The Truth about the Islamic Scarf
Are Muslim women oppressed? Are they forced into wearing the scarf ? Is the Hijab a form of male dominance over women? Do men have to wear a scarf ? What is the purpose of the scarf, and why do women wear it in their driver’s license and passport photos?
In the twentieth century, one of the most discussed topics, especially in regards to Islam, is the headscarf and manner of dressing of Muslim women.
The basis of this interest is based upon questions about what this scarf means to Islam, and how women who wear the scarf live. Are Muslim women oppressed? Are they forced into wearing the scarf? Is the Hijab a form of male dominance over women? Do men have to wear a scarf? What is the purpose of the scarf, and why do women wear it in their driver’s license and passport photos?
This packet is geared towards explaining the truth behind the Islamic scarf, or the Hijab. According to Islam, Hijab is meant as a societal equalizer.
It is a philosophy, that both men and women are required to follow, that indicates that individuals, of both genders, should be treated with equal rights and honor. Accordingly the religion of Islam espouses that material wealth, physical attributes, and social “status” should not be a part of ordinary life. In fact, individuals should be allowed to interact as equals, despite circumstance.
Accordingly, Muslim men and women are enjoined to observe a simple dress code that helps facilitate this positive level of interaction. For men, covering the parts of the body traditionally associated with masculine attractiveness is required, and the same is required of women.
The most visible difference, is that Islam advocates that Muslim women are to help maintain their honor and higher esteem, by wearing a scarf to cover their hair. Mistakenly, this single aspect of the Islamic dress code is referred to as Hijab by itself, but the fact of the matter is that the concept of Hijab encompasses male and female interaction in a way the elevates society, while promoting the dignity and respect that humanity should aspire to.
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