Muslim Women Proclaim the Freedom of Hijab

May 19, 2000

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On May 19, 2000, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "The Koran calls for both Muslim women and men to dress modestly in public. Although Islam doesn't specify a style or form of dress, Suzanne Haneef writes in her book What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims that a woman is required to 'be completely covered except for her hands and face and that her dress should conceal her form, be loose and nontransparent, and not of a kind to attract attention by its beauty. Many non-Muslim women might think of such dress as restrictive or even oppressive -- a sign of submission to men -- but those who have adopted hijab find it nothing less than liberating." Women say that the hijab "'frees you from trends and trying to keep up with appearances'" and is specifically opposite to subordination to men, in that it allows women to refuse to be valued for their bodies.