Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why do some women wear a hijab?” you ask? Good question. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why did my boyfriend get a full body wax?”)
Women who wear a hijab—unless it’s Halloween—are Muslim. Muslim women wear a hijab. Why do Muslim women wear a hijab? Perhaps we should first define hijab for those folks not up on the terminology.
“Hijab”, according to Arabs In America, “is referred to by various names . . . the most common of which are a veil or a headscarf. Muslims . . . call it a hijab, an Arabic word meaning “cover.” (T)here are various forms of hijab that are referred to by different names. “
Having taught in a Muslim school, yours truly spent some time with some single Muslim gals so he knows about their clothing, mmmkay? They wear the hijab for different reasons. One thing they have in common though is none of ‘em takes it off until they’re behind closed doors. (Yeah, yeah, all the scorching California heat will be good practice for burning in Hell; yeah, yeah.)
Many Muslim ladies wear the hijab because they believe it fulfills a religious requirement regarding modesty. It’s in the Kuran or Quran. They don it after puberty to reflect their devotion. According to Arabs In America “the wearing of a headscarf is often accompanied by the wearing of loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing, also referred to as hijab.”
Other Muslim gals wear the hijab in order to visibly express “their Muslim identity.” Here is the US, especially since 9/11, word is the hijab is thought to be “synonymous with Islam.” They intentionally “appropriate this stereotype.”
Some Arab Muslim women wear the hijab to broadcast their social and political alliance with their nation of origin. Some wear it as a way of challenging the so-called “prejudice of Western discourses towards the Arabic-speaking world” and sometimes to “challenge Western feminist discourses which present hijab-wearing women as oppressed or silenced.”
Of course some Muslim ladies, like Dr. Raihan Ismail, a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, have yet another angle. She told 666 ABC Canberra the religious reference is “open to interpretation” and has been influenced by time and different cultures.
Ismail stated: “The Koran does not explicitly say you have to cover yourself in this manner. Some scholars argue that it is a religious obligation, particularly the more conservative factions within the Muslim world. There are many variations and interpretations.”
She has been wearing a hijab since she was young. She said: “I’m so comfortable wearing it that I can’t imagine myself without it. I wear it for cultural reasons, but there are many women who wear it for religious reasons.”
Why do some women wear a hijab? Now you know.
(Of course, we still don’t know why it’s sometimes OK to wear skin-tight blue jeans with the hijab . . .Yes, hair is sexy but so are butts . . .well, perhaps another time . . .)
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