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BBC: “Hijab for a day: Non-Muslim Women Who Try the Headscarf”


World Hijab Day 2013 seems to have gone off without a hitch. Unfortunately, Maryam Namazie who in the past has delighted in comparing the headscarf to FGM continues with similar deranged comparisons, (h/t: Al)

“Today is World Hijab Day! What next? Maybe we can all try to mutilate our daughters on World Mutilation Day or marry off our girls on World Child Marriages Day? How about a day when our male guardians can track our whereabouts to make sure we aren’t leaving the country.” (via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Hijab for a day: Non-Muslim Women Who Try the Headscarf


“Because I’m not very skilled I’m wearing what you could call a one-piece hijab – you just pull it over your head. But I’ve discovered the scope is endless. There are all sorts of options.”

So says Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK. She had always wanted to try a headscarf but, as a non-Muslim, didn’t think it an option. So, when given the opportunity by a friend to try wearing the scarf, she took it.

“She assured me that I didn’t need to be Muslim, that it was just about modesty, although obviously linked to Islam, so I thought, ‘why not?'”

Rhodes is one of hundreds of non-Muslims who will be wearing the headscarf as part of the first annual World Hijab Day on 1 February.

Originated by New York woman Nazma Khan, the movement has been organised almost solely over social networking sites. It has attracted interest from Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world.

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and divisiveness. It’s a visible target that often bears the brunt of a larger debate about Islam in the West.

World Hijab Day is designed to counteract these controversies. It encourages non-Muslim women (or even Muslim women who do not ordinarily wear one) to don the hijab and experience what it’s like to do so, as part of a bid to foster better understanding.

“Growing up in the Bronx, in NYC, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab,” says organiser Khan, who moved to New York from Bangladesh aged 11. She was the only “hijabi” (a word for someone who wears the headscarf) in her school.

Nazma Khan World Hijab day founder

“In middle school I was ‘Batman’ or ‘ninja,'” she says.

“When I moved on to college it was just after 9/11, so they would call me Osama Bin Laden or terrorist. It was awful.

“I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves.”

Khan had no idea the concept would result in support from all over the world. She says she has been contacted by people in dozens of countries, including the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, France and Germany. The group’s literature has been translated into 22 languages.

It was social networking that got Jess Rhodes involved. Her friend Widyan Al Ubudy lives in Australia and asked her Facebook friends to participate.

“My parents, their natural reaction was to wonder if this was a good idea,” says Rhodes, who decided to wear her hijab for a month.

“They were worried I would be attacked in the street because of a lack of tolerance.”

Rhodes herself was concerned about the reaction, but after eight days of wearing the headscarf she has actually been surprised by how positive it has been.

Read the rest…

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  • the original search

    “Did you mean Fakhrud-Deen ar-Razi?”


  • Tanveer Khan

    Ok Emir Solidis Anguis. Quod antequam faciam, non petistis … Utinam securus persequeris reynardine

    লং Muslamic সাম্রাজ্যের বাস!

  • Muhammad al-Hakeem

    All your advice is appreciated; thank you. I do know that Islam prohibits imitation (taqleed) without proof, but that is why I mentioned how scholars arrive at their opinions, and why when I hear a Shaykh saying something I have not heard before, I do more research to see if it is peer-reviewed and if there is consensus upon it.

    You didn’t touch upon the verse, and I don’t fully understand your stance. I know Arabic, so the scholars and their opinions aside, I know what the verse means: “khumur” means head covers. The verse goes on to say how the head cover, that is by nature already placed over the head, should extend down to cover the chest.

    //Veiling in understood as the burka, I was arguing against that. The hijab is a sound interpretation of that verse.//

    That ends the discussion. I thought you believe there is neither hijab nor burqa/niqab in the Quran, but I now know what you meant throughout the discussion. Only hijab is obligatory and there is disagreement on niqab, so we are on the same page, God willing.

    Did you mean Fakhrud-Deen ar-Razi?

    //Also since women have largely been excluded, the modesty of women is emphasised to great lengths with no parallel mention of the modesty of men (is this not distorting the Qur’an?)//

    I don’t agree that if male Muslim scholars’ only intention with regards to the Quran was to oppress women, they would issue opinions increasing their modesty; in fact, I believe the complete opposite – if that were the case, then they would “distort” the meaning of the Quran to decrease their modesty, so that they can look at any female passer-by, and they would restore the Jahiliyyah status of women where they wore no clothes if so the men wish.

    The modesty of men is mentioned in the Hadeeths to be as you know, but that doesn’t mean someone distorted the Quran; the difference is in the biological features of men and women, so the rulings on their modesty vary accordingly.

