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A woman's right to wear Hijab

In Denmark the debate about the Muslim hijab has reached a new high.

Especially due to a very brave politician by the name of Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, the discussion of hijabs in public office and in court houses is raging.

It seems to me that women in feminist circles are much divided on this issue, and so am I. On one hand I completely follow the argument that a woman's right to wear a head-scarf for religious reasons is untouchable. On the other hand, many a feminist would call the hijab a very powerful symbol of the suppression of women.

Since we cannot know for sure which women put on the hijab for what reasons, what solutions could there be to a conflict of this kind?

Asmaa Abdol-Hamid (Scanpix for Kristeligt Dagblad)

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Sudanese Women Protesting August 4th 2009

Aug 4th 2009
Sudanese women chanting slogans against the discriminatory laws against women embedded in Sudan legislations.

Freedom without man's interpretations!

Why are we struggling to understand the reason behind the Hijab that women wear? For the women from the west it seems like a fabric that is symbolic of man’s oppression on women. To some women of the East they are taught that it keeps them safe and maintains their virtue, which in turn, the Honor of the family is always insured. Be, it tradition or religion? Women are to hold to something that is of value to them in their life. The Hijab is put on the young girl when she has started to become young women and sees it as the beginning of a tradition where she is to begin to be honored and valued.
I have read that as soon as the girl gets her first period she is considered unclean and the Hijab is put on her to safeguard the family from a possible disruption with any male in their community. I have read in many instances that women have been kicked and slapped around, if they had one strand of hair showing. Right now women in the Sudan have been imprisoned for wearing pants! I see this as cruelty to another human being by Man. Who has set man as the judge and jury over the women of this Muslim world? I do not believe that these men that police these poor women are without sin! Yes, I too agree that it should be the women’s right to wear the Hijab. Yet I disagree that ANY MAN should have any say in how it is to be worn or when it should be worn. If this is the women’s spiritual way of showing her love of a higher being than let her dictate the rules!
I’m a strong believer in the spiritual freedom of all women to believe how they want and to show it how they want! Without men consistently dictating and enforcing their interpretation upon women, we would be able to stretch are spiritual wings worldwide! Until this happens women will continue to wear the Hijab without the freedom of taking it off on a sunny day… We should work with these women and respect their limitations in and around the wearing of the Hijab. If we take away the Hijab in the public area’s like the work place or schools? Should we not replace it with something a little more suitable like the freedom and safety to do so? When we can give them a safe world to be free as a woman to allow her hair to blow in the winds without fear of dishonoring her family or inciting the lust of a man, then we have truly given them something of value.

As a woman who wears hijab myself, I totally don't see it as oppression. In Islam both men and women have a dressing code and just because it is different does not mean it is oppression or forced. Many feminists wear hijab themselves.

Meghana Bahar
Meghana Bahar
Sri Lanka

Confusing Islam with Hadith

Islam or the Quran or the Word of God does not indicate a separate dress code for men or for women. The Quran is all we need to refer to in order to make this life the best life each of us, man or woman, live. The Hadiths refer to the way of the Prophet, the life that he led in his time, which was a totally different era to the present time. The Quran states emphatically that idol-worship is the worst sin that can ever be committed by men and women. If so, isn't it an equally grave sin to be creating idols out of the Prophet, his brethren, his wives, next of kin, khalifs, etc?

Meghana Bahar
Meghana Bahar
Sri Lanka

Demystifying Islam for Believers and Non-Believers

The following articles are being shared with you, not to criticise or debate about each subject area, or to dispute different opinions. They are meant to widen the length and breadth, the diversity of our knowledge of Islam (the religion of peace).

For those of you who this it is Islam (the Quran) that promotes the Hijab for women, read this:

For those of you who think Islam (the Quran) advocates beating women, read this:

For those of you who believe that Islam (the Quran) declares women are unclean during menstruation, read this:

Let there be a just interpretation of Islam (the Quran) from just minds. Different people have different life experiences. Hence, the different opinions, interpretations, etc. We must respect each and every opinion. But we don't have to believe each and every interpretation. It should be open for comment, just and fair to the sexes, progressive for progressive societies, and above all peace-bringing for the whole world.

Usuario borrado


I think everyone has the right to wear whatever the want if it doesn't cover their identity/face. This is what ''they'' call ''FREEDOM OF ACTION'' so why doesn't anyone stop the ones who walk naked in europe or any western country and forbid them or illegalize what they do? I agree that the Neqab (that covers the face) should be forbidden but disagree with the law that forbids women from practicing their religion (by wearing the Hijab,covering their hair).

