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The Hijab: Fabric of Freedom or Fabric of Oppression?

Powerful Essays
Fabric of Freedom or Fabric of Oppression The hijab, by definition, is the traditional covering for the hair and neck that is worn by Muslim women, but over the years it seems to have become more of an identity. People view the fabric that covers the upper half of these women as a culture shock when it is actually tied into religious factors.. There are a multitude of ideas and questions that people want to understand when it comes to the practice of Islam, and the hijab is usually a topic of discussion. “The literature on the hijab is arguably thicker and denser than that for any other issue in the Islamic public sphere.” (Gould. 222) So how is it that material that simply covers the hair and neck of a woman stirs up so much controversy?…show more content…
In some countries, women may not be allowed even to attend school; schools for girls have been banned and bombed.”( Sloan. 219) It is centuries later and these women are still seen as submissive, being forced to wear certain attire and even being deprived of knowledge. Hijabs are worn as part of women dressing modestly, Chapter 24, verse 31 of the Qu’ran says, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc) and not to show off their adornment except what must (ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their Juyubihinnah." But the Qu’ran also states that men are to dress modestly as well. So why it that women are covered head to toe? It is almost as a reminder that they are not equal, that they do not have a voice or opinion to their own body. “The majority of us women continue to be oppressed by the injustice of man, who in his despotism commands and forbids us so that now we can have no opinion even about ourselves . . . If he orders us to veil, we veil, and if he now demands that we unveil, we unveil, and if he wishes us to be educated, we are educated. We are weary of his despotism. (Nasif, 1925: 8, vol. 2)” (Gould.…show more content…
Women who thoroughly practice Islam cover themselves because it shows dedication to serving their God. Wearing of the sacred fabric contains much more spiritual context than how social norms perceive it and how other religions and cultures dictate its physical meaning. The undeniable aspect of rules of any religion is their spiritual message. It is no secret that woman possess more visible attractive qualities to lust over than men do. There is also nothing wrong with realizing the self-worthy of your body and wanting to cover it. These women wearing the hijabs for the most part are not oppressed, they are liberated and free. In the Qu’ ran, it tells women to dress modestly but does not state that they must wear a hijab- they do so out of respect for their religion. Choosing to wear a veil or hijab does not mean you are stripped of your rights. Many Muslim women, who live in Western societies that actively participate in Islam, still have the same rights as others. They are allowed education, participation in sports, and other activities that other individuals are allowed. Even in other countries where Islam is the main religion, most women are not being oppressed- they have a voice. “Women always have the right to say no…” (Sloan. 220) It seems as though people seem to be stuck in old ways assuming Muslim women live domestically
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