Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Veil: Showing off vs. Being!

The title is not really mine, it's inspired by the final words of an American lady who converted to Islam in this video that I am showing you today. The lady is talking about the veil from a very personal level. That's an insider's look at the veil, or Hijab, in Islam. Non-Muslims might think of the veil as oppressive (that's what one American female friend told me). That's indeed a weird concept. It ignores the defintion of oppression, which implies forcing and imposing. Why would wearing the veil be oppressive when Muslim women do it by choice?! It's as free as going naked on the beach, one woman "wants" to reveal her body, while the other "wants" to protect it from the staring eyes! There should be no talking about oppression here. Seeing western women opt for the veil is even more of a proof that it's their free choice to wear the veil, because they do that when they belong to a culture that doesn't recognize or respect the veil. They don't have any other motive than their pure free desire. Watch this video, it's one account of what a western woman feels and thinks about wearing the veil. She ends her video by saying something profound about wearing the veil: it's for women who are more interested in being than in showing off!

Final note: A woman can be Muslim and not cover her hair, however a good Muslim woman would not reveal much of her body, the same way conservative women of other religions do. This post is primarily concerned by the attack of the veil as an oppressive form of religious practice. I must also say that I am categorically against covering a woman's face in the name of hijab/veil and I personally see it as an anti-islamic dress.