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Fact or Fiction: Debunking Myths About the Muslim Headscarf

The hijab — the scarf some Muslim women wear over their heads — is a controversial piece of clothing. Muslim women in America must weigh their desire to follow their faith, with the risk of standing out, against a sometimes-judgmental society. Perhaps society would be more understanding if people knew more about the religious garment. Take this quiz to find out if you can spot fact from the fiction.

Source: Flickr User ranoush

Fact or Fiction: Debunking Myths About the Muslim Headscarf

Fact or fiction: All Muslims agree that the Koran commands women to wear the hijab.

Join The Conversation
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 7 years
She has pretty eyes. And I don't think we should judge the women for wearing them, no matter where they live.
LilyLyra LilyLyra 7 years
hottpink, you definitely do not have to wear a headscarf in Egypt if it isn't what you normally wear. Egypt is one of the more modern countries in the Middle East and many many Egyptian girls don't wear the hijab and wear "Western" attire. And as someone else said earlier, the country sees so many tourists, it's very normal.
YMO YMO 7 years
I'm not particularly religious anymore, but was raised Christian. I don't know if there's a matching bible passage, but I remember my mom telling me of her days going to church and how people would freak out if she didn't have something covering her head. It's faded away now (though you still see a lot of hats in church), but the head covering thing for women seems to be common in many religions (I know in Judaism some women wear veils for reasons similar to Muslims). To me, burqas send a different message, but even then if I look at a nun's habit and compare it to a burqa, I don't see a huge difference. I don't think it equates to oppression in every case, but it's definitely a very religious symbol. As far as France, if you were to wear a big cross in a public institution, you'd probably get the same request to remove it as someone wearing a head scarf. I've lived in France for a while and I don't think they're being unfair. I don't agree with many of their rules, but in general they're applied evenly and across the board. The woman in the burqini for example, should have known better. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that they make guys wear speedos at public pools, but rules are rules. If the rules about wearing specific clothing in pools was only applied to non-Muslims it would be much more unfair than what's happening now.
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
It's a choice, and i'm glad this was brought up. Too many people assume things just by seeing this article of clothing. A woman makes this choice when and if she feel it's right for her. My family is from Palestine, and i have aunts and cousins who choose to cover, and ones who don't. It's their choice, whether they are married or not, nothing to do with the men. When countries like France try to ban women from expressing their choice is when i see a problem. I think it speaks to the fear and stereotypes people already have about our culture. ~And yes i agree about her eyes, in middle eastern culture anything fair or light is considered different and especially beautiful, exotic in a way.
janneth janneth 7 years
It should be choice. I see nothing wrong with it. It is no different from a woman choosing to wear lots of makeup, or using hair color.
hottpink hottpink 7 years
Thanks AZDaisy! That helps out a lot! PS I was thinking the same thing about the National Geographic photo!
AZDaisy AZDaisy 7 years
hottpink...that's so awesome that you're going to live in Egypt! I traveled there, mind you only for 2 weeks, but unless it's something you want to do I don't think a headscarf is necessary. There are a lot of Coptic Christians as well as Muslims in Egypt, and they coexist and respect each other, as far as my understanding goes. I dressed modestly while I was in Egypt out of respect, but even this isn't necessary as Egypt is frequented by so many travelers, I think the locals are used to the way "Western women" dress. Hope that helps :) PS...Those eyes are amazing. Reminiscent of the National Geographic photograph.
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
People still make fun of the Amish following their old ways. They won't drive cars, have electricity, and a heck of a lot more. They don't allow their children to show their bare ass and have their breast hanging partially out while wearing skimpy clothes, stay out late at night, playing video games, Internet use, they don't allow them to be lazy sitting around on their cell phones almost 24/7 and listening to Ipods when they should be working in the fields to help out their family and neighbors. I say if the Amish also choose this way of living then so be it. They are not harming anyone. And it's good to see strict values and morals still in effect somewhere here in America.
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
I get so tired of people harshly judging these women's attire while walking on US soil. I don't think that these women should hide their faces but once over here in America they don't have too, while still practicing their religion/culture. But if they choose to do so while here then so be. They are not terrorist and don't approve of it I'm sure. These women deserve respect.
Mimita Mimita 7 years
Anonymous (comment #12) is completely right, people ALWAYS forget that there is something called religion and culture, and people tend to get the two mixed together. I'm from Saudi Arabia but I've lived in the US nearly my entire life, and I wear the hijab and I'm proud to do so. Of course I do have many friends that don't wear it and some that have thought that it was something that was inforced by my parents, which is thankfully not true at all. I'll tell you one thing, it is hard to deal with the stares, and people getting angry by just looking at me (I've even had people fabricate road rage at the sight of me in my hijab driving). But I know that I'm doing something right and more than anything, I like treating my body like a haven that only few people get to see. It makes me special. And just as I want to be respected and accepted by the world I respect and accept anyone regardless oh who they are and what they believe in. THIS is what Islam is all about, and to my greatest regret a lot of people have forgotten that. Thanks for bringing up the topic, and yes that girl has gorgeous eyes mashallah!
hottpink hottpink 7 years
Kind of off the topic but in a year I am going to be spending 6 months studying in Egypt. I'm an anthropology major with a concentration in ancient Egyptian culture. I have been considering covering my head when I go to respect the culture and people. Is this an appropriate thing to do?
soapbox soapbox 7 years
I'm muslim, but I only wear a hijab during prayer. I've read the Quran (Note, its not Koran), and there's only one line that states woman should cover their head. There's no emphasis on it and it's not a mandatory command unless a woman is in prayer. I would also like to set "the men are superior" record straight. Marriage is an equal thing in Islam and the Quran even states that men and woman are equal. And female Imans aren't allowed for another reason which I do not really want to get into right now. It's too early for details hehe.
cfp cfp 7 years
I guess it's good to teach people about hijab, but I don't really like the way question 5 is phrased. There are no "Islamic" countries other than Iran, which is literally an "Islamic Republic." Calling a country with a Muslim majority Islamic is like referring to Europe as Christian instead of European.
LilyLyra LilyLyra 7 years
I wear a hijab and have been for the past 11 years. It was a decision I took and even then was against my dad's will. But I took the decision because I felt it would bring me closer to God and my religion, and I don't regret it at all. I have so many Muslim female friends who don't wear a scarf, and I respect them for it and they are no less believers than girls who do chose to wear the scarf. To each her own. I'm happy more and more people are beginning to understand this, because nothing annoys me more than having someone ask "do you HAVE to wear that?" or something to that extent. And yes, those eyes are so very beautiful. :-)
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
AnnickJean one can argue that women getting boob jobs because society teach them that if they don't have the perfect body they are worthless, that if you are not a size 2 then your fat and ugly. Some can also argue that is more degrading using women as a sex object, to some that's more degrading than covering. And misssophia I agree with you, those eyes are beautiful.
ECULeah ECULeah 7 years
5 out of 5, that religious minor was worth something!
MissSophia MissSophia 7 years
Off the topic but how beautiful are those eyes in the pic?
PontNeuf PontNeuf 7 years
The issue is one of choice. The problem with hijab is that for many women, it is a symbol of oppression. Some who accuse those of us who are hesitant to welcome hijab with open arms seem to forget that there are very real and horrific consequences for not covering oneself (though only if you're female) in many parts of the world.
grlykool grlykool 7 years
I don't think most people know that the Uighurs have female imams as well (score one for the ole ME minor hacha!).
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I had a Muslim friend who refuse to cover her face, and she still practice her religion.
weffie weffie 7 years
5/5. impressed myself :)
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