    //Following mere rituals does not connote faith if the intention behind it is not understood.//

    I totally agree, and this is because some Muslim people misunderstand God’s commands as separate from their faith although the Quran always reiterates the inextricable relation between faith and good deeds. One who does not pray – although s/he has faith – misunderstands what true worship is, usually because of the modern, secularized definition. Imān is defined as “what has dwelled in the heart and is proven by good deeds.” This happens with most Muslims but it only appears on women as their hijab is a much more conspicuous act of worship.

    I agree with the rest.

    Finally, we did agree; I just misunderstood your stance.

    Thank you.

  • the original search

    Veiling in understood as the burka, I was arguing against that. The hijab is a sound interpretation of that verse. Razi is considered as having provided one of the great tafseers, a classical genius in a time of polymaths. I suggest you acquaint yourself with Riaz Hassan’s Inside Muslim Minds about the distortions of Islamic law. Your non-critical approach to scholars without question is belied by the lack of ethics propounded on many rulings. Islam reproves slavish imitation of what men say, Muslims must think independently of authorities and go back to the Qur’an “which is its own best commentary” (Abduh). Read Muhammad Abduh’s The Theology of Unity or Asad’s This Law of Ours, both great books by great scholars that question blind following and illuminate the wisdom of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. I’m not arguing against scholars, but in favour of good scholars.

    Google Yahya Emerick’s article The Confusion of the Scholars. It is participants in a socio-historical context who give meaning to a text, even a sacred one (Khaled Abou El Fadl). Also since women have largely been excluded, the modesty of women is emphasised to great lengths with no parallel mention of the modesty of men (is this not distorting the Qur’an?), the consequences of these are expressed in how society operates. Following mere rituals does not connote faith if the intention behind it is not understood. If that was so, there would be no difference between anyone since everyone would merely follow what their forefathers followed as the Qur’an repudiates that sort of thinking. I am a Muslim and these are my opinions.

  • Solid Snake

    Listen to me, Tanveer! You are the only one I can trust now! Im reaching you over a secure line. We’ve been compromised! They betrayed us! All of them, those bastards! They have taken over our Muslamic Empire Moon Base! It was those silk balaclavas! I told Sir David not to order them from Reynardine, but that old man wouldn’t listen! Theres..theres some sort of mind control device embedded in the silk. Listen, I dont have much time, dont let anyone know you were in contact with me, they might hurt you. You got that! Stay put, I will figure out something!

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    I give in “whats restful or not restful about turning lights on or off “?
    My Grandmother was employed by a jewish family part of her job was to switch gas lights on and off on the sabbath
    Sir David

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    How about a world no drone day?
    Sir David

  • Tanveer Khan

    Good point.

  • mjasghar786

    Wear silk – how is that the same as having a silk threaded stitch to close a wound? Look at the intention and spirit of the words – ie men should not be dressing as women do

  • Tanveer Khan

    Lol 😛

  • Talking_fish_head

    yeah, I wasn’t much of a reader (curse this ADHD)

  • Tanveer Khan

    : P Blame the knowledge on books xD and thank you Mr fish. : )

  • Talking_fish_head

    happy birthday!!

    your 14?, I thought you were older judging by some of the heavily worded and knowledgeable comments you’ve written on this site, stuff that even my 23 y/o self couldn’t have thought about

  • Tanveer Khan

    Stop it…oh god.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Liberty , freternity equality and banning trousers
    Sir David

  • Tanveer Khan

    Rofl. I have tears in my eyes. Banning trousers? God bless the world. Its the best comedian ever.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    on a similar subject 😉

    Sir David

  • mjasghar786

    Balaclava is a place in the Crimea – Brits helped ottomans against Russians in order to secure access to India
    It’s a cold place and the locals wore these to cover their face from the cold air
    Later on the special forces realised it was a perfect way to disguise their features and of course bank robbers

  • Tanveer Khan

    But theres a hadith by the Prophet PBUH which says men cannot wear silk.

  • mjasghar786

    Tbh there’s a lot of rubbish and interpretation by old men living in non western countries who barely understand their own countries let alone what it’s like here
    One of the Islamic opinions on judaisim is that too often Jewish scholars over argued on the letter while ciolating the spirit eg the sabbat as a day of rest but then getting non Jews to do things like switching on and off lights or driving
    The spirit of that prohibition is men should not imitate women in their clothing
    So silk sutures etc is not a problem – heck Kevlar is essentially compacted silk isn’t it? And I’m sure I see Saudi princes wearing silk ties and so on inc the gold thread in their clothing

  • Tanveer Khan


  • Tanveer Khan

    I think if there was nothing else to use to stitch up the forehead i think it would be permissable and even obligatory. Ive heard many scholars say that there will always be one offs and it is permissable to then ‘break’ the haraminess(whatever the haraminess may be). For example, muslims are allowed to eat pigs if the other choice is dropping dead.

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