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Understanding the hijab from the point of view of an American woman raised in a Muslim community here. She no longer wears the hijab.

We were taught that the “awrah” (private area) for a woman is her entire body except for her hands and her face… We were taught that the Islamic hijab is an order from God, and not a choice… Most Muslims … tend to see the veiled woman as “pure” and therefore more deserving of respect, while an unveiled woman is seen as a “fitnah” (corruption)…

In recent years, the West has seen movements normalizing the headscarf, which I am not entirely opposed to. I do not believe that veiled women should be attacked or face discrimination in the workplace. However, considering its history as well as the way it is used in Islamic theocracies, I do not think the hijab could be feminist nor be truly “empowering.”  

While Western feminists may support Muslim women’s right to wear the headscarf, they should remember that there are those of us who seek the liberty to remove it — both in theocratic states and in Western nations. Many of us may not be controlled by a mullah but by our families and communities.

Margaret Soltan, November 2, 2022 10:23AM
Posted in: end the erasure of women

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