Lifting of the Veil

July 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm 8 comments

A modern version of the hijab – Photo taken in Central Turkey
In September 2010, a measure banning the wearing of face-covering attires in public places, such as the hijab, went into law in France.

The Free Online Dictionary defines the hijab as “The headscarf worn by Muslim women, sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes.”

You gotta be kidding me. In a country where individualism and freedom of self-expression are highly valued, it just doesn’t add up. It’s so un-French.

The hijab and its equivalent predates all major religions in existence today. The practice had been documented as far back as the First Century A.D. in the Middle East. Back in those days, both men and women covered their faces for practical reasons. It helped them cope with the extreme weather conditions in the desert.

With the spread of Islam, wearing the hijab among women had achieved religious significance. The elders of the faith had seen the light and decreed that all Muslim women should cover their faces and bodies in public as a symbol of their faith and “to guard their modesty.”

It’s unfortunate that some misguided zealots had hijacked the hijab and used it for terrorist activities. This must be one of the reasons why France and other European countries are treating the hijab and similar attires with suspicion. They are considered threats to national security and well-being of their citizens.

Another reason is the perception that the hijab is a hindrance to integration into French society. France is one of the countries where diversity is welcome, so this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s inmperative for the Muslim community, however, to address this concern head on.

Making the hijab illegal in France and elsewhere discriminates against Muslim women. It’s a violation of their rights to practice their faith as they see fit. If they choose to cover their faces, so be it.

At same time, it’s equally wrong to force them to wear one against their will. This is tantamount to suppression of their individual liberty. Those who think otherwise live in the past and has no place in modern society.

Whether or not to wear the hijab or the burqa for that matter should be based on personal preference. It’s only fair. Women should have the right to choose.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , , , , .

volunteering at the annual run Fahrenheit 451

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I am a Muslim woman
    by Jenn Zaghloul

    I am a Muslim woman
    Feel free to ask me why
    When I walk,
    I walk with dignity
    When I speak
    I do not lie

    I am a Muslim woman
    Not all of me you’ll see
    But what you should appreciate
    Is that the choice I make is free

    I’m not plagued with depression
    I’m neither cheated nor abused
    I don’t envy other women
    And I’m certainly not confused

    Note, I speak perfect English
    Et un petit peu de Francais aussi
    I’m majoring in Linguistics
    So you need not speak slowly

    I run my own small business
    Every cent I earn is mine
    I drive my Chevy to school & work
    And no, that’s not a crime!

    You often stare as I walk by
    You don’t understand my veil
    But peace and power I have found
    As I am equal to any male!

    I am a Muslim woman
    So please don’t pity me
    For God has guided me to truth
    And now I’m finally free!

    (c)1999 Jenn Zaghloul

    • 2. plaridel  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm


      beautiful poem. as i said before, i have no issue with the hijab as long as it’s worn without compulsion. peace.

    • 3. virtualanimosity  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:41 am

      wow. im soo moved by the poem. nice

  • 4. virtualanimosity  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:51 am

    this is another heavy social issue here, my friend. its good that you always speak your mind. in one way or another, you stir something in other people’s curiosity.

    i dont really mind at all. maybe because i dont wear one. but if im a muslim (as far as i know they are the ones who wears it, sorry for my lack of knowledge) ill make sure to fight for my right.

    • 5. plaridel  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:14 am


      it’s a very controversial issue, indeed. if the ban becomes a law in france, their only hope is to have it declared unconstitutional and overturned by the court.

  • 6. Daniel  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Some clarification in order, please.

    The bill only applies to full-face veils that may or may not leave the eyes uncovered.

    Nul ne peut, dans l’espace public, porter une tenue destinée à dissimuler son visage.

    English translation:
    No person may, in public, wear clothing designed to conceal the face.

    • 7. plaridel  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm


      if this is true, then it’s not as restricting as i thought. thanks for the info.

    • 8. virtualanimosity  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      how about the bride in weddings? 😆 *joke*

      seriously, it is one sensitive issue. hope that your clarification is true.


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