I really want to say something.
And I’ve been wanting to say this for a while now.
And each day I’m on Facebook, sifting through posts and reading people’s comments (which happens to be my favourite thing to do), I get an idea of how extremely sensible or how supremely stupid people are.
And it bothers me a lot when people start blabbering about stuff they hardly even know, especially the Hijab.
Rio 2016 is underway and the now famous photo of the Beach Volleyball Competition, Egypt Vs. Germany, has been circulating all day long. And it’s interesting to see how people feel about that. I’m posting the picture below in case you live under a rock and haven’t seen it yet.
Anyway, the BBC called it a “culture clash” and honestly, it isn’t really all that negative. On one side, people celebrated the differences and called both women amazing for their ability to achieve their dreams, despite their dress codes. And on the other, people talked about how degrading the hijab is to women, of how it wreaks of oppression and weakness of a Muslim woman in her society.
But here’s the thing- I would understand it if you said that about uneducated people. The ones who do things per tradition, whether right or wrong, the ones who aren’t aware of their stand in the Islamic world.
Ask yourself this- WHY do educated and professional Muslim women wear the headscarf, if it were actual oppression? I am a graduated dentist, I hail from a family of over achieving doctors- both male and female al7mdulillah- and I still choose to wear my headscarf. Because for me, it is my identity.
I grew up in Saudi Arabia, where it is mandatory to wear the abaya, and I did. All of my non-Muslim friends did- and they did it with happiness. Sure, they didn’t cover their head, because religiously, they didn’t have to. I had friends who prided over wearing the abaya, because not only was it a requirement, it was also a fashion statement. Sure, they took it off when they travelled to their home countries because they didn’t want to wear it (These included Muslims too). And why should they? It’s not in their beliefs. But again, I know they didn’t feel oppressed just because they wore an extra garment, which the outside world replicates as a “cape”.
If anything, I feel exposed without my hijab. After wearing it all my life, it became a part of me. A part of me that I was proud of, and willingly chose to continue with it. And insha’Allah I will make the same choice over and over again.
The thing is, I understand when you think that when the Hijab is forced it is oppression. It IS. But at the same time, when you want us to take it off, even though we decided on carrying it willingly, THAT is oppression too.
Oppression is defined as, “prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.”
Do you see where the words “excercise of authority” exist? Do you understand that when we are forced to part with our identities, we are being discriminated?
I know there are people who will question me over their personal favourite target, Saudi Arabia. So as to why they don’t allow Non Muslims to practice their faith. In all honesty, I don’t know. It’s their country, let them do whatever they feel like. (I’ll have you know that the abaya isn’t a concern for most Non Muslims who choose to work there.)
Everybody talks about how a Muslim woman is oppressed, but nobody asks a Muslim woman herself.
And really, if there is a Muslim woman out there who identifies with her hijab, let her wear it. Whether she’s battling it out at the Olympics or going out shopping, leave her be. Your opinion of her attire isn’t making you seem any bit smarter than you think you are.
In closing I’d like to ask you, sincerely, to not give your opinion on what you don’t know. It helps the minds of others to stay at ease. 😀
Hijabi. And proud.