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August 28, 2003

Those who wear Hijab vs those who don't
Yaser Kerachian  [info|posts]

hijab.jpgI would like to write about Hijab, but not on whether it is good or bad. I am more interested on how Hijab affects the relationships among people in our society: More precisely how the women, and even men, who believe in Hijab look at those who don't and vice versa. I may not be the right person to write this post (since I am a guy!) but I have a feeling that Hijab is a very sensitive issue for women and usually they are hesitant to talk about it in the public. Moreover, as an outsider, I may see some aspects of the issue which women themselves cannot.

I'll start with my mother's experiences. She is a strict Muslim who wears chador. Back in the time of Shah, she got admitted to Medical school but decided to study Chemistry because it wasn't possible for her to keep her hijab in Medical School at the time. My mother, now a professor at University of Mashad, in Iran, has told me stories of the time when she was treated as a house servant just because of her chador. Whenever my mother goes to a grocery store, the seller calls her haj khanoom*, the phrase that wouldn't be used if she was wearing a colorful scarf. These days, in Iran, women who wear Chador are treated as if they belong to a lower class. Supposedly, the women from higher class wear colorful clothes and show off their hair.

The story of course has another side. In many places, especially in the government offices, women without a full Hijab are treated very rudely. I have seen many people who believe that if a woman shows off her hair, she probably would sleep with a different man every night. Let me not go into the details of how Basij or police in Iran reacts to these women. Actually I am more interested in how ordinary people look at each other rather than how the government treats them.

Here, in Canada, the story doesn't end. Those who wear Hijab are never comfortable being in the environment where no one does. The other side is also true. When those who wear Hijab make their own colony, other girls usually don't feel comfortable joining them. Women are categorized into two groups, those who wear Hijab and those who don't.

The main challenge comes up when a woman decides to take off her Hijab (and in some rare cases decides to take it on). I guess they will go through a very hard time just because of the way other people will look at them. Sometimes just the factor of "other people" will make a woman not to do what she really wants to do. ["Other people" who have fun gossiping are never welcoming.]

I have a lot more to say, however I’d like to read other people's experiences. To me, hijab is a perfect example that shows how well we really respect each other's beliefs.

* Haj khanoom literally means the woman who has performed her Mecca pilgrimage. It is also a Persian slang term for calling an old traditional woman.

Comments
hajir at August 28, 2003 07:51 PM [permalink]:

Wearing Hijab is a struggle like wearing a beard or praying in public (when you don't find a place) and many other obligations of religion. I believe if someone wants to be a muslim s/he goes through this kind of struggles. This by itself is not a negative point but a good excercise to purify the heart. I admire women who continue to Hijab to please god and god is the one who will reward them.
It is not right to be suspicious of women who don't wear hijab or their hijab is not perfect (in our definition) and we need to change this culture.

Ali at August 28, 2003 09:20 PM [permalink]:

I want to say something that is related to this subject but maybe not exactly in the following of. Last year my friend's wife came to the US. She was wearing scarf. She was arguing that (in the US) Persian people had insulted her while the Americans not. I said her that the point was that people do not hait a girl because she is wearing hijab, but the thing that force them to react is that they have seen hijab simultaneous with some other things. Iranian girls have seen a women wearing chador at the gate of university who asked them to wear the way they didn't like. They have seen police wemon who have been wearing tightly insulting them because of their dressing. They have seen that Islumic Republic of Iran insult them in many ways, has taken off their freedom and simultaniously invite them to have hijab. So this simultaneity is the root of some reactions. I have to add that the source of these kinds of reaction is not only the government.

Ali at August 28, 2003 10:27 PM [permalink]:

I want to say like any other decision we make the decision to wear Chador or not is a trade-off between different benefits. If someone is wearing Chador because of a belief that it is a religious order from the God then as she would be rewarded greatly later the insults from others should not have any effect on her inner deep belief (if it exists) and she shouldn't feel uncomfortable if others are not wearing Chador (except if she cares for others fate besides hers). So I believe if somebody wears Chador as a result of a deep inner belief then there shouldn’t be any hard time because of the way people look at her and if such feeling exists then she should doubt in her beliefs.

