Many Muslim woman believe that wearing the veil, hijab or burqa is a form of liberation. This may come as a surprise to you. However, when I was in New Jersey doing Muslim ministry training, I came across many Muslim women who possessed this very attitude. One woman, her name was Ronahi, wore the veil despite the fact that her husband did not require her to wear it. Her marriage was a rare one in Islam; her husband was loving and supportive and they had a loving relationship. Maybe it was because of their respect for each other that she felt more obliging to wear the veil, I really don’t know.To understand why Muslim women see the veil as a form of liberation, one must understand that the veil is cultural. In most Muslim countries, Sharia law requires that all women wear the veil. Some countries are more strict than others. For example in Saudi Arabia, women must cover all but their eyes. But in other places women are allowed to keep their entire face bare or even show a lock of hair.
When a Muslim woman moves to a Western country, for example, where wearing the veil is not compulsory, they are faced with a dilemma. To wear or not to wear? Of course, if your husband does not allow you to go without a veil, then there is not a dilemma. However, many single women and married women who’s husbands are not so strict, are faced with whether or not to wear the concealing veil. And so, for once in a Muslim woman’s life she gets to make her own choice! Ah, freedom! But because the veil is so ingrained in her culture and in her psyche, many women still wear the veil. This concept makes no sense to the liberated American woman. However, to a Muslim woman, the veil represents safety and security. After all she does not want to tempt her fellow Muslim brothers or invite the stares of filthy Infidels.
Also, Muslims believe that the veil is a blessing from Allah. Here’s is an interesting blog post (click here) by a woman who obviously believes that Hijab is a blessing from Allah. She gives some strange analogies. Read the comments too! They are telling!
In some Western European countries the Hijab is controversial. Read this article, to find how the Dutch government is introducing legislation to make wearing Hijab illegal. Because of this, it seems that many Muslim women have turned back to wearing the veil as a way of defending their faith and making a counter-cultural statement.
Although I don’t particularly like Hijab. It doesn’t really bother me if a woman chooses to wear the veil. However, what does bother me is when a woman is severely punished for not wearing the veil or for violating some arbitrary rule of Islam. Also, I am more concerned for the heart of the Muslim woman than for her outward appearance. We know that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. Let us remember to pray for the hearts of the Muslim woman, that she would see her desperate need for Jesus Christ! Thanks for reading!