Maxine Olson
Maxine Olson
Estados Unidos


Wearing a veil and covering your whole body is a symbol of oppression. Covering up the body suggests that the human body is offensive, maybe sinful, and in so doing denies a total communication between people. The human body is beautiful; the expression of it, the woman's eyes, mouth, hands, feet, legs, and form, all communicate on a level of getting to know oneself and the rest of the human race. In the Old biblical texts written by men who feared women or despised them, were the ones who set the rules on how to dress. Until women have the freedom of expression, whether in education, vocation, art, economics, and what they choose to wear provocatively or conservatively, by that costume whatever it is, they will be marked, and be viewed as the old ancient guard intended.

Estados Unidos


Muslim women and their presentations
Privacy and modesty at all times
Magnificent and distinguish
Spiritual in keeping with the faith
Many disregard secular interruptions
Believe in reflecting who they are
Always looking faithful and glorious
Exposing the most sensual eyes
And can contact the soul.

Muslim women and their appearances
Confidentiality and humility at all times
Outstanding and differentiate
Devote in keeping with the devotion
Many discern worldly obstruction
Consider in staying on their chosen path
Constantly appearing truthful and celebrate
Exposing the most vocal mouth
And can awake the mind.


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Virginia Williams
Virginia Williams
Estados Unidos

It's about choice

In my opinion, the fundamental right to choose is the question, not the hijab itself. The hijab is not viewed as oppressive by the women who chose to wear them, rather as empowering, an expression of faith and commitment. If however, the hijab is imposed by a government or religious entity- this is a violation of human rights, plain and simple.

Anne Bak
Anne Bak

targeting the real issue

It is true that for many women the hijab is a symbol of their devotion to islam, but in many other cases it is a part of the suppression of women. Therefore I find it difficult to make laws that completely forbids the use of the hijab.

Suppression of women is based on deeper issues that whether or not to cover your hair. In the case of Denmark the solution is not a ban of headscarfs, whether it's in the parlament or in the general public, but trying to reach and help those women being oppressed.

Also being a dane, to me this is just another example of the population's prejudice towards middleeastern culture and a much deeper problem. --But I wouldn't refer to this exact debate as especially current in danish context, since the case you mention dates back to 2008

Somanjana Chatterjee
Somanjana Chatterjee
Estados Unidos

Voice-over the Veil

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for sparking off an interesting thread of discussion on this very intriguing gender-rights issue. This whole idea of camouflaging one’s persona behind a piece of cloth might seem to be a sign of oppression in certain parts of the world but I think, in order to perceive the broader scheme of things one has to come out of the pre-conceived mindset about women’s freedom and empowerment.

Is commoditizing women by making them wear bikini more liberating than preserving their dignity in hijab? Is bulldozing a teenage girl with concepts of diet, hourglass figure and populist notion of sexuality healthier than promoting a balanced gender consciousness? I pose such questions and like you wonder which path is the right path to adhere gender justice?!

And, as an after note, I would hope that we seek the answers sans putting tags to cultural connotation.

M. Tahir
M. Tahir

Re- A Woman's right to wear Hijab

Democracy is all about freedom of the individuals to exercise some certain rights. Democracy does not promote aggression or victimization. Democracy respect religion and values of the society. Democracy is all about choice and opinion but in all these, I don't see where the ban on Hijab in countries like France rhyme with what democracy is all about. As good people of the world, what we should promote is tolerance. Tolerance for what people are and what they believe in. The Islamic religion encourages women to cover their hair. It is an age long tradition which most Muslim women identify with and I don't see that as a symbol of suppression. If at all there is an issue with the Hijab, stopping women from using it in public places is definitely not the answer. I want to know where the freedom of the individual to express themselves and associate with what they believe comes in. In my own veiw, banning of Hijabs is actually the real suppression of women and not wearing it.

I have a dream

I have a dream that all women will be free from violence
That they could take their breath with comfort
I have a dream that all girls will be free from abuse
That they could trust their land of the living
I have a dream that all wives will be free from domestic violence in their own homes
I have a dream that women will walk in public
the way they like Without being harassed
I have a dream that women will not be ridiculed with virginity tests on their honeymoon beds
I have a dream that the killing of women in the name of honour will be stopped in their faithful societies
I have a dream I don’t have to read newspaper stories of stabbing,
Killing, raping millions of women and girls
When I wake up in the morning
I have a dream that the abuse of women will vanish
Like morning dew disappears when the Sun comes
I have a dream that women will enjoy freedom and democracy
Like water for the thirst and food for the hunger

Shamila Daluwatte shamiladaluwatte@gmail.com

Etiquetas: The woman should be able to wear what she wants...

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