Ghazal at August 29, 2003 05:39 AM [permalink]:
Well I was planning to make post about women dress-codes in Iran but since I was so lazy and never finished it and Kerachian brought up the discussion I will just leave my incomplete draft as a comment: I have always been fascinated by the fact that how dress-codes are such an important part of our life in Iran. We make so many different statements with them sometimes without even knowing that. We get arrested for them, get promoted because of them get warnings attract or repel people with them. I remember back in high school I had to write an essay for my Persian literature class on the subject of “ shoes talk to us” and basically back then what I could come up with was, “well they can tell us certain psychological and social characteristics of the person who is wearing them, if the person is very rich or poor economically or if he or she prioritizes convenience, or fashion and beauty it can also say If s/he walks a lot or not, …” but at the same time I remember how even I was using dress codes as a way of measuring the ideological opinions. In my experience in our society people get divided far and less according to their ideologies and although dress codes can still be representative of the social classes of people but this role has become secondary to their role as an ideological measure. The funny thing is that if you are wearing a sort of a hejab which is not on either extreme sides, like a Mantue* with Maghnae people may make lot of wrong assumptions about you. I remember once all of the sudden the kind of Maghnaes which would cover chin, (which were used only by more religious people before that) became #1 in fashion rankings so if you were a very up to fashion girl, you would wear them while your hair is showing but if you are more religious you would cover your forehead. That year they were so fashionable that I could hardly find any other kind to buy and I got one as well but in school our principals started to give warnings to me that I either had to get rid of the chin cover or I had to cover my forehead as well! So I decided to put a headband underneath the top part so it would cover my forehead and satisfy the principal but then I realized some of the students have become suspicious and even afraid of me and later one of them asked me why all of the sudden I have become such an extremist? Another time I woke up very late in the morning so I run to school forgetting to change my pajama pants which I didn’t think would be important anyway, as my Mantue was really long and my pants couldn’t be seen easily but a friend noticed while I was sitting in the classroom and told me “isn’t it better to be a simple good girl and wear simple pants rather than caring too much about fashion and wearing such pants what is it that you are trying to prove?” Some thing that I noticed after moving to Tehran from Esfahan was that dress classifications were more dominant feature of people’s life in Tehran and were more effective in dividing people. I concluded that it is probably due to the fact that Chador and in general Hejab is still more of a tradition in Esfahan and also social bounds between people and traditional family structures in Esfahan are still stronger but in Tehran Hejab is more of a political statement and also social bounds between people are weaker. I also found out as the city and its population have grown each division has developed a lot of subgroups, which off course seems like a natural phenomena but for ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 11:33 AM [permalink]:
Now, that's a great subject to exchange ideas on. I saw the word hijab in the title and I knew right away that I had something to say about it. So here's some scattered thoughts on the issue of hijab. I feel kind of guilty, let me confess, about not exactly addressing the interesting points raised by Yaser (one could easily guess your mother wore chador, just look at your name!) and others who commented on his writing (did they?!). I will hopefully get a chance to deal with them in a more coherent way later. I think if I were a girl raised in a traditional family in Iran, where I would be required from early childhood to watch how I sit, how I walk, and even how loud I laugh, then I guess discarding my hijab later would feel a little, just a little, like having my first *premarital*, but *consensual* sexual encounter. Allow me to explain. I find losing that former PARDEH[=hijab] similar (although on very different scales) to losing this latter PARDEH[=hymen] in that they are both liberating and discomforting at once. They are discomforting because they run against anything that that Iranian girl is indoctrinated with as good and proper, and they are liberating for obvious reasons. Somebody described hijab as a *portable home* that women carry around with themselves, thus serving a two-fold purpose: protecting the women from the outside harassment and jailing them. (See `Veils and Words’, by Farzaneh Milani, for a wealth of fascinating discussions on this issue. You can read part of the preface at http://www.iranian.com/Arts/Sept97/Jasmine/ although it doesn’t reflect the scholarly weight of the whole work.) What is interesting though, in both cases, is that usually once you lose the PARDEH, there is no return back to the virginal “innocence”. Granted, many girls in Iran nowadays fix it right before they get married (simply because even though it is not easy for a typical Iranian girl to make love to whoever she finds worthy of her love, it is still much harder for a typical Iranian guy to forgive his wife—once a free human being—for having had sex with someone else before himself. Of course, the problem is much more complex than that and I’m offering here in passing something that could pass only for a simplistic view. A separate article, maybe?) and *theoretically* a hijab-less woman can go back in time and wear her hijab again, but this doesn’t seem to happen often unless she is forced to do so. Why, I have always wondered, should this be the case? Why, for God’s sake, can’t an Iranian woman, the way she changes her outfit, be it her dark-colored manteau or her bright-colored sundress, alternate between wearing a scarf and not wearing it? Why is this considered weird, if not short of having some sort of mental disorder? Would *I* do it if I were female? For example, would I go to work, here in America, veiled every weekday except for casual Friday when I would wear my flip-flops and no headscarf? You see, this is a very valid question. But probably no, I wouldn’t. Why? Perhaps the answer lies in the very strong *symbolic* meaning that is attached to veil. By choosing to wear or not to wear the veil, the Iranian woman expresses herself and what kind of person she is, or wants to be. To be sure, the message that she sends can be misinterpreted by the person who receives and “reads” it, as it is often the case! As a guy who has spent most of my life in a far away village in southern Iran, I may easily take any well-dressed girl in N ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
yahya at August 29, 2003 11:35 AM [permalink]:

In recent years, people are coming to a consensus that the choice for having Hijab should be left to the person. Meanwhile, people still keep their opinion whether Hijab is good or bad according to their set of beliefs. Now, the pending question is that what would be the way for people to encourage or to discourage others from having or not having Hijab while respecting their right to choose. For example, would be O.K. if in a democratic setting Haji Bakhshi would drive around with his pickup truck and a mega speaker inviting women to have Hijab(instead of beating women that he does now in Iran.)? Would it be ok if some private schools that are trying to enforce a uniform dress code prevent female students with Hijab?

I have a feeling the debate on Hijab in an Islamic country with free speech would be very similar to right to choose(abortion) vs right to life debate in America.

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 12:07 PM [permalink]:

Could Ali's use numbers or the first letter of their last names to help us distinguish them, please?

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 12:38 PM [permalink]:

I now read Ghazal's presentation more carefully and I wish she could work on it more, because it seems to have the seeds of a very good article. In any case, it's interesting to see things from a girl's point of view. I actually remember those fashionable MAGHNA'EHs that showed some hair at the expense of covering the chin, and I think they were absolutely hideous. :-) I liked the girls who made a "statment", however, by wearing their headscarf over their ponytails, or whatever it's called. This was pretty slick. Everything was covered, and therefore fine according to the holy Sharia, but you couldn't help wondering what that bundle of hair would look like without the scarf!

The fact that after the revolution, clothing had all of a sudden gained ideological resonance was not peculiar to women, though. Always a slob and a slave of convenience, I used to let me shirts hang out of my pants and for doing this I had been time and again reprimanded by my friends and mistaken by strangers for my "hezbollahi" looks. (A frame in Marjane Satrapi's great comic book points out to this ridiculous, but not always funny, situation.) So I'm not surprised that women developed even more prejudices about each other based on how they dressed.

Your observation about the difference between the provincial culture and the culture of the capital are also interesting, although they need not be limited to the case of hijab. I'm afraid I don't have much of an explanation to offer for such differences. (Should I have written that, then? Maybe not!)

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 12:53 PM [permalink]:

yahya:

No, I think it wouldn't be OK in a democratic setting with freedom of speech for Haji Bakhshi and his ilk to run around the city in their truck and shotuing in a megaphone "inviting" women to wearing the hijab. It would be an instance of *verbal* harrassment, as it is not OK to bother your muslim neighbor who believes by listening to music he will end up in fire by playing loud rock music in your apartment. I also feel that the problem of hijab in a democratic Iran would be similar to the problem of abortion in America *only* in unimportant ways, such as, they are both controversial problems. I don't see any other similarity!

a at August 29, 2003 02:43 PM [permalink]:

My comment is a bit non PC, so let me first declare my allegiance to principals of tolerence, (superficial) respect for others' opinions and freedom to wear what you want (limits on extreme sides can be imposed if the majority votes for them, like banning total nudity or the head to toe veil).

So I obviously won't insult anybody for what she wears. I try not to be unfair towards someone who wears hejab in a class that I am teaching.

But I judge them. Deep inside, I assume knowing that someone wears hejab decreases the probability that she is smart. Hejab is against my taste and I find it ugly( I guess this is it's main function). I consider it bad luck if one of my students wears hejab. And not only hejab, but any sign of any religion in a person makes me look down at him/her, unless his/her vitues are proven in other ways. I confess that the latter case happens quite often.

