The Head Scarf Dilemma

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We’ve all seen how European countries are becoming notorious for their bans on the head scarves of Muslim women. Personally, I’m assuming that this comes from a good place; countries want to have a hand in eradicating the systemic oppression of women by religious law. This is fantastic. *For a short while, I’m going to deliberately avoid the Islamophobic context of some of these laws.

While this is a great initiative, this move can go horribly wrong- as it already has in France and Turkey- especially when the people who are meant to be benefiting from this are refuting this idea.

From my perspective, the ban on the headscarf is failing because of two reasons.

1) People have the right to practice any religion of their choice and if dressing in a particular manner is a part of practising that religion, placing a ban on that religious wear is somewhat limiting that person’s liberty to exercise this right.

2) Then comes the argument that in most instances, within Islam, the men impose this on the women. This is seen by the West as the most deplorable form of oppression because women “should be free to wear whatever they want”.

While this is also a valid concern, the very implementation of this ban is doing the exact same thing which it seeks to end. Yes, there are women who are forced to wear head scarves, but there is a significant number of women who choose to wear their head scarves, and this cannot be ignored.

If the headscarf ban combats male domination by disallowing the oppression of women- telling them what to wear, is telling them what they may not wear not the same thing?

If the headscarf ban combats male domination by disallowing the oppression of women- telling them what to wear, is telling them what they may not wear not the same thing?

Some things to think about…

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NIQAB-HIJAB

For some women hijab is a symbol of modesty, privacy and morality. A symbol which they choose to wear boldly.

For some women hijab is a symbol of modesty, privacy and morality. A symbol which they choose to wear boldly.

This is what I call prescription before diagnosis.

This is what I call prescription before diagnosis.

How about we look at the broader picture and discuss *not decide in our presidential offices, DISCUSS what the greater problems are here.

How about we look at the broader picture and  discuss *not decide in our presidential offices,  DISCUSS what the greater problems are here.

Then maybe we can see more of this…only if it is their choice…

Iranian women's soccer team finally allowed to play in head scarves

Iranian women’s soccer team allowed to play in head scarve

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2 thoughts on “The Head Scarf Dilemma

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