The HIJAB, an expression of Identity? SunkyOG
Updated: Nov 4
There is always a constant disagreement among scholars about whether the religious text, the Quran, evidently commands women to veil or is just a means of identity.
Various passages make allusion to veiling by the prophet’s wives. But scholars’ distress about whether these statements apply only to the prophet’s wives or to all Muslim women.”
Killian in her article contends that hijab can be a positive assertion of an identity. She clarifies that in countries that were inhabited by the French or the British, Muslim women were stimulated to detach the veil and be more like European women. “Accordingly, in North African and Middle Eastern countries, the veil became a symbol of countrywide identity and obstruction to the West,” she argues. Today, certain women wear the hijab to gesticulate pride in their cultural identity.
This also relates to immigrants in Europe and the United States, where there has been an increase in Islamophobia. It’s not a display of identity in the full form, but since Islam has palpable necessities from both men and women, disguising the hair is an example of one rule that women mostly follow - the burqa and the niqab on the other hand are not mandatory, but they can be worn for cultural reasons and are not as common to encounter as the hijab.
The hijab, and other modest Islamic clothing, show an extensive range of styles and fashion across different civilizations and countries. Lizz Bucar, a scholar of philosophy and religion at Northeastern University discovered in her research work across Iran, Indonesia and Turkey that Islamic clothing also contests some prevalent stereotypes about Islam. She established that the concept of modesty was not the same across all regions and that it had changed over time.
For example, in the most populated Muslim nation of the world Indonesia, women did not wear head coverings or modest clothing until about 30 years ago. It was the same in Turkey, where, for much of the past century, authorities discouraged Muslim women from wearing pious fashion, claiming these styles were unmodern because they were not secular.
Today’s local styles integrate fashion and modest clothing. In Turkey, local styles tend to be personalized closely to the body, with high necklines and low hemlines and complete coverage of the hair.