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 03:04 PM [permalink]:

Dear a,

I've been non-PC all along (by the way, the comment to yahya was mine. I forgot to type my name when posting it) and I haven't apologized to anyone so far. My apologies (just for not having apologized before)! I think your honesty must be appreciated (as I very much enjoyed and I think also appreciated Mr. Curious's honest comments about why he prefers Hawai to Iran), but I beg to differ. First of all, I don't think it is hijab's purpose to make one look ugly. Less attractive, maybe, but there are better ways to make someone ugly. Secondly, (here's where I start my non-PC comment) I personally find some Arab girls with their scarf tight on quite sexy, especially if it is contrasted with their tight jeans. (It's fun to have it both ways: a decked muslim girl is always a turn on. I think your problem is with religion, and *therefore* with its symbolism, as you pointed out yourself...

AliS at August 29, 2003 05:11 PM [permalink]:

I am one of those Alis that Senior Grad had asked us to distinguish our name in some way so I would use AliS after this (the first letter of my family name) anyway I am the second Ali.

Dear A,
I find your comment about assuming that wearing Hejab decreases the probability that some girl is smart quite controversial. Talking statistically you may be correct (though I even doubt this) but even if it is correct statistically it only shows kind of correlation and not causality. It is very important to differentiate these two. Such correlation does not imply causality at all. (I wanted to give some examples but I guess the argument is clear enough). I’d rather accept Senior Grad’s comment that your problem is not with Hejab but with religion. By the way I do not see ANY difference between wearing Hejab or not wearing it. By any difference I mean it is only a matter of preference and nothing more. I think some one who accepts Hejab without any deep thinking about its meaning is as much in error as someone who rejects is without reason. In fact it is not a question with one correct answer. As long as one can justify logically why she/he accepts or rejects Hejab I believe she/he is on the right track. If you want to argue about religion and its orders then I myself may agree with you in some points but Hejab by its own is nothing that should cause so much debate.

Arash at August 29, 2003 05:45 PM [permalink]:

Senior Grad, I too admire a's honesty (not to mention yours regarding your esthetic views on muslim female fashion :-) ), but I don't think one can quickly infer that such feelings and reactions are the results of some emnity or phobia towards religion per se. I think it could have more to with past experiences which in many cases are shared by most of us who have lived in Iran especially during the 1360's (1980's) and early 1370's. Past experiences, especially when numerously repeated or heard of will trigger such subliminal reactions. I have recently noticed that I myself have sub-/unconsciously developed this phobia towards people who wear a beard (of certain types), especially after my military service during which I was not allowed to shave, and had to deal with a lot of unshaven people with very unshaven mentalities. I too almost always prejudge people with that complexion. The thing that makes it even worse is that, living in Iran, my readings usually (but of course not always) turn out to be accurate. I think it could create a huge problem for me once I come abroad.

Anyway, the point that I'm trying to make is that when it comes to gut feelings of the sort a and I have, it has got more to do with (repeated) past experiences and are of a subconscious nature rather than an a priori, ideological one. I do agree though, that these have to be dealt with or else they could turn into a serious social anomaly. I certainly do not even want to think of the possibility that one day some "revolutionary" people would get men with beard and forcefully shave them halfway through just like what happened after the Islamic revolution when they used to scissor people's neckties.

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 08:43 PM [permalink]:

Thank you for your well-written comments, Arash. Your English is very good for someone who lives (and has been living only?) in Iran. I also think our emotional reactions (liking, rage, hate, etc) to what we see, especially to how other humans clothe themselves is mostly subconscious. I have observed about myself, to give you an example, that I am attracted to certain categories of girls *because* they somehow remind me, not quite consciously, a girl that I had been loving for a long time a long time ago. I'm saying "not quite consciously" because I have had this realization long after I feel the attraction. Or some people, just because of how they look, generate negative or positive reactions in us. We may one day realize that why we didn't like X was because X's appearance reminded us, unbeknownst to ourselves, of Y and at some point there had been a bad blood between us and Y. Or we admire a writer until we find a picture of him and we think, "Oh, he looks like *this*?" and our feeling about him changes.

My point being, it's all human and to a large extent unavoidable. We're hardly in control of our own feelings. What is not acceptable, in my opinion, is even when we realize that our feeling doesn't have a rational basis we still insist on it. What's much worse is to act on those feelings and, for example, since hijab triggers negative reactions in us, we offend those who wear hijab or since ugliness bothers us, we allow ourselves to treat them as subhuman creatures, the way masters have treated their slaves up until a few decades ago in America, and presumably even now in some far-away corners of the world.

Conscious insisting on hating certain peoples because they're black, or they're blonde, or because their ancestors conquered the land of our ancestors and copulated with our great great ... grandmothers a millennium ago (by virtue of which they are now *our* ancestors too!) can pass for nothing but ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

Navid at August 29, 2003 09:05 PM [permalink]:

Regarding hijab, aside from the fact that it is a kind of a costume that shows your being a Muslim, I look at it as a symbol of how you can insist on something. It is a resistance and it is a symbol of contrast with the environment.
As it goes to having a specific faith in Islam and trying to distinguish the one’s own identity, I do not have any problem with hijab; but the annoying point about this outwear is that the one who is wearing it, is violating the very basic principles of an unbiased mind, (when it comes to use it in a western society). It is a radicalism that wants to show itself in the public. Simply think about it like this, you are a girl who can think freely and without prior inclination toward a specific ideology, you come to a western society and you want to choose your outfit, then what will be your choice? You will choose Scarf not for the reason that it is sexy, (as Yahya says, especially with tight jeans) but for the reason that you want to cling to a familiar background that prevents you from getting lost in a culture that either does not want to accept you or you does not want to accept it.
That ‘s why they look weird to me.

Navid at August 29, 2003 09:16 PM [permalink]:

*
Typo,
... or you do not want to accept it.
That ‘s why they look weird to me.

Senior Grad at August 29, 2003 09:22 PM [permalink]:

Quick follow-up: receiving mistreatment (of different sorts) just because of the way you look is not peculiar to *other* people who lived in other eras or live in other countries. In fact, it is pretty commonplace in our own Iran. From the government official to your grocer seem to treat you based on how you look like. If you, for whatever reason, dress poorly, you can expect to be treated poorly. Here in America, I go to public libraries and there are always a few homeless folks sitting on the couches, their cart of plastic bags parked next to them, reading a book or a newspaper, while their stench can be smelled from 3 meters away (The notion of public bath does not exist in the West!), but nobody kicks them out. Nobody has the right to kick them out because they're dishevelled or crazy or even because of that they stink! In Iran, however, if you do not dress up to the expectation of the person with whom you are going to have *only* a professional relationship, they would not treat you right. Either you look like hezbollahis and they hate hezbollahis' guts, or you are wearing a short sleeved shirt and they are fundamentalists!

