Hijab; The Misconceived Liberty

on Monday, September 16, 2013

Can things like beauty, love, intellect and genius be misunderstood? Then, why is Hijab misunderstood by the West? Why is everyone so hell bent on sticking to one and only one reasoning when it comes to that topic? Why can’t the critics be open to suggestions just like they ask us to? It’s not like the cynics of Islam are all knowing and Muslims are all dumb –apologies for being blunt, but there was no better way to put it.

Let’s, for once, see what Muslims can bring to the table when we talk about one of the most controversial topics between the West and Islam.

Muslims all over the world believe, and rightly so, that the doctrines of Islam are universal, perfect and for all times to come. Allah (SWT) is the all knowing and all seeing,and the human mind has no comparison to the foresight of God Himself –in fact what I just wrote is the general belief in all the major religions.

If we want to dig deeper into any of the principles laid down in front of us, we must first appreciate the fact that we are trying to weigh something thought and prescribed by the Omnipotent, and we are doing so with the small minds we have. Now, do we have enough brains to fully decipher the logical reasoning in everything in this world? Do we think that someone who has not lived the life of a true Muslim should or could be allowed to pass verdicts on what is wrong with them and what is not?
That being said, let us now question the claims that anti-hijab factions always have on their tongue. They say hijab or the veil that Muslim women are supposed to wear is a symbol of oppression. They say that it takes away the identity of women. They say that it is based on ancient cultural values that has no place in the modern, so called open-minded, society.
Alright, so when they say that the concept of Hijab is based on ancient values and issues, do they mean that the world today is free of all troubles that women faced back then? Hijab is there to protect a woman; do the critics believe that a woman doesn’t need protection in today’s world?

We see rape incidents every now and then, and guess what; it is the United States of America that comes among the list toppers among countries with the highest rape cases. Do they think that walking half naked makes a girl less vulnerable to sexual harassment?

To put it simply, take the figure of rape cases in US and the figure of hijab wearing girls in US, then compare them to the number of rape cases and number of hijab wearing women in, say, Saudi Arabia or Iran. It is simple mathematics that women are in a greater risk in a society where women show off their bodies.
Then, they say that Hijab is a symbol of oppression. Well, it is common sense that the more a woman presents herself as a sexual toy, the more she is used, and thought of as the same. Imagine a bikini clad woman in downtown LA. You see the woman, and the first thought that goes to the minds of most of the people will be regarding her body, where did the human being go? After all, she is a living human being and this is what you first rest your mind on? When a woman guards her modesty and covers the sexual body parts, she stands a greater chance at being recognized as a human being rather a mere source of pleasure. Therefore, hijab is the total opposite of oppression, it is the uncovered bodies that are oppressed, oppressed for being more of sexual objects that human beings.
When they say Hijab takes away a woman’s identity, I ask what does showing off her body give to a woman instead. Just as I discussed above, a woman is identified when she gets noticed for the person she is instead of what she wears. Of course, we cannot deny the fact that sexual appetite of humans always plays a role in this.
The west propagates their hatred to the veil because they think it is against the freedom of women. They advocate the freedom of expression and the freedom of choice. Well, why are they prejudiced about it then? It is an attack on someone’s liberty if they’re being forced against their will, right? How do you categorize the ban on hijab in France then? What about the countless women who WANT to wear hijab on their own free will, but are stopped from doing so “against their will?” Isn’t that oppression?
If freedom of choice exists, it should apply to everyone equally, and that includes the woman herself who would or wouldn’t wear the hijab. If a person wants to follow their religion, no one in this world should be allowed to stop them from doing so. It should be especially when you are talking about United States where freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right under the religion clause of the First Amendment stating:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I leave the rest to you.

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