• Maryam Isa-Haslett


Hijab is a symbol of an interpretation of Islam, I reject the believes that women are a sexual distraction to men, who are weak, and thus most not be tempted by the sight of our hair.

We don't buy it. The ideology promotes a social attitude that absolves men of sexually harassed women and puts the onus on the victim to protect herself by covering up.

The new Muslim reform, a global network of leaders, advocating for human rights, peace and secular government, supports the right of Muslim women to wear or not wear the hijabs.

Hijab wearing is necessary for women to avoid unwanted attention. The mandate that women cover their hair relies on misinterpretations of the Quranic verses.

In arabic dictionary, hijab refers to a "barrier", not necessarily between men and women, but also between two men. Hijab appears in a Quranic verse (33.53), during the firth year prophet Muhammed's migration to Madina, when some wedding guests overstayed their welcome at the prophet's home. It established some rules of etiquette for speaking to the wives of prophet Muhammed: And when ye ask of them anything, ask of them from behind a hijab. This is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. Thus hijabs means partition.

The word hijab appears only eight time in the Quran as an obstacle or wall of separation. The most cited verse to defend the hijab (33.59) states, oh prophet tell thy wives and thy daughter and believer women to draw their hijab/jilbab close around them; this will be better so that they be recognised and not harm and god is the most forgiving, most merciful.

As a woman who grew up in civilised Muslim families with theologies, I am trying to reclaim our religion from prong of strict interpretation. I believe in freedom of religion, but we need to clarify to those institutions that in exploring the hijab, they are not exploring Islam, but rather the ideology of political Islam, I encourage women to not wear their hijab in solidarity with the ideology that most silence us, and equating our body with honor,

I feel the need to humanise ourselves and prove in deliberatively working to prove we are more than the hijab since the hijab has been politized and by doing so, the hijab can be stripped of his spiritual value.

While writing this article, I feel a responsibility to include that we do feel empowered by the hijab.

We should ask our selves who has placed that responsibility and expectation on us, we would argue the western society has placed the expectation, and we feel responsible for representing Muslim community fairly due to our sincere love for it. There is this partially pressure because the media has not and does not portray complete image of Muslim women.

As women we are seen as ambassadors of the Islamic faith. It is important to realise that we are not saying we aren't oppressed, instead we are here to lead a pure life and practice our faith.

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