Women in Islam
The status of women in Islam has been a topic of much controversy and curiosity for many years. The role of Muslim women is quite often misunderstood in the Western world. I believe this misconception people have is generally due to little or no knowledge of Islam, and mainstream media which negatively publicises Muslim women. Some controversial topics which have gained negative media attention in recent times are the veiling of women in Islam and the so called oppression of women.
People have very diverse opinions about Muslim women wearing hijabs or burqas. (A hijab is a headscarf covering the head, not the face and a burqa is a head to toe cover with only the eyes being exposed. A hijab is worn for religious reasons and the burqa is an ancient tradition and purely a cultural choice). In countries such as France wearing a hijab, headscarf or burqa in public is illegal as the government claims that covering oneself in such a way is "a sign of enslavement and debasement." Statements and opinions similar to that of the French government are reciprocal in western society and it’s not uncommon for Muslim women to be judged because of what they are wearing. What is common is a general lack of understanding or knowledge as to why these women choose to cover themselves. Too often people think that Muslim women don’t have a choice or a say in the matter but generally they do. Muslim women choose to cover their heads and hair for traditional and religious reasons, not because they are forced to. Not only Muslim women but also men cover their head while praying. It is no different for a Catholic, a Jew or a Judeo-Christian for that matter. In the Muslim community a woman wearing a hijab is considered to be a very modern, pious woman. Often women who wear the hijab are able to gain a higher level of social prestige within their Muslim communities. By publicly declaring their faith, those who adopt the hijab...
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