2.20 Hijab, Freedom or Oppression?

My son is in 5th grade.  His teacher as of Oct 2021 is reading a story about a Muslim girl to her class.  The girl in the story was looking forward to get to the age where she could wear a hijab.  A hijab is a scarf that covers the hair. 


My son's class was also read a story called the Proudest Blue by an olympic woman fencer named by Ibtihaj Muhammad.  It was about her pride in wearing a blue hijab and how boys made fun of her for wearing it.

The Muslim belief that women should wear a hijab comes from the Koran.  The Koran is the holiest book of Islam.  In verse 33:59 the Koran says:

O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever of Forgiving, Most Merciful

The reason for the hijab is further explained in Tafsir of Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanani (d. 211 AH/826 CE). 

(One night) some foolish people accosted a group of women and bothered them because they thought they were slave women, but they were actually free women. Because of this, the Prophet ordered the believing women to cast their jilbabs (hijabs?) upon themselves, so they would be distinguished as free women, and known from the slave women, and not bothered. —

So the purpose of a hijab is to let people know not to bother the woman wearing it.  By bother they mean assault.  Notice how Muhammad doesn't say do't assault women.  Instead he says Muslim women should cover up so that they will be recognized as Muslims women and not assaulted by Muslim men. 

 The result of this is that many Muslim men, especially recent immigrants from Muslim countries assault women who don't wear hijabs.   Robert Spencer, an expert on Islam, was told by a teenage girl in Germany that she was harassed every day on her way to school by Muslim migrants because she was not, in their view properly covered.

One day my son's teacher came into class and told the class that she was upset to read how another teacher had forcibly removed a hijab from a girl in her class. You can read about the incident here.  The story was spread all over social media and the teacher who made the student remove the hijab was threatened.  However the incident never happened.  What really happened was that the girl was wearing a hood of a hooded sweatshirt instead of a hijab.  It is school policy that you don't wear hoods in class because they can block some of your vision.  When the teacher realized that the student was wearing the hood in place of, rather than on top of, her usual hijab the teacher told the student she didn't have to take the hood off.  This is a lesson in how we can't assume that accusations that people make are true even if we read it in the newspaper or online.  There have been several claims of women being assaulted for wearing hijabs that turned out to be lies.

There are many defenders of Islam who say that wearing the hijab is a form of women's liberation.  If that is true then why is wearing the hijab compulsory in Islam?  If it was a form of women's liberation than shouldn't women be able to choose if they want to wear the hijab or not?  In fact if Islam is concerned about women's liberation why are so many Muslim women persecuted in the Muslim world? 

A muslim woman who lives in New York, Nazma Khan, came up with the idea for World Hijab day, a day when non-Muslim women are invited to wear the hijab.  She said “Growing up in the Bronx, in NYC, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab. ‘In middle school, I was ‘Batman’ or ‘ninja’. When I entered University after 9/11, I was called Osama bin laden or terrorist. It was awful. I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves.”

Another woman, Yasmine Mohammed  removed her hijab while visting her mother in Vancouver Canada.  Her mother threatened to kill her.  In protest against women being forced to wear the hijab, Yasmine courageously made a video of herself burning a hijab and posted it on social media.  Yasmine also came up with the idea of "No Hijab day" to counter World Hijab Day.  Women who supported her were threatened.  One woman, Dina Tokio posted a 45 minute video of herself without a hijab reading all the threats and abuse she received for deciding not to wear the hijab all the time.  Many women throughout the world have been persecuted and some even killed for not wearing the hijab.  Why doesn't Nazma Khan support them?

 In 1979 radical Muslims took over the country of Iran and required that all women wear the hijab.  Hundreds of thousands of women protested the ruling.  Here is a picture of their protest.

Masih Alinejad is an Iranian woman who invited other Iranian women to remove their hijabs in protest and send their pictures to be posted on her web site.  The women who did that were locked up in jail.  Masih wrote on twitter "When your sisters are given cruel sentences for campaigning against compulsory hijab in the Middle East, it's the responsibility of the global feminist movement to defend them. I call on you  @IlhanMN  ,  @AOC  ,  @RashidaTlaib  to break your silence.  Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are Muslim members of Congress who speak out against the United States constantly but who have not spoken out in protest against the oppression of women in Iran.

   Iran is not the only country where women put on a hijab because they are forced to do so. 

Warning, the rest of this lesson is scary and you might not want to read it and you might not want to watch the video at the end.  Ask your parents if they think you should read it.

Alexis Amory wrote an article called The Lifting of the Veil (frontpagemag.com 1/23/04) about the situation in French housing projects where Muslims are in the majority as follows:

In the projects where native French are very much in the minority, native French girls are being bullied into adopting the headscarf.  Girls who are “bold” enough, or disrespectful enough of the Muslim majority, are being gang-raped by Muslim adolescents on the grounds that they need a lesson.  This is part of a new, rapidly developing “tradition”... Small wonder that the parents of white daughters in the projects insist on them donning a scarf to leave their homes. 

The picture below is of Christian women who were forced to wear Burkas by Daesh (ISIS).  The Al Khansa brigade Daesh's all-female policing unit pour acid on the faces of women who weren't wearing niqabs.  The American army eliminated most of ISIS during the Trump administration.


       In Mali women who don't wear veils have been warned that their ears will be cut off if they don't.  The French intervened in 2013 to stop the extremist Muslim take over of Mali.  The Telegraph reported that:

“Until last week, everyone was scared, all the women were covered up except for the eyes,” said Mr Ousmane, 60, who was visiting Bamako when the bombing began.
“But when I spoke to my wife on Thursday morning, she said that she had taken her veil off, as had most of the other women in Timbuktu. The French military intervention has finally brought us some hope.”

Adriana Stuijt in her article "International Terrorist Support Groups Thrive in Belgium and Netherlands" (Monday, Sept. 24, 2001 Newsmax.com) writes how:

Moslem gangs in Holland organize attacks against non-Muslims in shopping centers and at sporting and cultural events. During these organized attacks, in which youths spray people with insecticide and beat them with batons, the youths specially target ethno-European girls and women, demanding that they wear head scarves and start obeying the strict Muslim shari'a laws which require total subservience to males.

Amani Mustafa an Egyptian woman who escaped Islam took her veil off her face in the plane to Los Angeles. Her son said "Mom you're going to hell". She told her son, "We just left hell.

If the U.S. allows immigration of radical Muslims to continue hell might fight follow Amani to Los Angeles. A Muslim girl named Aqsa Parvez was already killed for refusing to wear a hijab in Canada and there already have been honor killings of Muslim girls in the U.S..



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