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Hijab – A Veil worn by Muslim Women

Hijab – A Veil worn by Muslim Women

I am extremely agitated by the fact that I am investing my time addressing an issue about a piece of cloth worn by women. I was under the impression that feminists were taking care of it. But I was wrong. I guess I need to be more in tune with popular media.

Today morning I saw a video as per YouTube’s recommendation. It was a talk show. A friend of mine was in it. Hanna Yusuf. She is a freelance writer with an interest in feminism, interfaith matters, and the European-Muslim identity. She tweets at @HannaAYusuf.

She was addressing a recent EU court ruling.

‘Employers are entitled to ban workers from wearing headscarves.’

Let’s act as human beings for a second. Hijab as per the popular culture belief is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest.

But that is not entirely true. Let’s replace the term Hijab with Veil. Veiling did not originate with the advent of Islam. Statuettes depicting veiled priestesses precede all major Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), dating back as far as 2500 BCE.

 Elite women in ancient Mesopotamia and in the Byzantine, Greek, and Persian empires wore the veil as a sign of respectability and high status. 

Prophet Mohammed was a renowned scholar. People swarmed to meet him from all across the globe.

He says in Sura 33:53

“And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts”.

Even you won’t like, your wife, talking to total strangers. This verse, however, was not addressed to women in general, but exclusively to Muhammad’s wives. As Muhammad’s influence increased, he entertained more and more visitors in the mosque, which was then his home. Often, these visitors stayed the night only feet away from his wives’ apartments. It is commonly understood that this verse was intended to protect his wives from these strangers.

There you go. It’s not a Muslim thing. Popular culture, please correct yourself.

I fancy Rockstars. I have a Black T-shirt. I used to wear it on Fridays at work. (Once upon a time, I was a corporate slave too) It used to say Peace Love Rock n Roll. I happily wore it to work. Nobody questioned me. I did not offend anyone.

As per the EU court ruling, any worker wearing headscarves at work can be banned. But the detailed synopsis suggests it only applies to Muslim Women. If a White American Women decides to wear a headscarf because she finds the look to be cool or she too thinks, hair are private, and doesn’t wish to display in public, it’s acceptable.  Further analysis suggests that the ruling has been taken keeping in mind that Hijab is offensive to people and preaches religion.

I am a man. Women wear barely impact my life in any manner. But I was wondering, what if tomorrow EU decides that my black T-shirt is spreading the religion Rock and my tee is offensive. I would be outraged. I act stupid when I am outraged. I burn things.

Anyways I am no expert in women wear, so I leave it on you. Below are two pics. One is of Hanna and other one is of Queen Rania of Jordan. None of them offend me. But as per EU, Hanna should and Queen Rania shouldn’t. Do leave comments on the blog if you find Hanna’s headscarf offensive. Comment is free. And subscribe to my blog if you liked the article. Happy Ramadan!

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