Stories about hijab in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks
Donning Scarves in Solidarity: One White American's Experience
Muslim Women Say Headcover is Liberating
Muslim Women's Hijab is a Proud Expression of Their Faith
The View from Under the Islamic Veil is Clearer: Experiences wearing hijab during backlash
Wearing Hijab: Veil of Valor
Stories about anti-hijab discrimination
After Protests, Alabama Scraps Driving License Hijab Ban
Agonies of Muslims in Veils
Anti-Hijab Discrimination: An Issue of Global Concern
Australian politician wants to ban Muslim women's dress
Banning Hijab in Canada: It Can Happen Anywhere
Bavaria To Ban Hijab In Schools
British Consulate Rejects Passport Picture with Hijab
California College Investigates Anti-Muslim Discrimination; Muslim Student Told to Remove Islamic Head Scarf in Class
China Forbids Some Muslims from Fasting, Wearing Hijab
French Female Muslims Reject ‘Unfair’ Hijab Ban
Germany divided over hijab
Hijab Discrimination in North Caucasus
Hijab Experiment in Denmark Reveals Islamophobia
Human Rights Watch Says France Hijab Ban ‘Discriminatory’ Against Muslims
Human Rights Watch: Uzbekistan: Expulsion of Hijab-Wearing Students
Muslim Pupil Excluded Over Dress Code
Muslim Women Battle Stereotypes in U.S.
Muslim Women's Dilemma: Is It Prudent to Wear Headscarves?
Muslim girl suspended for headscarf
Muslim pupil fights jilbab ban
Muslim teen resigns as student because hijab cannot be worn
Muslimahs in Hijab Coming Under Attack in Sri Lanka, As Elsewhere
School dress codes vs. religious practice: What kind of nation are we?
Student in Islamic dress reveals discrimination
The Shameful Conspiracy Against Honorable Women In Tunisia And Turkey
Through the Veil, Darkly
Unveiling the Truth: German Portrait of Hijab
Veiled Opposition Comes Out in Force
What if hijab is banned in France?
Window on Jordan: The Hijab: Discrimination Unveiled
You Don't Have to Wear That in Canada
Sisters' perspectives on anti-hijab discrimination
"Will I be next?"
Oppressed? Nah, Just Well-Dressed
The Fear of Hijab
The Life of an American Muslim Woman
Beyond the Veil, There are Bigger Issues
Trashing Islam because of the veil is wrong
Resources for sisters dealing with anti-hijab discrimination
Anti-Hijab Discrimination: Some Legal Advice
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Hijab in the Workplace Q&A
A message to non-Muslims about anti-hijab discrimination
|Believe it: This woman was|
arrested because she wants to
dress like this. This is Gul
Aslan of Turkey.
Hijab is a religious obligation in Islam. As such, it is not a cultural tradition, nor a political statement, but an aspect of Islamic religious belief. The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the United States Constitution, and in the European Convention on Human Rights. It is recognized as one of the most fundamental liberties every human being is due. Perhaps to many from a Christian background, it seems as though freedom of religion is about freedom of thought or belief. But really, freedom of religion is about freedom of expression. I think there is great wisdom in that the two rights, free speech and freedom of religion, are put together in the First Amendment. The way I dress as a Muslim woman is an expression of my religious belief and as such should and must be protected as one of my basic human rights.
Unfortunately, Muslim women in many places around the world are being denied this basic freedom. There is so much, it almost seems to be hysteria, in the West about women in a few places who are being forced to wear hijab, and yet there is no attention being given to the women in many other places, including several Western countries (supposedly the great defenders of freedom and human rights) who are being forced to not wear hijab. People, it's the same issue. Both sides are trying to enforce a rule on how women may dress. Why is one a concern to you and not the other?
Some of the most ridiculous statements and some of the most utter garbage that I have ever read are in arguments that are used to justify anti-hijab discrimination. Sometimes I laugh incredulously at it, other times I am just left gasping. How is it that a simple piece of fabric on a woman's head, a square 40"x40", evokes such utter hysteria among some people? If I chose to dress in a bikini top and a micro-miniskirt that would be my right. If I chose to have a purple mohawk, cover myself with tattoos, or wear leather clothing with metal spikes, that would by my choice and my self-expression. But let me choose to fold a piece of fabric over my head and cover my body except my face and my hands and suddenly the rules have changed. Suddenly it becomes "a symbol of allegiance to fundamentalist Islam", "an ostentatious display of religion contrary to the secular nature of our society", and to many people it must be banned.
Sometimes, it makes me wonder just how committed we really are to religious freedom. Is it only some religions that one is free to practice? Is it only religions like Christianity that don't have rules about how to dress? Is it only for religions that are "socially acceptable"?
Who, precisely, is the Muslim hijabi woman harming? If she isn't hurting anyone except possibly herself then MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
Bonus: Read a Western feminist's defense of the right of Muslim women to wear hijab at Religious Freedom Is What It's All About
See also my page on stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims.