What’s Up With the Scary Headscarves?

EWI News:

from Shane's Muslim Connect

For those of us from relatively open, Western cultures, the idea of head coverings can be disconcerting. When a Muslim woman shows nothing but her eyes, it might be troubling. Is she oppressed? Is she hiding some nefarious plan? I have a friend, a guy, who threw on a burka and anonymously roamed all over a mosque in India. It’s little wonder our minds go these directions. 

But why wear head coverings? Given the diversity of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, the issue is complex and the number of reasons is vast. Check out this amazing article in Huffington Post where Muslim women share what covering means to them.

Here are three reasons Muslim women say they cover.

1. Devotion to God: “The Qur’an, in teaching on modesty, reminds women: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments, except what (ordinarily) appear thereof.” (24:31) In line with this Qur’anic verse, we do not display our beauty simply because it is the command of our Lord!"

2. Modesty: Closely related, some Muslim women cover, “. . .because they believe that God has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. What Muslim women realize is that our beauty is sacred and certainly not for any random man to gawk at for pleasure."

3. Identity: “. . . other Muslim women wear the hijab as a means of visibly expressing their Muslim identity. In the United States, particularly since 9/11, the hijab is perceived to be synonymous with Islam. Some Muslim women choose to appropriate this stereotype and wear the hijab to declare their Islamic identity and provide witness of their faith.

Want to go the next step? Build a relationship with a Muslim to the degree you can kindly ask why they, or the women in their family, do - or maybe don’t - cover their heads.  


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