AliH at August 29, 2003 09:58 PM [permalink]:

Just as a pice of spice:D, we went to Habibi restoraunt in LA (Los Angeles), where you see lots of Iranians and Arabs and as well American students. There was an arab girl there, wearing scarf, but passed it from behind her ears, wearing a vey big and seductive earing and she was awesome and sexy:D
God knows, me and my friends were looking at her and her beauty all that night, and said wow, our beautifl midle eastern girls:D
no more comment:D

Navid at August 29, 2003 10:00 PM [permalink]:

We are not talking about kicking anybody out. I am talking about the intentions lying behind these behaviours. Homeless peolple 's case and their reason to be like the way they are is sth different from hijab's case and can not be used as an example here, the objection is not proposed against someones' being a fundamentalist, it is important why they are acting like this.

hajir at August 30, 2003 12:43 AM [permalink]:

Scarf can beautify a woman's face, the way other pieces of clothes can beautify her body. We know that Hijab is not equivalent to Scarf. Hijab is a dress code and it cannot be reduced to scarf or long dress. To me it's more the intention behind the covering that matters not the appearence and "hijab elements" like scarf.
The primary goal behind Hijab is to reduce the sexual attraction; in this sense, tight jeans or Micky Mouse kind of hijab are tolerated by muslim scholars only in the context of being PC or the fear of scaring the youth away from Islam.
Tight jeans betrays the scarf and scarf betrays the tight jeans. That only proves the girl's confused personality. In another words: Yaa roomie room bash ya zangie zang.

I have to mention that for arabs, Islam is all what they have. Islam is their culture! So it's natural for them to pick up specefic elements of Islam and modernize or westernize it.
We Iranians have the same problem. An iranian girl has a hard time to adopt herself into the western mainstream culture. There is no purely iranian dress code for her if she doesn't want to wear hijab! But Indians, for instance, don't have such a problem and even if they don't wear their traditional dress, still there is a vast variety of clothes, they can choose from.

It takes a few years for iranian women to find and define their new identity in the west; in general people change, the music you listen to now, probably is much different from the music you used to listen in Iran. The same with clothes, habits, food, etc.
Assimilation happens on a cultural level and doesn't need to annihilate or dissolve a community. My understanding is that the iranian communities in America and Canada are dissolving in the bigger community culturally and giving up the dress code is only a small part of this assimulation. The only thing that can hinder such assimulation on a personal level is religion.

Shiraz at August 30, 2003 03:43 PM [permalink]:

From the day this article and Ghazal’s semi-article were posted I was thinking about my view on the matter. I tried to find other examples and compare my feelings about those with my reactions to woman with hijab. The only thing I could come up was and indian sikh guy who wares the turbin all his life (moe info http://www.sikhs.org/khalsa.htm). In my comparisons I take the two persons as close as possible to my position, i.e. a grad student who has grown up in a big city and thus had the chance to be exposed to various ideas.

I don’t have any prejudice towards the guy. I can respect him, I won’t think he is stupid because of that turbin and in short I would treat him as any other person. But deep down I know that I can not behave the same way towards the young woman. I know at first this might seem illogical but I can present an argument. There are two reasons for which I don’t mind the guy with the turbin 1-I’m not very aware of why he is wearing that (which might be why non arabs or non-iraninas have less problem with the hijab) 2- I can respect his religious beliefs as I find them a very personnel matter as long as it doesn’t interfere with my life. But when it comes to the girl with the hijab I have couple of reasons for my dislike. 1-I know better why she ware the hijab and I can not connect with the reasoning (As much as I understand, one covers her hair and try to ware loose cloths for not attracting other guys .. so far so good. But most women with hejab also assume that the opposite sex is out of control and the only thing in their mind is getting the girl to bed. I find this way of thinking a disgrace to men). 2-Because of the first reason the girl with the hijab thinks (or is made to think) that she is some how superior and I, the “un-hijabed” girl, am either a slut (sorry) or I am a lost soul who didn’t get the right education. 3-I find it really misleading that some mohajabeh girls wear the scarf but they wear tons of make up, tight pants and some times sandals with pedicure. In and on ltself this is ok, maybe it’s a kind of fassion but if she pretends to follow the religious law, there is something wrong with it. Maybe it is better just not to wear scarves and dress less revealing.

In the contrary, I don’t feel the same way towards older women with hejab who have lived all their life in the same country, especially if they are from smaller cities. I think they are following the religion as a package and they haven’t had any motivation to think true it more carefully. And also in some parts it is more of a tradition to ware a scarf. In either case, I think there is less sense of superiority and that’s why co-existence of mohajabeh and none mohajabeh groups is much easier. Of course none of my reasonings above is enough for a government to have discrimination towards women with hejab or otherwise. We should be free to chose how we want to live and with whom we want to hang out. The problem that a girl with hejab can encounter in befriending non-mohajabeh women (or vise versa) cannot be ONLY because of the scarf. It has to do with her ideology and the way of her thinking and acting.

Even though I have had very memorable experiences with bearded pasdars which at the time made me want to slam them in the face, but I still like Brad Pitt with a pasdari beard :-)

AliS at August 30, 2003 06:51 PM [permalink]:

Dear All

I was reading the comments and I think some of us have mixed two issues that are to be distinguished and not treated the same way. While reading comments I saw many references to girls wearing scarf and tight jeans at the same time and considering these girls "Mohajabeh" honestly I beleive the aforementioned situation is not a case of a Mohajabeh lady. Well if we want to comment on the issue of Hejab I think it's better to separate the Hejab concept and the way people use or mis-use hejab. Besides I think we should distiguish those who wear Hejab because of their beliefs of those who wear it because of an external force.
Taking these points into consideration I guess many misunderstandings would be resolved automatically. And honestly I lost the track of the dicussion in some comments. Would some one please sum up all that has been said till now so that we can continue ? There are far too many issues discussed in these comments to be addressed simultaneously.
--------
I am using a computer without any spellchecker sorry for any errors in spelling. That's one of my weak points among others.

Arman at August 30, 2003 11:54 PM [permalink]:

Thanks for the great article. It is good to see these kind of articles or comments, and try to get many answers to our own questions.

Chador doesn't make sense not because western countries look down to it but because is only a physical aspect of Islamic rule. If the day comes that we all think beyond physical aspect of our religion, then Iranian society may secceed, otherwise, we will be a third world nation for the future to come.

