLENCE
    According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.6 Other estimates, such as those generated by the FBI, are much lower because they rely on data from law enforcement agencies. A significant number of crimes are never even reported for reasons that include the victim’s feeling that nothing can/will be done and the personal nature of the incident.7
    THE TARGETS
    Young women, low-income women and some minorities are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape. Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence8, and women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.9 The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported.10 Income is also a factor: the poorer the household, the higher the rate of domestic violence — with women in the lowest income category experiencing more than six times the rate of nonfatal intimate partner violence as compared to women in the highest income category.11 When we consider race, we see that African-American women face higher rates of domestic violence than white women, and American-Indian women are victimized at a rate more than double that of women of other races.12
    IMPACT ON CHILDREN
    According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, “growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of a child’s life, growth and development. . . . children who have been exposed to family violence suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as bed-wetting or nightmares, and were at greater risk than their peers of having allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and flu.” In addition, women who experience physcial abuse as children are at a greater risk of victimization as adults, and men have a far greater (more than double) likelihood of perpetrating abuse. 13
    IMPACT ON HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
    The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the cost of domestic violence in 2003 was more than over $8.3 billion. This cost includes medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity. 14
    LEGISLATION
    In 1994, the National Organization for Women, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called Legal Momentum), the Feminist Majority and other organizations finally secured passage of the Violence Against Women Act, which provided a record-breaking $1.6 billion to address issues of violence against women.15 However it took nearly an additional year to force the Newt Gingrich-led Congress to release the funding. An analysis estimated that in the first six years after VAWA was passed, nearly $14.8 billion was saved in net averted social costs.16 VAWA was reauthorized in 2005, with nearly $4 billion in funding over five years.17
    VIOLENCE BETWEEN SAME-SEX COUPLES
    According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “domestic violence affecting LGBT individuals continues to be grossly underreported . . . there is a lack of awareness and denial about the existence of this type of violence and its impact, both by LGBT people and non-LGBT people alike.”18
    Myths regarding gender roles perpetuate the silence surrounding these abusive relationships; for example, the belief that there aren’t abusive lesbian relationships because women don’t abuse each other. Shelters are often unequipped to handle the needs of lesbians (as a women-only shelter isn’t much defense against a female abuser), and transgendered individuals. Statistics regarding domestic violence against LGBT people are unavailable at the national level, but as regional studies demonstrate, domestic violence is as much as a problem within LGBT communities as it is among heterosexual ones.19

    http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html

  31. alanflynn says

    Logicthoughts, I wholeheartedly endorse your opposition to the violence to which women, children and LGBT people are subjected to. It is true that such grotesque abuses are rife throughout the US and the western world. I believe however that you are wrong in saying that this is especially true of the West, as opposed to the Muslim world, and that it is attributable to western phenomena such as nudity, pornography and sexual openness. I do not have statistics to hand and I do not know – in fact I doubt – whether really reliable statistics are available that would compare the incidence of sexual violence between the muslim and non-muslim world. In place of statistics I offer here just a few reports from the global muslim community.

    Abuse of women is very widely reported to take place in public places in Egypt – women are routinely subjected to groping & abusive remarks by men, and this includes women wearing hijab.

    Violence against women is also widely reported in Pakistan where there is a shocking number of acid attacks each year.

    Within the UK, there have been a number of convictions for the grooming of underage girls for sex by gangs composed of Muslim men. I am not saying that this is specifically a Muslim issue, but it is certainly a crime committed by Muslims no less than by non-Muslims.

    I will never forget a couple of books I’ve read by females from Islamic countries. One was ‘I am Nujood, aged 10 and divorced’ by Nujood Ali of Yemen, in which the young girl recounts how she was married against her will to a man who subsequently raped her (my understanding is that marital rape, even of a minor, is not classed as a crime within Islam – this is a factor which would obviously skew crime statistics).

    Another book I read was ‘In the Name of Honour’ by Mukhtar Mai, of Pakistan. She related how she was sentenced to a gang-rape by a village council for a supposed transgression of honour by her brother.

    Very recently in the news we have seen the shocking report of the rape, torture and murder of the five year old Saudi girl Ana Lama by her cleric father, which Maryam has brought to our attention.

    It is interesting that you cite figures for the violence against LGBT people in the West and domestic violence amongst LGBT couples. Again, this is shocking and deplorable. But just how well do LGBT people fare in the Muslim world? I understand that homosexuality is a criminal offence in most Muslim countries and carries the death sentence in some.

    These are just a few short accounts that have come to my attention. I raise them here so that Muslims who may be unaware of abuses which take place within their own community might reflect on them and so pause before they proclaim that Islam has created a much more peaceful society than the West.

    • Munira says

      All these things happen in EVERY society in the world and have no correlation with Islam. I think it is impirtant to make this distinction. Thank You for doing so.

