I read this article in a dutch newspaper, where the muslim writer argues why not only did she change her opinion about the hijab being about freedom of choice, but also would wish for it to be banned.
I’d like to answer her arguments step by step (her claims are marked bold):
- Women have to wear the Hijab because they are a sex object for the man and thus have to cover themselves (thereby taking responsibility for his lust)
I can only guess that she jumped the vers before, to come to this conclusion. There men are told to lower their gaze when they see a woman to prevent lustful thoughts. They are given responsibility for their own actions and even thoughts.
Now, we live in the real world, where people are civilized animals. What do you think goes through a man’s (or woman’s) mind when they see an attractive person? They are sure as hell sexualizing them! We can deny that by closing our eyes and saying “I am not a sexual object” (like a pigeon in front of a cat) or we can face it. We are all sexual objects for each other in a sense. With wearing the hijab I am accepting this fact and signaling that I am not open for flirts or any such further attention. That is what the Hijab is for.
Usually it is men who do the first step in courting women and the Hijab is a signal from muslim women to non-muslim men that this is a fruitless endeavor. Muslim men are told to not court women in this manner at all (muslim or non-muslim) in the vers before that.
- She does not want to be confronted by people because she does not wear a hijab
I actually agree with her. People should not judge others by the fact that they do or do not wear the hijab. I have often been judged by people because you can see a few hairs in my kind of Hijab. I do not appreciate it and I feel very strongly about leaving people alone to make their own decisions. I do not care if you walk around in a potato sack or a Bikini. Do you boo.
But again, we do not live in a perfect world. So if you have taken the decision to wear or not wear the Hijab, I expect you to stand by that decision and be an advocate for it. We all have to do that and I do not pity you for it. You have the ability to make that decision and that right comes with responsibility.
- She does not want to be confronted by Hijabs, because of her opinion that they are a sign of suppression
I feel very strongly about this also. Your discomfort is not my responsibility. Just as much as the lust of men is not my responsibility. It is not my responsibility if a man decides to harass me. The picture that I carry outside of myself, the signals I give out to the world are my responsibility. I make my picture, just as with tatoo’s or colorful hair or a cross necklace, I am signaling something to the outside and I have the right to be the one to decides what I signal. If that makes you uncomfortable, that is entirely your own problem and you have to face that as an adult. It is not for me to change myself to fit your comfort.
We do not live in a world of rainbows and unicorns, you will see things that make you uncomfortable. But your rights stop where the rights of others start. So you are allowed to not put a Hijab on, but you are not allowed to stop someone from wearing it. This is a questions of choice and freedom and you have no right to interfere with the freedom of others. Just as I will fight any day for your freedom to not wear it, I will fight for the freedom of others to wear it.
- She felt uncomfortable in Iran with their dress norms for women
I have no pity for you in the slightest. You know where you are going, you are able to research the matter and if you do not agree with their policy, you are at a freedom to stay away. Just as it is the norm here that you do not pee in the street or barf loudly in a restaurant, it is the norm there for women to have certain dress codes. You may agree or disagree with it, but it is a fact of life and you knew this would happen.
If you feel free in the Netherlands, I am very glad for you that you live here and not in Iran. Making a whole drama out of a visit to another country, because you felt suppressed by their rules is frankly childish and ridiculous. Try visiting North Korea and tell me how very comfortable you felt there with your open hair.
And I fail to see what it has to do with the Netherlands anyway.