As a result, we can't really scapegoat our govenrment for what or where we stand today. we should change ourselves, look at issues with a new mindset, and throw chador away. Actually, chador isnot the only topic to criticize; it is better to say we should criticize 80% of the Islamic law in order to modernize our society.

Islam has never had really anything to offer me, so I am not sure why it should have anything for any others.

peace to all

Saeed at August 31, 2003 01:58 AM [permalink]:

"Islam has never had really anything to offer me, so I am not sure why it should have anything for any others." Wow! What a strong, convincing sentence.

Saeed at August 31, 2003 02:11 AM [permalink]:

What about this Arman; Islam has had really a lot to offer me, so I wonder why it shouldn’t have anything for others. How do you make of that? :)

a at August 31, 2003 03:07 AM [permalink]:

Sometimes we adopt an idea or oppinion not because we think that oppinion is right, but because we want to join the coalition of those who have that oppinion.An example is you chose to be a fan of the soccer team Persepolis as opposed to Esteghlal. (Now one may have a mild tendency towards one of the teams, but that is really not the reason one can easily insult a fan of the other team). It's a breaking of an approximate symmetry if you know what I mean.

Seems to me that there are all sorts of people out there: Islamists who have chosen the idealogy because they love the ideas in it, Islamists who have chosen it to join the coalition of Islamist (but perhaps they think they liked it's ideas when they were 10 years old), Anti-Islamists who hate the ideas in that religion, and Anti-islamists who have joined the coalition of anti-islams (and perhaps they think they have proven that god does not exist)

I think the geographical distribution of belief in different religions is an argument for the theory that says: a lot of people choose their relgion because they or their families have chosen to be in a certain coalition.

Saeed: please don't kill me. I certainly don't rule out the possibility of truth of Islam and the fact that it has a lot of beautiful things to offer. I am just not in this coalition. I almost have a coalition-phobia.

Iman Aghilian at August 31, 2003 03:06 PM [permalink]:

bad choice of picture

Grand Vizier at August 31, 2003 06:07 PM [permalink]:

sexy; Isn't it?

Senior Grad at August 31, 2003 07:43 PM [permalink]:

I have a question for Shiraz:

What is wrong with dressing to impress? All right, let me be more explicit: What is wrong with women wearing revealing clothes in public to attract, even provoke, the guys?

If I remember correctly, the late Iranian thinker Ayatollah Motahhari argues in his book on hijab, trying to justify it, *not* by just basing it on religious teachings, that submitting to hijab contributes to having a more "healthy" society. He even goes so far as to say that in hijab-ified society are more efficient, because men's energy is not wasted in sexual fantasies and chasing babes. A quite incorrect argument, in my opinion, as we see the Western countries are way ahead of muslim countries.

Granted, provoking men can be cruel in some contexts, like when the poor men cannot afford to have a girlfriend/wife, and can be dangerous in other contexts, like when the drunk woman is walking home in a dark street after midnight.

But if kept moderate, it can provide an outlet for men's sexual tensions that are suppressed in Iran. Most single young men's attention is wasted on finding out what it really looks like without that cover. Also, not having to wear hijab leads to a wider variety of ways that women can express themselves in subtle non-verbal ways.

Having been a man all my life, I know it is true that men, by nature, are slaves of desire. It's no disgrace. That is how we are wired by Mother Nature, or created by God. As a guy, if I want to commit to a girl, I'd better be attracted to her to begin with. Don't you agree?

Shiraz at August 31, 2003 09:39 PM [permalink]:

Senior grad:

I don’t have any objection to the fact that depending on the circumstances one can wear what he/she wants. But my point was more about pretending to be religious and yet wearing revealing cloths (considering that the religion says that you should not "dress to impress"). In my opinion this shows confusion in the beliefs.

I don’t think I completely agree that men are born to be slaves of their desire … that’s too strong of an opinion. They might be more than women. But then how whoud I know?!. And having desires isn’t a disgrace, as you said it is natural, but considering that the desire is out of control is. I don’t consider humans as brainless animals chasing for a mate all day long.

You better be attracted to your gf/wife at all times, otherwise you will be in trouble !

Hazhir at September 1, 2003 07:41 PM [permalink]:

Isn't there any women who read this weblog? Why don't you share your thoughts regarding something so closely related to YOUR experiences (thanks to Ghazal who did so!). For how long guys should describe how you feel and think!?

Senior Grad at September 1, 2003 08:03 PM [permalink]:

:-)

I appreciated Hazhir's persistent proddings for women readers to enter the arena. And I'm confused about Shiraz's gender. The penultimate comment of Shiraz above convinced me that Shiraz is female, but now Hazhir claims otherwise. Also see http://www.iis.ac.uk/overview/kabani.htm for an example (and also to familiarize yourself with one of the numerous Islamic sects!)

In any case, I tend to agree with Shiraz that wearing a tight headscarf and not allowing a starnd of your hair out lest you burn in the afterlife, while wearing tight jeans and showing off the shape of your legs (not always a pleasant scene), can be a result of confusion or hypocrisy.

Regarding being "out of control", I didn't say men are or should be out of control. Quite the contrary! But it seems to me that Islam offers a solution to this problem and here in the West they offer other another solution.

Islam tends to put the blame (of leading the society astray) on women. The argument, the way I understand it, goes like this: If the women cover themsleves, then men will not be stimulated. They will stay calm and in control of their basic instincts and everything will be more or less fine. This argument implies that the police should make sure that women have covered them "properly" in society. Based on this argument, if a non-properly covered woman is raped everybody blames *her* for the incident.

But there is another argument, that puts the responsibility on men's shoulders: It is men's choice to act on their desires as soon as they feel a spark of it, or control themselves and find subtler ways to pursue satisfaction of their needs. This argument implies that women can be to a large extent free in choosing what to wear and the police will arrest the men who have shown weakness in controlling their strong feelings and the law punishes the rapist severely no matter what the circumstances.

Shiraz at September 1, 2003 08:12 PM [permalink]:

Bingo! I'm a female.

Joe Katzman at September 2, 2003 01:39 PM [permalink]:

A word worth adding: in many areas of Paris, a girl must wear a hijab or it is considered an open invitation to rape. This has become common enough that there's even a slang term for it.

My point is that even a "voluntary" measure can easily become a forced measure, if used as a way of singling out those who do not comply as targets of violence or other unwelcome attention.

Is there a solution in cases like this, other than simply removing the choice by banning the wearing of hijab? It's an approach under discussion in France, and it has been tried in a number of Muslim countries as well for exactly the same reason.

