2016: Veils Don’t Sail?

It is the year twenty sixteen and women still feel the need to walk around covering every inch of skin, including their face! You no longer need to bend under the misogynist standards set by the no longer ruling patriarchy. You don’t need to step outside clad in black floor length clothes in fear of your abusive male spouse. You have human rights.We all have human rights. We have feminism! Wait, I’ll save you…

That’s already a whole seventy-four words in and I haven’t even introduced the topics of interest I will be covering today.

Hello people of the internet. I am sure quite a few of you might have already contemplated jumping off my post as you might have judged from the opening paragraph, that I am here to ‘ridicule’ feminism; but I assure you, I am not. This post is written for the sole purpose of educating/informing and creating a platform for healthy discussion of queries and questions.

I was inspired to write about the misconceptions of veiled women and the hijab when I happened to trod upon a pretty heated discussion between what seemed to be a group of rather ignorant people in the comments on a post on Instagram. Ah Instagram, of course. Where ever else.

However my need to literate my thoughts comes from more than just that, I am a young woman living in Britain, who dresses up everyday the way that I choose to – and that happens to end with covering my hair with a headscarf. Therefore, to me, it is important that the people I interact with in the world are aware that I am not forced to wear the hijab.

There is a lot of talk on Muslim women in the media, particularly social media, but what it is, is rarely discussed. Scriptures of all Abrahamic religions indicate a notion towards the covering of the hair and body. Where the rules of most religions are absolute, the interpretation of such divine laws are subjective; generally speaking,

hijab is – a religious code which is to be implemented by both men and women,

since the topic of this post is women; the female covering consists of loose clothing which is not skin tight nor transparent and a piece of cloth to cover the head and chest.

Some women choose also to cover their face with a veil or niqaab, showing only their eyes. 

You might be getting the jist here. Choice. Women that cover more of their bodies than other women, do so out of their own free will. To question a woman’s freedom based off of what she wears does not empower her, rather – it restricts her choices. 

My opinion is not very humble when I say, that feminism without intersectionality is pointless. You need not to be an atheist or of a certain colour to believe in the equality of rights. You do however, need to take into account the individual experiences of different people based on the unique circumstances they were born into/live in and with. There are many women who believe that religion in fact inspires their inner feminist. 

Her choice to cover should certainly never offend you.

I get it. It’s extremely easy, to read the first few  poorly translated verses of a Holy Book of any religion ‘online’,  those that are clearly taken out of context – and say that this religion sets women back. Reading a few essays on Wikipedia, doesn’t make you a historian. You are far from the expert when you believe a Muslim woman is oppressed. 

Are women in some regions of the Middle East oppressed by a society that uses religion as a poor excuse to mistreat females? Yes. Do I deny the fact that in such cases, some women and young girls may be made to cover and live their lives deprived of the simple notion of making their own choices? Of course not. 

Women are still seen as second class citizens in many countries, It’s a fact. It happens. I am not here to hang such issues to rest, if anything – I believe more needs to be done to speak out for women who don’t have the opportunity to project their own voices. 

However, aren’t women in secular or Non Muslim developing countries abused? Are they not raped and forced into human trafficking? Are women in these countries not misused, mistreated and pushed aside too? They are. 

Shouldn’t our attentions and focus then, be on the women who need our efforts – rather than questioning why a free walking woman is covering her hair? 

Veils Don’t Sail 


Personally, I do not cover my face but I cover my hair, another woman may not cover her face nor her hair. 

Categorizing levels of covering/modesty to what can be worn and what cannot and judging the character of the women who choose to dress otherwise; is true oppression. 

I have seen fellow Muslim veiled women being spoken to in derogatory manners. A thin layer of fabric covering the face of a human does not devoid of the fact that she is a human. 

Her hair or face being covered should not come as a novelty in a world where almost anyone can mould, sculpt or mutilate/pierce their bodies to the way they like (literally).

Her choice to cover should certainly never offend you. 

Thank you for reading, feedback is always welcome on my blog.

Rimsha

* this was a self-illustrated blogpost, the doodles and drawings were created by yours truly *

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To share your story and be featured on my blog, drop me an email on: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

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18 thoughts on “2016: Veils Don’t Sail?

  1. Lisa Yip says:

    Hey Rimsha.
    What an insightful piece here. It’s a real shame that not everyone is respectful of women’s choices of hijab/veil. I just don’t wunderstand why women get treated this way, it’s just totally wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shahriyar Ali says:

    Very well written! Everyone, including Muslims, should know and understand the need of veil before/while they practice. And veiling just isn’t implied on women; it implies on men too, to an extent. And veiling is actually a blessing to us for not putting ourselves into sins. It’s more like a cautious statement from god in the book. It’s not obligatory but is recommended. There’s a reason behind veiling as there are reasons behind every single thing in this world. So seek that reason in the book and surroundings before skipping to conclusions. Not all veil practicing men and women are pure, and we’re all humans, prone to make mistakes and drift ourselves into evil actions everyday. But god is ever merciful! It’s better to shut our mouth, stop being judgemental and live life faithfully leaving the rest on the almighty:)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fijay says:

    You’re blog is wonderful ….we ALL need to understand each other better …as well as the religious reasons for wearing …I personally think the hijab looks very elegant also ….PLUS I would imagine it solves the problem of a ‘bad hair day’:D:D:D …..live and let live …respect people’s differences /choices …..be intolerant of intolerance ….I’m STILL hopeful we’ll all get there one day:)
    And a thoughtful …educational blog like yours can help that for sure :):):):):):)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zainab Sheikh says:

    Such an amazing post! I wear veil and it’s totally because I want to. No one ever forced me to wear it. It’s my choice. But, people don’t get it. They think that the reason why I am wearing it is because my family is extremely strict and I’m oppressed et cetra.
    There’s Hijab in Islam and if anyone wants to or not want to wear the Hijab clothing, it’s up to them. We should worry about ourselves.
    I agree with you. We should help women who are being raped and abused everyday instead of trying to “liberate” the ones with veil.

    Liked by 1 person

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