4 Reasons why Sisters are Struggling to keep their Hijab on
We’ve all had those moments where we imagine what it would be like to confidently show our hair off to the world. Running our fingers through freshly blown locks attracting the attention of those around us.
But let's recall our belief here!
Hijab is a dress of modesty, dignity and confidence. Headscarves, commonly referred to as hijabs in Arabic, are a symbol of identity and faith for Muslim women.
Faith involves struggles, tests, and trials, which are part and parcel of the hijab. Some days weigh heavier on the heart than others making it a challenge to dawn our hijab. Listed below are 4 reasons why sisters are struggling to keep it on.
1. Constant Judgement
Let's face it, no one likes being singled out, much less judged.
As hijabis we carry the burden of bearing the flag of our faith while existing as fallible human beings. On the one hand, we are painted as backwards and oppressed by the West while, on the other hand, our own community scrutinizes our every move. Sometimes it feels like nothing we do is ever good enough. We live in two worlds second guessing ourselves and wonder why do we even bother? The constant judgment can be enough to push some of our sisters into taking the hijab off.
2. Safety concerns
It is no secret that 9/11 led to a significant increase in islamophobia. Since 2000, hate crimes against Muslims have increased by 1,700% according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the past few years, Trumps’ America propagated xenophobia with its “Muslim Ban”, which led to another wave of hate crimes against Muslims.
Most recently, we learned of the Pakistani family that became victim to Islamophobia when a white supremist struck them intentionally with a truck, leading to the killing of 4 members of the family in London, Ontario. How can we forget the Christchurch Mosque attack when 51 innocent Muslims were shot dead while they were offering Salah?
As hijabis, we become easy targets of hate fueled crimes. In its lowest forms, we are called terrorists, and told to ‘go back to [our] country.’ In its highest forms, we are physically assaulted. Such situations make keeping the hijab on a struggle and compel women to remove it for fear of their safety and the right to leave peacefully.
3. Media and Public Perception
Global public opinion towards Muslim women has been heavily shaped by media. Although things are slowly changing, mainstream media has long since perpetuated a 2-dimensional view of Muslim women.
This perception of Muslim women as either oppressed or security threats, has made Western countries have been uncomfortable and hostile towards Muslim women.
We are seen as “outsiders" who threaten Western values and culture.
Such a situations and perceptions can leave sisters feeling unwelcomed to the point where they may uncover their head just to feel normal.
4. Struggle to find Work
In the West, landing an interview with hijab can be difficult. And when you do, you may be rejected with no valid reason despite having all the qualifications.
On March 14, a European union court gave a ruling that permits banning hijab-wearing employees and turning down job candidates if the employer feels the need to present a “neutral image” to the customers. The ruling states that:
"A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer's need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes," the court said.
These decisions not only authorize discrimination but also incite hate crimes against Muslims. It threatens job security as it creates a barrier to some jobs, regardless of their experience and education.
For every girl thinking of taking off her hijab for any of these reasons, let the following hadith be a light for you.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Islam began as something strange and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.’”
Factors such as Muslim women's background and the society in which they live heavily influence their lives and their reasons for wearing a hijab. As an outer manifestation of our faith, hijab is not something to be feared.
Wear it with confidence, and Yes, style it with RUUQ.
Give us your thoughts in the comments below.
Azka is a blogwriter for RUUQ. She writes about hijab fashion and hopes to convey to the world that hijab is a choice and not a means of "oppression".