Kaveh Kh. at September 2, 2003 03:00 PM [permalink]:

This was tried in Iran, by Reza Shah, 70 something years ago, uneffectively of course.

Senior Grad at September 2, 2003 04:33 PM [permalink]:

Thank you, Joe, for the interesting information on Paris. Your Paris must be definitely bigger than mine. ;-) However, I don't quite see that if going without hijab to some quarters of Paris puts you at risk, then how prohibiting hijab could help. A more sensible solution would be putting signs near those areas warning women to wear hijab, or else face the consequences! Another solution would be to gentrify those quarters of the town.

Reza Shah, in banning hijab, had an altogether different motive, as far as I can tell. I presume that Tehran back then has been much smaller (and safer), so Reza Shah must have some reason other than increasing the security for having done so.

It's interesting that in our long discussion on hijab, Reza Shah's plan for "de-hijab-ing" the Iranian women, and its having backfired didn't come up at all. This tells a point or two about our lack of collective memory! :-)

Arash at September 2, 2003 10:52 PM [permalink]:

What Reza-Shah did to virtually irradicate Hijab was part of a bigger "reform" plan that was mainly an immitation of Kamal Ataturk's "modernization" of Turkey. Right or wrong at that period of time, which by the way could be an interesting topic for discussion, I believe the fact that it was brought up pretty late in our discussions by Kaveh is not quite attributable to our lack of collective memory for the following reasons:

1- I think it would be fair to say that almost all the people in this virtual forum of ours believe in democratic, or better to say liberal, values in the most Kantian sense of the word. That is to say, we all believe in this basic rule of ethics that when devising a rule or solution for a society, it should be general enough so that it would also include oneself and for that very reason, I believe rejection of forceful elimination of hijab or any other personal preference is so trivial to most of us that the topic could hardly have any place in such discussions which in fact mostly revolve around personal experiences or expressing remorse over subconcious prejudicial feelings towards those who do/don't follow a certain dress code or fashion.

2- I believe Reza-Shah's drastic measures are not the only ones in our recent history. In fact, one could merely go back as far as the early 1360's (early 1980's) to see the Islamic version of such measures( which by the way I made a mention of in my previous comment ). Scissoring neckties, painting men's arms with short sleeves, throwing acid at those women who did not follow the Islamic dress code, need I go on ?

I think we, as in those who are willing to think before talking or acting, are in a point in our history where we have fully realized, or better to say experienced, the unthinkability of such measures, not just in one but in both directions. Having said that, I should very much like to know what others in this forum think of Reza-Shah's measures in a historical context. In other words, was there any other way at that time for Reza Shah to modernize the country than resorting to extreme measures? Somehow I don't think the answer is quite as trivial as many would think.


Senior Grad at September 3, 2003 12:53 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

I was half-joking when I mentioned "collective memory". I was referring to what Kaveh Khojasteh brought up in a recent posting and a subsequent comment. Thanks for a detailed comment, anyway.

I have two interrealted iusses with discussing what Reza Shah's (or Hitler's, or whoever else's) choices have been. I have previously brought them up in a comment to the posting regarding Gandhi.

First, I don't understand what it *means* to say "if so-and-so hadn't happened in the past, then such-and-such would happen", where "so-and-so" and "such-and-such" are not about movements of celectial bodies, but rather earthly affairs of us, human beings. What does it mean to claim that, for example, if Einstein had died in an accident at the age of 20, then the people of Hiroshima wouldn't have suffered later? This is subject to controversy, as I hope you agree with me.

Secondly, I do not understand what the *use* of such speculations can be, even assuming that they have some meaning and also can be somehow proved or disproved beside their entertaining value. I think I'm missing something here. Shed a light!

Arash at September 3, 2003 02:34 PM [permalink]:

Senior Grad I'm sorry that I wasn't witty enough to grasp the ironic nature of your comment :-). As regards, the other two issues that you raised, I should say I completely agree that speculations of the kind "Had X happened Y would (not) have happened" can be of no more value than daydreaming and fantacising. However, my question and the kind of dicussion I was hoping to initiate is of a different kind.
I did not mean to imply that "if Rezah-Shah had/hadn't done what he did then Iran would have been such and such now". On the contrary, I am saying Reza-Shah did in fact modernize the country and sooner or later modernization was bound to happen. The thing is that he has been and still is being criticized for the way he did it. I also believe, as pointed out in my previous comment, that his methods cannot possibly be considered today as a viable option for bringing about changes, but how about back then ? We and people like me would like to categorically denounce radicalism and resorting to violence, but can one actually argue that given the situation the country was in during the 1920's, those changes could have been realized differently? This is more than sheer speculation because if someone sets forth an arguement that under certain circumstances such extreme measures are in fact inevitable then the theoretical foundations based on which violence is categorically rejected would be seriously shaken.

To make it short, if we assume that modernization was a must for Iran, and given the situation of Iran at Reza-Shah's time, would it have been possible to realize this modernization through non-violent and moderate means? That is the question the answer to which I doubt would be quite trivial. How about you ?


Senior Grad at September 3, 2003 03:04 PM [permalink]:

Let me clarify my position re Reza Shah first. I do not deny what he did for Iran, but I am not knowledgeable enough about history to know why he did those things, even how he could think of such things (I have buliding railroads in mind here), because he was, according to what we've been told, hardly literate. Imitating Kemal Ataturk doesn't seem to me to be enough explanation. In any case, I agree that the extent of his service has been under-represented by the rhetoric of the Islamic Revolution, and the subsequent regime.

Now, whether Reza Shah modernize the country or not is a relative issue. Yes, compared to what Iran has been like during the Ghajar dynasty we mead a great leap forward, but even Iran today, or prior to the 1979 Revolution, cannot be said to be or have been a modern country. I think we agree on this. But I think I'm beginning to understand your argument. You want to bring to our attention the the fact that maybe sometime resorting to violence is acceptable under special circumstances. Perhaps a wise just dictator (or guardian) is better than leaving some under-developed people to their own fate. I do not disagree. Neither do I know the answer to you question, either. :-)

saoshyant at September 3, 2003 06:20 PM [permalink]:

Senior Grad, Arash, and others:

I wanted to stay away from extremely cultural postings due to a rather unfortunate exchange that once happened over one of such previous comments. But I feel obliged to add a point or two to your present discourse.

I have a point that I will make first about Chador and then will have contribution in regards to history of Reza Shah's secularism.

