‘Hijab’ should be woman’s personal choice

“We have a bad habit in Western secular society of thinking that we know best. And Western feminism often has an equally bad habit of thinking that its ideals are the right ideals for women of all cultures.

“In our society, the veils and scarves worn by Muslim women are commonly seen as symbols and tools of an oppressive Islamic patriarchy. This sort of establishment thinking makes feminism inaccessible for women of different beliefs, which robs the movement of its global power. Women who would like to be identified as feminists but choose to wear a headscarf don’t always seem to have a place.

“Western stereotypes surrounding the hijab – the scarf that covers the neck and hair of Muslim women – include the assumption that women are wearing it because of subjugation and religious indoctrination. Some argue that such coverage is used to make women subservient and invisible. But what really makes them invisible is assuming that the women who choose to wear the hijab, the abaya or anything else did not make the choice themselves.”

Amanda Teuscher in The Post, 6 May 2008

See also “Front Page news: Islamophobia makes you an expert on niqab” at Muslimah Media Watch.