Women wearing hijab have been very candid and publicly emphasizing that dressing modestly and covering their hair minimizes sexual harassment in the workplace. It is a path that aids in self-purification and coming nearer to their Creator
One of the Islamic symbols that have been engaging widespread attention across feminist, Orientalist, social, religious, and political discourse is the veil-the hijab (a scarf wrapped tightly around a woman’s head to conceal every wisp of hair). Veiling has become the most obsessively topic of public debate. The word hijab stems from the word hijab, meaning, “to prevent from seeing. In Islamic scholarship, the hijab refers to broader notions of modesty, privacy, and morality.
Although people usually discuss the hijab only in the context of women, the Qur’an prescribes for both Muslim men and women to be modest, in both character and dress. Any differences between the Islamic dress of men and women concern the differences between men and women in nature, temperament, and social life.
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted in several misunderstandings about Islam. The previous and current misunderstandings of Islam have fostered further tension and several restrictions have been placed by several governments on the hijab. Arbitrary rules are being introduced by educational and police authorities who are making the hijab appear like a big Islamic bomb.
Hijab is essentially a concept of modesty and privacy, usually expressed through women’s clothes. One of the biggest sources of misunderstanding between Muslim women and western feminists is sexuality, Muslim women do not wish to express their sexuality in public, and believe that its proper place is in the privacy of an intimate relationship. Sexuality is not to be used to assert power, but to express love.
Modesty is the defining emblem of Islamic values. The Arabic word for modesty is hayaa. The interesting thing about this word is that it is linguistically related to the Arabic word for life (Hayat). Modesty is the virtue that infuses spirituality into the soul. This connection between spiritual life and modesty exists because the virtue is not just about outward appearances.
Among Muslim women, the debate about the hijab takes many forms. Many believe that the veil is a way to secure personal liberty in a world that objectifies women. Several women have argued that the hijab allows them freedom of movement and control of their bodies. Understood in such terms, the hijab protects women from the male gaze and allows them to become autonomous subjects. Others have argued that the veil only provides the illusion of protection and serves to absolve men of the responsibility for controlling their behaviour. Both positions assert that Islam is not responsible for sexism. The Qur’an supports the notion of gender equality.
Hijab’s purpose is simply, modesty. The modesty of clothing, the modesty of thoughts, and the modesty of actions. It was once an armoury of the poorer classes. Today it is the mascot of the most enlightened Muslim girls. They often describe how it liberates them from the toxic consumerist culture, from men’s predatory gaze, sexism, and impure moral thoughts. Women wearing hijab have been very candidly and publicly emphasizing that dressing modestly and covering their hair minimizes sexual harassment in the workplace. It is a path that aids in self-purification and coming nearer to their Creator. Paradoxically, it is the women who rely on the veil to signal to others that the argument that the veil is indicative of oppression has no logic. A woman can wear it as an instrument of modest, yet still, embrace all of the rights and opportunities given to other modern women.
The French authorities see both feminism and Islam as inherently at odds, not because of their ideology but because the people of France are embracing Islam in droves., For the general public, the attraction of Islam is it provides more discipline than other religions. They are in a way trying to refuse modernism and get back to a society with more family values and a clearer distinction between men and women.
The hijab is not a piece of cloth, but a mascot. Muslim women are using it to reclaim their right to speak to re-appropriate their own destinies. Indeed, today, many female Muslim intellectuals living in Muslim societies and the West, are questioning several negative preconceptions surrounding these issues. In particular, they contest the classical analysis, which stipulates inequality between men and women by asserting that it is certain biased readings, endorsed by patriarchal customs, which have legitimated these erroneous inequalities.
They must understand the necessity of recognizing and consciously accepting the broad cultural differences between western and non-western conceptions of autonomy as well as respecting social standards that reflect non-western values. Muslim women must work in full partnership with Muslim men, rejecting Western models of liberalization, but also, and more importantly, Asserting their own.
Modesty is the defining emblem of Islamic values. The Arabic word for modesty is hayaa. The interesting thing about this word is that it is linguistically related to the Arabic word for life (Hayat). Modesty is the virtue that infuses spirituality into the soul. This connection between spiritual life and modesty exists because the virtue is not just about outward appearances; rather, it is tolerance first and foremost about the inward state of having modesty before God–meaning awareness of divine presence everywhere and at all times that leads to propriety within oneself and in one’s most private moments.
Once the erroneous understanding and flawed logic behind the hijab gets cleared, they are bound to acknowledge that the hijab is a women’s cultural armour and there’s nothing veiled about the hijab. We must get referred to the clichés and misapprehensions connected to Islam in France. We must show that French culture and Islam can live together in peace.” Assert Muslim women
A veil is seen as a genuine expression of a woman’s religiosity. It’s a badge of their womanhood, representative of their resilience as females in a world determined to control every aspect of their being. Paradoxically, it is the women who are engaged with the modern world who appear to rely on the veil to signal to others that this is their way of expressing their freedom. A woman’s attire has never been about perception, it is solely a matter of interpretation. What got lost amid such interpretive crossfire is the core message that women should not be objectified. Historically, modesty in dress has been defined by local customs that sometimes even predate Islam.
The most sobering words for hijab come from Michelle Obama which she expressed when she addressed hijab-wearing students as the first lady of the United States:
“Maybe you read the news and hear what folks are saying about your religion, and you wonder, if anyone ever sees beyond your headscarf to see who you are, instead of being blinded by the fears and misperceptions in their minds. And I know how painful and how frustrating all of that can be. But here’s the thing you all have everything, everything, you need to rise above all of the noise and fulfill every last one of your dreams.”