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The Hijab Issue

28 May 2008 at 6:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Tags: Iran, Islam

Shalom everybody,

As I am rather fed up with the bullshit going on in Israel and the region lately here’s something rather womanish for you. I’ve been browsing the Internet today and found a blog I wanted to pass on to you. It’s “Hijab Style - the UK’s first style guide for Muslim women!“. And it really is! It tells modern Muslima how to look like Carry Bradshaw while wearing modest Muslim dressing and of course the veil - the Hijab. They even give videos that show you how to wrap a Hijab - a mystery I have often wondered about.

Yet I most envy Persian and Pakistani women who for some reason can make a tiny scarf stick somewhere in the middle of their head as if glued there without a sign of as much as a single needle there. As for me I have recently despaired tried to pin a woolen snoot-type cap to my hair. It just won’t stay where it is to stay no matter how many needles I use. I feel like I needed attach it to my skull if I wanted it to stay. So if there is a Persian woman out there who’d enlighten me on the secret of making something stick in the middle of ones head she could really change my fashion style.

The veil is a fascinating piece of garment. Wearing head covers is an important issue in all “western” or abrahamitic-imprinted regions. In Medieval Europe a woman when married covered her head whilst unmarried girls wouldn’t (yet in some regions like Siebenbuergen there was special head wear to show their status). In religious Jewish families it’s just the same. And both cultures have in common that the area of the head / hair actually covered varies from Afghan-style to rather symbolic Iran-style head coverings. Yet unlike those they exist next to each other in space and time.

Muslim women and Hijab is a complicated topic. On one hand it is conceived by somes as a sign of female oppression by males whilst on the other hand extraordinary woman take it on to show that they have their own way of living and see wearing Hijab (which actually means the whole modest, Muslim way of dressing) rather as a sign of female emancipation then oppression. Just imagine what it would mean if you, for some reason, decided to wear a veil when going out. Especially in “western” surroundings. I personally feel great respect for modern, western Muslimas wearing Hijab and hope that governments will soon stop making live even harder for them by inducing all those laws about where a Hijab can be worn and where not (e.g. by teachers or - as discussed - at university).

I am aware that it’s an issue of foreigner’s integration, which of course is an important topic in countries with huge (Muslim) immigrant populations but I am sure there are way more grave integration issues then wearing Hijab … just that this is one you can see on the streets. (Yet there a lot of convertees too these days …)

Yet even Hijab style’s author adds that wearing Hijab is not about “pleasing your dad or the ladies at the mosque” but about “pleasing Allah”. Is it? Others wearing Hijab not less self-confidently would disagree saying that the Muslim way of dressing is beneficial above all for the woman who wears it for it is supposed to keep her safe and show her faith and therefor that she is a woman of honour.

But to make it back to where I started from: The modern Muslima needn’t decide between wearing Hijab and being emancipated fashionable anymore. Even in Iran there has been an Islamic Fashion Show trying to encourage women - all over the place I guess for in Iran they are forced to by law - to wear hijab. Inside Iran’s Jadi has reported about it as the following:

In Iran wearing hijab is obligatory.It means every woman in Iran have to wear Chador or Scarf+Mano (kind of long, large dress).

This phenomen have been a controversory issue all time after the Islamic revolution because most of the women (specially younger generation) doese not beleive in this kind of obligatory hijab so they doese not take it serious. In streets there are some police whos function is arresting Bad-Hijabs and making them wear it tigh so no body part or no hair may be seen.

The story was like this until we heard about the “Islamic-Hijab-Show”s ad in newspapers and governmental controlled radio an Tv. Islamic regime had lots of propaganda. They were saying “At last we designed some islamic hijab for our good muslim people who are interested also in fashion !”. What a great Idea ! Lets have a look…

- Migdalit 

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