With respect to hejab and Chador, I think the present secular feminist and/or Westernist Iranian men and women, who are not for hejab in a traditional sense or none at all, I would give much credit to the 37 years of Westernization practices under the second Pahlavi, which were much less harsher in force and prevalence. It appears to me the resistance towards hejab that was shown in one or two demonstrations in 1980 or 1981 (I do not remember exactly which) in Tehran, was mainly the result of having a lot of women educated in Western model universities who had practiced a great degree of social freedom relative to what was practiced in the anciet times.

A few years ago, I had an encounter with an Iranian sociologist who currently teaches in Paris. He was working on a book that argued a majority of Iranian constitutionalists and democrats became quite frustrated with the lack of progress under the Qajars. During the WWI, many of the famous ones who in fact had sincerely participated in the Constitutional Revolution (Mashruteh), gathered in Berlin. They are also known as the Berlin Circle. They decided that powerful Qajar aristocracy and feudalism was indeed leading to the disintegration of Iran and through their friends they managed to happen to know Reza Khan Mir-panj. They also discussed the issued with an influential liaison in the British Intelligence: A Parsi with the name Ardeshir Jey (or Ardeshir Reporter). Hence, the events that led to the famous 1921-22 (or the 1299 Coup) were not without a strong intellectual support. They wanted a man who had the courage, too much maybe, and was willing to modernize Iran. Many of them, like Dashti or Taqizadeh, hated aristocracy and wanted it abolished. Reza Khan was from the same stock that they were and the British would not intervene to block as long as their consultation and approval was sought for.
Many famous historians, from the Marxist Morteza Rawandi (or Ravandi) to the liberal Maki, acknowledge the ensuing "order" and the "rule of law" imposed by the "Ghazagh" and his anti-Qajar supporters received a great deal of popular support, even though vote rigging and corrupt electoral practices were rampant because of the provinical military governors' intervention.


In the end, Reza Shah's full swing to a complete and radical secularization of the country was a total suprise for many of the initial supporters of him. Mokhberosaltanah Hedayat and Dr. Ghasem Ghani in their memoirs mention popular support for the Shah started to subside as the Shah forced everybody to dress like Westerners.

Through my other postings I have shown that I am a pro-enlgihtenment, tolerance inspired, secularist. I yet have to be convinced that an enlgithened autocrat can much contribute to what may lead to a culture that would willingly seek democratic practices and the rule of law. In fact, the end result might be the creation of a culture secrecy in which everybody is a free rider, and when everything is about to collapse or has collapsed instead of seeking democracy, people want a mand with an iron fist to bring about order.


Senior Grad at September 3, 2003 09:01 PM [permalink]:

I, for one, appreciate your taking time to write the informative comment. Thank you.

Arman at September 8, 2003 12:57 AM [permalink]:

Hejab should be within our minds and hearts and everthing else is vicious.

Folks, believing it or not, we are in a very important stage of our history, and things are about to change dramatically in a very near future. There is no doubt in my mind that fifty years from now our grand children would laugh at our conversation today. Isn't this issue a little out of date?

Hejab???

isn't Hejab the same as morality or somthing to convey morality with! If this is so, wouldn't it be something that we should have within our soul rather than showing off what we do. Isn't Islam the religion that Arabs brought to Iran by force, killing, and ravishing our ancestors. When do we want to wake up? why we don't try to realize that we sould do something about this issue as Europeans did in 16th century.....

Is it fair to say we are behind 500 years? How long do we have to let bunch of uneducated Ayatolah to ruin beautiful Iranian heritage?

Long live Iran and people who live & die for it.

sepas

Saeed at September 8, 2003 01:13 PM [permalink]:

100 years from now people might walk naked in the streets and our grand-grand children might laugh at you and me as well. So what do you want to conclude now?

...laughing issue...the old cliche...


Arman at September 10, 2003 11:55 PM [permalink]:

Saeed:

I honestly don't understand your logic! is it inductive or deductive reasoning? I am afraid we don't understand each other. Either I am irrational or you are one of those hypocritical Arab lover who put this stupid Ayatollahs in power...

Don't take me wrong, I believe in change but change for better not for worse. Islamic republic had its legitimacy for the first couple of years after 1979 but not any more. The foundation of current system is under attack; the new generation don't think like u and I. We got to give them the chance to create a better Iran....

live & die for Iran not Islam... because we don't live in Middle Ages anymore.

Arman at September 11, 2003 12:04 AM [permalink]:

Saeed(2)

By the way, you are not the only one who is opposed to change; it is human characteristic called paradigm paralysis. Remember, If we lose this paradigm we may be able to progress. It is a long process though, because it will only take about half a century to clean off the Ayatollah’s paradigm.

Fatema at September 11, 2003 03:36 PM [permalink]:
I read the article ,,and about half of the comments,, view points were interesting.. now i want to say my words...as a girl who is living in a traditional family,in Tehran,it was the 3rd or 4th year of the war betwin iran and iraq when i was born.. my mom and my 2 elder sisters wear chador (veil),and i use to wear it from when i was a 7 years old child!yes, becouse once at school(a 100% religous school),the manager gave some gifts to the girls who wore chador and as i arrived home, i insisted my mom that me to, want a chandor,,and she got happy and gave me one,,this was start of my hijab,,and i wore it all my childhood! it was not easy wearing it.. as a small child i liked to run sometimes in street,play,be active,or things like this,,but it was impossible with chador,,and also completly acceptedfrom other girls! i remember once my sister told me that its not good for a girl to run on street becouse men will see her body movement!... all the years till i grew up,,all words which came to me from people around me ,were words that agreed chador,,from my family,reletives,teachres,TV programs,,all and all ..but as i started my younger ages,,about 15,16,, some thoughts came to my mind,,first of all a BIG "WHY" why should i wear this really? just becouse everybody say it is good? but it was "me" who had to stand the dificulty of wearing such long black dress and carrying it all the time! ..this was the time which a figh started inside me, a fight betwin me and myslef,, 2 diffrent parts of me,,one of them said do what ur family says,,the other said do what ur brain says! ...so i started to think more about it,, in order to find the best way ,, i asked my mother,and my sisters,,several times,,about why they wear it,,, most of the answers were like this: "when there is something beautiful ,which worths alot,,then we should protect it,and keep it safe! and chador is what can protect us from bad looks of guys!" bad looks of guys? well,,,is it my problem? let them look at me how ever they want,,i wont care,, perhaps their stairing on me will bother me,,but wearing a black loooong heavy dress will certainly bother me more! thier answer : " ok,but if girls want to show thier beauty,,this will make societey become bad..imagine a man who has a wife ,her wife is a woman who works hard and take care of her children, imagine the man sees a beutiful girl who doesnt have enough hijab ,walking on street,,so ,,it will cause the man like some one like her, and not his wife!!! so it will destroy the families!!!" and lots of other answers like this,,, and i thought,,, ok ,,but again its not my problem! when i m living in a society which never care for me as a girl,why should i care for it? and also,, i thought that all such answers are just jokes.when a man cant understand the reall values and his responsibility in life as a father and as a husband,nothing can change him,, even if we put all the beautiful girls under ground,he will still has the same character as before!!! anyway,, just by thinking logical,,i could find my way, and i should say that it was not easy at all to put away chador,, i fighted allot ,and this made my life and my relation with my family dark for a while..but finally i could succeed .. i dont wear chador now,, and dont have any belief in hijab,, but when i see a girl who wears chador, i can understand the feeling she has about it,im sure its not a good feelling,even if she shows herself happy about it,, its in our nature to wear beauti ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
The Bass Voice at September 11, 2003 04:26 PM [permalink]:

