Should a woman be free to cover up and wear the hijab (Islamic covering)?,

There has been a lot of debate going on in the western world, especially France, Canada, Germany and the UK regarding women wearing the face veil and the headscarf and whether or not it’s acceptable to do so in public.

Very recently Germany lifted her ban on wearing hijab, Islamic term for a headscarf and loose clothing, literally meaning a cover, for school teachers. France has banned the face veil although it has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. Headscarves also are not allowed in French schools which make me wonder, what if it was a nun at the school, would her headscarf be a problem, or is it just when a Muslim covers it? This is not to make any divisions within religion because I respect all religions equally, this is to show the clear bias within some western governments when it comes to the rights of minorities.  This is the same France that permits topless and nude beaches.

Western states such as France believe in women’s rights and a woman’s freedom of choice in choosing what she wants to wear. Then why is it a woman is allowed to show her body, but not allowed to cover up her body if she chooses to?  Who determines what is oppressive for a woman to wear but the woman herself? A woman who chooses to wear a covering should have the same freedom of choice as a woman who chooses to walk around with a bikini.

I agree that in situations where a woman needs to be identified such as state buildings, they should be required to take off their face covers for security reasons.  And I also agree that all women have their own free will to decide whether she wants to cover up or not and no one should force her to do either. But otherwise, it is unjust to let a woman to wear a wig, to wear a hat, to wear a hoody, but then the hijab is the one that is conceived in a negative light. Recently a girl in America was denied a job because she wore a headscarf. This sort of discrimination and lack of respect for other cultures needs to be addressed in society.  Almost every time I read an article that’s to do with hijab and how it supposedly “oppresses” women, the writer never interviewed women who wears the hijab for those articles to ask them their opinion. Women who cover themselves for religious reasons aren’t questioned as to what they think, but rather a Western-supremacy feminist view (which is very narrow-minded and domineering to other cultures) is shoved down people’s throats regarding the hijab. It is not only unfair, it is not objective journalism.

So next time you see a woman walking down the street with a hijab on, how about going up to her and politely asking her why she chooses to wear it before stereotyping her  as “oppressed” because nothing is more oppressive than to label someone without even getting to know the person’s views and opinion.

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