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Friday, March 31, 2006

A museum, the right place for a hijab

The former president of Germany's "Union of Muslim Women" decided to remove her head cover or hijab and donate it to a museum. Amal Abdeen Aljan stated that she "is free to do whatever she wants to do with her head" and she wished the people to know her personally and not just as the daughter of Youssef Abdeen. Her father, a leader of a fundamentalist turkish organization, made Aljan wear the head cover ever since she reached puberty. Her head cover will be placed in a section dedicated to "integration and immigration".

I got this story from Al Arabiya website. You can't imagine what people said in their comments on this story. The majority treated this trivial thing as if the lady had burned the Quran right in downtown Berlin. I just feel so sorry for Allah. He created the entire universe with all its complexities and yet people still think he is stupid enough to get pissed off at a girl who walks down the street with her head uncovered. I mean, do these people really think Allah is that stupid.

It is worth mentioning that the first Egyptian woman to remove the hijab was called Huda Sharaawi in 1923. The hijab back then was not the head cover of today but a complete covering of the entire body, including the face. Sharaawi took the cover off her face as she stepped out of the ship that brought her from a women rights conference she attended in Italy. By the 30s and the 40s, all forms of covering for women virtually disappeared from Egypt especially within the upper and middle classes. The covering started to pop out its ugly face once again by the 70s, when the region was hit by a nasty wave of politicized Islam and religion fundamentalism.

Today the vast majority of Egyptian girls in all segments of the society cover their hair. They were told that Allah would have a bad day if someone, especially a male stranger, saw their hair. I believe we need to wait for 2 generations for us to return back to 1923.

It's so funny. Here I am hoping that in the future we would go "backwards".

Source: Al Arabiya (Arabic)

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