Fatima's comment above is a very important comment indeed! Some of my cousins would wear Chador as teens under the influence of a relative, but then they all put it aside when they passed a certain age, which is certainly realted to the age of reason.

arman at September 12, 2003 12:30 AM [permalink]:

Fatima,

Very interesting remarks. I enjoyed your insights and thanks for writing such a beautiful article. It is good to hear this kind of feelings about Hejab especially from young girls like you.

such information my cause those behind and disgusting people, who messed up our country with a bunch of unjustifiable reasons, to listen or learn from a teenager like you!!!

do what you think is right for you and never listen to the crap that ayatollah and their followers are saying. They are nothing but a bunch of hypocrite who will loose control of our country pretty soon.

The next stage is to get rid of Islam once for all, and replace it with the great and peaceful religion of Ahura Mazda, if people get the chance to expose with it though....or if Arabs let than happen.... if they don't call you infidel.. or if they don't kill you with stone... or if they stop advertising Arabic language in news and books every single day......etc. the story is long, so I stop here but I am sure you are smart enough to know what I am trying to say.

good luck to you

Sarah at September 12, 2003 03:31 AM [permalink]:

Assalammualaikum to all…

I am Sarah. I am from Malaysia. I accidentally got into this forum (it was a long story). For that reason…I took some time to leaf through and interpret the written word…it fascinates me. Nevertheless those comments of Saoshyant and Hajir I like the most.

 To Saoshyant …your comment is very informative.
 To Hajir..I like your opinion very much

Thanks + Best Regards.

Senior Grad at September 12, 2003 02:16 PM [permalink]:

Malaysia! I think I've seen (in TV) muslim women in Malaysia, with their headscarves on, riding motorbikes in streets! I wish someone could tell us more about how having hijab is perceived in other muslim contries...

A Reader at October 29, 2003 03:09 PM [permalink]:

There seems to be a mix up in what should and should not be in the world of the Muslim faith. Interpretations of traditions or proverbs that have been handed down can make young teens commit terrorist bomb-like suicides just to reach the point of martyrdom (thought to be a respected position in faith because they will have a “life in paradise”). It seems quite possible that the idea of the hejab being the way that it is today could also be a false or just negative interpretation.”

jasmine at March 11, 2004 12:39 AM [permalink]:

i am a hijabi and would like to share a experince with u.
i once experimented and took off my hijab in school, i was in my 4 yr of wearing the hijab.
when i took it off i became a totally different person, i wouldnt run, i couldnt yscream in excitment, i felt that it was WRONG of me to do that....i was getting so many compliments on my "new look" however i hated what i had become and after that day i have never tried anything like that again...

i love the hijab.... i feel that ladies who do not wear hijab should respect the decision of the ladies who do choose to wear the hijab...and vice versa......we are not opressed as some ppl view us! we are liberated! and would not have it any other way...at least i know i wouldnt

jasmine at March 11, 2004 12:39 AM [permalink]:

i am a hijabi and would like to share a experince with u.
i once experimented and took off my hijab in school, i was in my 4 yr of wearing the hijab.
when i took it off i became a totally different person, i wouldnt run, i couldnt yscream in excitment, i felt that it was WRONG of me to do that....i was getting so many compliments on my "new look" however i hated what i had become and after that day i have never tried anything like that again...

i love the hijab.... i feel that ladies who do not wear hijab should respect the decision of the ladies who do choose to wear the hijab...and vice versa......we are not opressed as some ppl view us! we are liberated! and would not have it any other way...at least i know i wouldnt

Grand Vizier at March 11, 2004 01:30 AM [permalink]:

Jasmine, are you sure you understand what you imply by your experience? The degree of indoctrination of Islam in your mind has been so strong that leaving Hijab for a day left you completely paralyzed! This is exactly the opposite of being liberated...oh my God, your ways are truly subtle!

jasmine at March 11, 2004 08:52 PM [permalink]:

actually i didnt choose not to do it...my non-muslim friends convinced me to do it..

my point was that i felt like i had to stand around and look beautiful for the guys on the other court..i ket touching my hair and fixing myself

jasmine at March 11, 2004 08:55 PM [permalink]:

i seriously feel that if i didnt wear the hijab, id be a very different person..
the hijab helps to control ur sexual urges(at least it helps me)...i kno who i am and wat i become when i take my hijab off at parties and stuff...i go wild

jasmine at March 11, 2004 09:14 PM [permalink]:

im really sorry bout the lil pposts
i just have one thing to say....life is a test..its all about choices...if a person feels hijab is or is not right then thatz their problem,
and the same goes for religion
if someone feels christianity is the right religion or hinduism is then thats their problem... its about choices...so to talk bad about a religion or the choices people make is just stupid...
i just feel that we are here for a reason..we were created for a reason and are given alot of gifts by god..don u guys think we should then do something for GOD? God has asked us for such little...i kno its difficult and stuff but thats part of the test...tests are not easy they are meant to be hard...its up to us and the choices we make...

also.....a gurl does not necessarly have to wear the hijab....she can wear a bandana that covers her hair or a beeni with a turtle neck...the point is to cover your hair and body....

and to u fatima...if u feel that it is the right things to do then im hapy for u...being forced to do something isnt right because then u obviously do it for the WRONG reason...
but plz dont go around assuming that the rest feel as u had felt when u wore hijab...because we dont..we understand why we wear the hijab and yes it is difficult at times but with it comes alot of reward...here in this life and later on..
ur experince was urs alone..