As World Hijab Day approaches, I thought I would write about women’s freedom to do as they choose and their choice to wear a hijab or not. I thought that is should instill the freedom of choice for a woman to wear what she wants to wear, do as she sees fit to do to her own body, and worship how she wants to worship; express her freedom of religion. Women are of course people too and they should be who they want to be in any way shape or form. I am still all for that and support people’s freedoms. I do my best to accept people as they want to be accepted because really, it is what is inside of a person that matters, is it not?
However, upon my further research of the subject matter regarding World Hijab Day I discovered something that I did not realize and should have known was there. There are some women who celebrate this religious aspect of their culture and embrace it; there are also those who do not. I came across and interesting interview with a woman named Yasmine Mohammed called Removing your hijab can get you killed – even in the West. Yasmine Mohammed started #No Hijab Day and for very good reasons which I will let you read for yourself.
Yasmine Mohammed is a strong activist for human rights and has suffered a great deal in her life. She advocates for the rights of women living within Islamic majority countries. Now this is not to say that this is everyone’s experience, but it is a particularly high percentage of women who have experienced this. Not just in in the Muslim religion either. There is a good bit of religions out there that hold women to a low level and do their best to control them. Wearing a hijab is just symbolic of the oppression these women are subjected to in some of these countries and only a tip of the iceberg.
So, after reading the article about Yasmine Mohammed it occurred to me that no matter how much I want to support something I really should look at both sides of the coin before adamantly advocating it. I also realized that I have no dog in this fight. Though I am educated on the fundamental basis of the Muslim religion I am not Muslim, and I have never lived as a Muslim girl or woman. I cannot walk in their shoes to even begin to understand these women’s feeling in the matter.
On the one hand I want to congratulate the one set of women for standing up for what they believe in even in the eyes of racism, yet on the other hand I have to congratulate the other set women who stand up for their right to freedom even in the face of death. I thought at first that maybe I should just keep my mouth shut because I have no idea what I am talking about but then I realized that to turn away and pretend it is not there is just as wrong. Let’s face it, that is not me anyway.
So, instead of speaking my mind and forcing my opinion on others I decided to share the information on both sides of the coin. Maybe you already have an opinion, maybe you already know about all of this. Or maybe, like me you just never thought to take that extra step and learn about it. The fact of the matter is I feel that a lot of bias and racism is due to lack of knowledge and it only takes a bit of digging to learn a little about another culture and see their point of view on life.
Another point to add to all this controversy is that there are some countries that are banning Muslim face veils even if the women choose to do this for cultural and religious reasons. So in this instance it is the government not allowing freedom of religion or culture. So remember there is more than one side to look at here because maybe there are some oppressed women who welcome the help but there are also women of faith who prefer their coverings in public. Then there is the point of view from the outsiders who want to help, don’t understand, and fear the unknown.
Below I have attached some links so that you too can learn more about this subject and perhaps more about the Muslim religion and Islam. These links will lead you to more links for further reading on the subject. I have also included how some of the other countries view the face veils and the banning of these coverings. I just thought that maybe there should be more awareness on the subject matter.
I know that all I know is that I do not know anything.