With the Hijab! Again

24 Apr

For those who do not know what a Hijab is: It’s the headscarf used by Muslim women.

I am sorry: But I really had to write about this again.

So it’s been months since I updated my blog. I contemplated writing a review about the books I read: (Feminine Mistake and Momumental), then I wanted to write about Veda Pierce a particularly disturbing character from the brilliant mini-series Mildred Pierce. But as always life got in the way, and then the hijab related questions started again. So here I go again.

Recently , a complete stranger send me a Facebook message asking me why I “liked” the photo of one of my Muslim friend’s when I very well knew that she  was married to a Hindu man. And if that meant that  I support inter-religious marriages. Considering that the photo was liked by at least a 100 people, and that he didn’t know me, why did he chose to ask ME, of all people?

Of course, the Hijab. The fact that I am seen wearing a hijab in my profile picture, made him automatically assume that I am against  inter-religious marriages, and that I had taken it upon myself to advice every one of my friends who I think are going the “wrong” way. Now that I have FB blocked him, I am sure he won’t be reading this. But yet, to clarify to everyone, I have NOTHING against an inter-religious marriage. I am proud to be an Indian who interact and live amicably a midst different religions. And  living amicably includes, marrying a person of a different religion. India gives its citizens the legal right to choose their own life partner. And I stand by it, tooth and nail. In short, the hijab hasn’t made me a radical. It doesn’t make me anything I wasn’t before.

Second: One of my ex colleagues who is a Muslim, told me that he has “converted” a Hindu girl and will be marrying her soon. Now considering that I never was one of his close friends, and merely an acquaintance, I was wondering why he chose ME to share this kind of sensitive information. Of course the Hijab. He expected me to applaud his decision. However I am sure he wasn’t happy with the response he received.

Not to mention, he said, he considered me an “ideal” Muslim woman.  I know how men equate Hijab to ideal-ness, all the time. He doesn’t know about my prayer life,about how spiritually advanced I am, he hardly knows me, and yet I am “ideal”. I was flattered alright, but , it wasn’t appealing to know that wearing a hijab ALONE made me ideal.

Third: One another Muslim acquaintance pinged me early this morning, asking if he can buy a pet dog, and if it’s allowed in Islam. I know the Islamic standing on pet dogs, but I knew it when I was probably 10 years old, and never wore a hijab.  I was raised in Al-Ain, and any person who spends their childhood in a Muslim country has an idea about it. This doesn’t mean I am an Islamic scholar. I shouldn’t be asked such questions, really, I shouldn’t.

Hijab is made out into so much more than its supposed to be.  It’s a piece of cloth and is considered a fashion statement, in my husband’s place. I wear it as much out of respect, as out of vanity and the need to remain “fashionable” (Like all women?).
It doesn’t make me anything I wasn’t before. It doesn’t make me a scholar or a radical. Most importantly it doesn’t make me  Non-Indian.

I AM A SECULAR INDIAN. And always will be.

P.S: There! I have gotten rid of my writer’s block aka laziness, now let me get back to the reviews and Veda Pierce.


2 Responses to “With the Hijab! Again”

  1. zarreen April 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Actually hijaab or no hijaab people expect you to be different if you’re muslim. I’ve been asked if which part of pakistan i’m from!!! When I was 10, a classmate asked me whether i support the babri masjid issue- I didn’t even know what babri masjid was!!!

    Of course the hijaab must add on to it. It’s become a symbol of religious belief. To bad one can’t see the brahmin thread people wear or they would form perceptions about them too….

  2. Subha Sunny July 3, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    amazing write up dear….you dispelled so many doubts from my mind…good to know that at least a few women like you are out there who don’t fall under the category of over-the-top religiously jingoistic.

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