  32. logicthoughts says

    alanflynn,

    Responding to my comment, you are HIGHLIGHTING those LITTLE heard or known things. You people EXAGGERATE and write books after books,repeated news in media about some Muslim criminals (severe punishment for them according Islamic law) very negatively ignoring the fact which I mentioned.

    Mariam namazie having ugly”shaped”freethoughts left morality and modesty soon after she left Islam, Is one of the negative minded harmful women to our fellow women sisters and girls.

    • alanflynn says

      thanks for your discussion, logicthoughts, we aren’t going to agree on too much, nevertheless I sincerely hope that muslims & freethinkers will live in harmony. I think I speak for the majority of freethinkers when I say that we respect the rights of muslimas to wear hijab, though we do place great emphasis that it is freely chosen, and disagree vehemently with its imposition in many muslim lands. Salaam.

      • says

        Alan I think the problem is not necessarily that logicthoughts cares so much about what happens to women but that s/he would prefer we don’t focus on Islam. This care is always raised vis-a-vis a discussion on Islam. It’s what we call whataboutery and it’s more about stopping a discussion rather than any real concern for women’s rights. Because if someone care for women’s rights, they would Also care about what happens to women living under Islamic rules. It’s like those who keep saying what about the US, when we raise executions in Iran. Here’s a thought – oppose both! But when the whataboutery is ALWAYS raised with respect to Islam, then it become quite clear that it is not executions, or women’s rights or whatever that really matters to those raising it but defending and protecting Islam.

        • alanflynn says

          You’ve got their number Maryam ;). I wouldn’t be too impressed with an American who, when presented with statistics on the appalling amount of child abuse which takes place in the US, said, “Hey, what about those muslim countries!”

  33. Hajat Sarah says

    So sorry Maryam who left Islam to join the khafiruns, Muslim women can only be compared to the queen of England who doesn’t shake hands with every Tom, Dick and Harry, they a precious queens. If you have two sweets with one covered and another one open and are thrown onto the ground, which one would you pick?, compare this with a vieled woman and one who”s not. You only pick on one that is vieled, just because, you want to find out the beauty that is being hidden under the beautiful garments!

    So sori to u Marym who’s only taken up by worldly pleasures, u will rot in hell fire. Anyway l have u in my daily prayers, so that u may reopen your eyes and revert back to the truth. I don’t give a damn at what I have said, for l know l have rewards from Allah. You can say whatever u want. That’s what l believe in. It’s the truth u all know, but are being taken on by worldly pleasures.

    To you all

  34. says

    What’s really marvelous about what you have done Maryam, is that in spite of not having the typical photo-shopped body that most of us are used to looking at in adverts, you have exposed a body that is more like the one that most women have. But which most women are made ashamed of by the way female beauty is pushed. Women are literally made to feel ugly unless they conform to a particular ideal of beauty.

    And with this one brave act of yours, you have struck a blow against two patriarchal biases. One, being that it is the responsibility of women to prevent attacks on their bodies from men who are given no responsibility in this matter whatsoever (in Islam anyway). And the other is that you have made a dent in the idea that a woman has to look a particular way in order to feel beautiful.

    Hats off to you.

    • Munira says

      Im sorry but who said that this: “it is the responsibility of women to prevent attacks on their bodies from men who are given no responsibility in this matter whatsoever (in Islam anyway)” is a belief in Islam. Please educate yourself before making up nonsense about my religion!

  35. says

    Hats off indeed to a brave and committed woman, who also has a great sense of humor about what is deadly serious, and vitally important, in our world. It’s time, way, way past time, for women, of whatever religion or lack thereof, to claim their lives and their bodies. Thank you!

  36. Yasin says

    I am very sad, to see Maryam with her picture. Islam is a religion that very noble and there is no other religion besides Islam. In Islam women are very guarded and purified. therefore any part of the body of a woman of Islam should be kept out of sight of the men except sight of her husband. Women in Islam therefore has a very important position in the life of a nation. Shattering the moral of a nation that she can not keep her dignity.
    Therefore my sister Maryam come to embrace Islam by running the existing provision in Islam to which the provisions are not terms that come from human but the terms are coming from the creator of this universe Allohu Lord of the Worlds.
    there is no doubt whatsoever in His provisions.

    yours respectfully

  37. Abbey says

    Please for the sake of humanity grow a heart, put your clothes back on and do not quit your day job! My gosh woman are you insane!? From an American one of the most liberal but this is taking it tooo far! Your not even wearing panties!

  38. Abbey says

    You must not be too comfortable in your skin the photo is shopped they fainted out your stretch marks and your hiding your stomach. So in fact your still covering and hding yourself afraid to show all your body to society or just a true hypocrite?

