by Shaheen Rajan
The way you dress says a lot about you and your personality. It reflects your back ground, upbringing and perception towards life in general. This is primarily why I always considered it is a personal choice and not a public subject to debate on. However, Hijabis and women who take veil under the name of religion and modesty are rather harshly targeted, called oppressed and backward. The fact that the way they dress is a personal choice, and decision, is conveniently overlooked. Many have tried to counter the uncalled for scrutiny and questions in a number of way, reasoning with people, and trying to make them understand of how hijab is their personal choice, and by no means reflects backwardness.
Noble Laurette from Yemen, Tawakul Karman, attempts to explain her stance as a hijabi rather impressively. When asked about her Hijab by Journalists and how it is not proportionate with her level of intellect and education, she replied:
“MAN IN THE EARLY TIMES WAS ALMOST NAKED, AND AS HIS INTELLECT EVOLVED HE STARTED WEARING CLOTHES. WHAT I AM TODAY AND WHAT I’M WEARING REPRESENTS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF THOUGHT AND CIVILIZATION THAT MAN HAS ACHIEVED, AND IS NOT REGRESSIVE. IT’S THE REMOVAL OF CLOTHES AGAIN THAT IS REGRESSIVE BACK TO ANCIENT TIMES”
The message here is moderation and stating a fact that the number of layers of clothing a woman wraps around herself doesn’t signify anything related to her intellect. Also, this explains to all the people who are convinced that hijabi cannot be moderate, progressive individuals of society.