My Body

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“My body is my own business,” The Hijab, Freedom or Oppression? PDF Print E-mail Thursday, 24 April 2008 14:37
"A Canadian-born Muslim woman has taken to wearing the traditional hijab scarf. It tends to make people see her as either a terrorist or a symbol of oppressed womanhood, but she finds the experience LIBERATING." Author: Naheed Mustafa Source: The Globe & Mail (Facts & Arguements Page A26) [islaam.ca] Published: June 29th, 1993

Wearing the hijab has given me freedom from constant attention to my physical self. Because my appearance is not subjected to public scrutiny, my beauty, or perhaps lack of it, has been removed from the realm of what can legitimately be discussed.

MULTICULTURAL VOICES: A Canadian-born Muslim woman has taken to wearing the traditional hijab scarf. It tends to make people see her as either a terrorist or a symbol of oppressed womanhood, but she finds the experience LIBERATING.

HEADLINE: MY BODY IS MY OWN BUSINESS By Naheed Mustafa

I OFTEN wonder whether people see me as a radical, fundamentalist Muslim terrorist packing an AK-47 assault rifle inside my jean jacket. Or may be they see me as the poster girl for oppressed womanhood everywhere. I'm not sure which it is.

I get the whole gamut of strange looks, stares, and covert glances. You see, I wear the hijab, a scarf that covers my head, neck, and throat (administator's note: hijab means 'covering' in Arabic and refers in general to the entire covering of that which is legislated to be covered in Islam, not just the head-scarf). I do this because I am a Muslim woman who believes her body is her own private concern.

Young Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab, reinterpreting it in light of its original purpose -- to give back to women ultimate control of their own bodies.

The Qur'an teaches us that men and women are equal, that individuals should not be judged according to gender, beauty, wealth, or privilege. The only thing that makes one person...
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