  39. a man! says

    well all men r interested in women maybe just gays r not and dont belive them too !
    and its clear that
    every men cant sleep with every women so we should find a way to
    avoid it to avoid change this need to that demand
    we have to manage and control this need
    bcs its not like food , when we r hungry
    we eat some food then we eat more , even a most delecious food
    but
    bcs there is 2 different part in sexual needs
    1- physical (like all animals )
    2- mental
    we always wnat it more and more
    when u give a persom more
    he looks for sth more
    in sex
    so how we can manage it
    islam says
    men should control their behaviours and eyes
    and women should cover their bodies
    its better for both
    hijab is different from chador or abaya

    hijab is a concept

    it goes to any form

    it say , dont let ppl want u for ur body

    with anything u can do it

    no matter how

    and its not just for women

    as evidence

    look at countries with most porno tv chanels and night and sex clubs

    they have most rate of rape and sexual assualt

    most rate of divorce

    well

    hijab is a shield for women

  40. Catalina says

    Hello! I do want to say I appreciate the point you’re trying to make. Body acceptance is a very real issue and having the courage and pride to bare all for an issue you feel strongly about is empowering. However, I do think it’s a little misguided. Feminism is about choice. I think your message in this image is saying “women, you must show off your bodies” in direct contrast to what you seem to think World Hijab Day stands for (“women, you must not show off your bodies”). It’s true that in some strictly Muslim countries that female sexual repression is used as a type of control over women. However, to the women in societies where they can choose to cover or not, how are they necessarily being shamed? No one is telling them they have to cover. There is some debate rather or not the Quaran requires the headscarf or not, but the reason it’s preferred among Muslim women is for the same reason nuns and Jewish women cover (as well as a few other faiths such as Paganism and Hinduism, though for different reasons). Muslim women view the hair and neck as part of their sexuality and they choose to only show their sexuality to their partner. I don’t see how that’s a problem, personally. Most are not saying that anyone is required to cover their body because the body is offensive in some way. Instead, it’s an issue of modesty and personal choice. I’m an atheist who loves her body and deeply respects women of all shapes and sizes. However, I do wear a head covering and disguise the shape of my body too. Why? Because Western society seems to think i shouldn’t have the right do so. Just as women should be allowed to go nude and given the same rights as men to go topless in public (nudity isn’t necessarily sexual, actions are) I should also be allowed to conceal as much of my body as I choose either because it may be perceived as sexual for others or because I happen to be a modest woman who wants that option. World Hijab Day is more than just a reach out of our Muslim sisters to show we care, we want to understand, and to become more religiously sensitive and empathetic. It’s a powerful stance again society’s expectations of women. I don’t think all women should cover, but I do think they should have the choice to cover or reveal themselves despite any religion. But, from the religious standpoint, we don’t criticize nuns for giving themselves to a god and choosing to veil to show their dedication so why is it Muslim women are any different? I think we are too insensitive and blind to the real issues here. Women deserve choice and the freedom to express themselves with their body however they choose to do so.

  41. Munira says

    Maryam i totally respect what you do! I am a Muslim women who freely chose to wear hijab. I am glad that you are campaigning for women’s rights in Iran and other places. Specifically the stoning cases because they are being ignored. But i believe maybe you have misplaced your hatred and aimed it at Islam rather than these disgusting acts that are committed IN THE NAME OF ISLAM.

    heres a video for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_73EhQ1Upbs

    Please do not write disrespectful things about this women because after all you are all advocates of women’s rights and this is one women practicing HER RIGHT.

  42. Munira says

    You people dont even know the meaning of hijab do you?

    HIJAB is not just for women HIJAB is a general term meaning ‘to cover’ and ‘modesty’ and is encouraged for men as well in the Quran. Hijab is also considered a characteristic and someone who is considered modest can in some ways be considered as observing hijab. So basically all of you who are for or against hijab can be considered as those who observe a type of hijab. Also Men are encouraged to cover from the naval to the knee in public. Exactly the same as women.

    Also I am a bit frustrated because as the only women here who actually observes hijab I am the only person validated to even speak about it! Yet all of you are being hateful towards each other and concerning yourself in a subject that simply shouldn’t really affect you.

  43. anissa says

    I completely understand that you have the need to express your view in the very rare essence of the word !
    Freedom of speach are all our rights …I do detect a bit of arrogance in such a display ….. those of us who choose to cover also have our freedom we do not have control of firm cultural traditional acts!
    The oppression women go through in those countries is based on their own family values so do not easily express or display your direct vulgarity towards our religious beliefs that we choose a d can to practice freely.
    I would never judge anyone I am merely sharing the my view which clearly you have literally taken too an extreme basically to prove your point. Wow…. we get it !

  44. Zia says

    “Man in The early times was almost naked, and as his intellect evolved he started wearing clothes. What I am today and what I’m wearing represents the highest level of thought and civilization that man has achieved, and is not regressive. It’s the removal of clothes again that is regressive back to ancient TIMES.” I am not in favour of Hijab either but surely against anti-clothing compaign on the name of anti-Hijab.

  45. Fereshteh says

    To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”

    [To the Women of India (Young India, Oct. 4, 1930)]
    Mahatma Gandhi

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