One Response Arising From The Niqab/Hijab Debate by Henna Riaz

A debate took place defending the right of women to wear what they wished, focusing around the niqab/hijab. It was an excellent debate, with an expert panel discussing the religious, political and media aspects entwined within this piece of material worn as a headscarf or a veil and its Islamic symbolism.

One young female audience member responded thus:

On December 1st 1955, Rosa parks refused to move from a section on a bus. She stood up for her rights. She stood up for equality. She was inspirational she stood up for her beliefs. She protested by herself on that bus for her human rights.
If she in 1955 can stand up for her rights why can’t we do this in 2013?
We are told by government, society and technology that we have moved forward by light years. So then why are we being neglected and being dictated like centuries ago.
I feel that Rosa Parks is an extreme example of standing up for your rights but if the media can constantly show extreme examples is Islam I can certainly do the same.
I personally don’t wear a headscarf on a daily basis but I think it shows a sign of respect. It shows self empowerment that these women don’t need to rely on their beauty and that their beauty is sacred. These women aren’t trying to hide from society they are trying to hide their beauty. This is not a selfish act this is their connection to God and Islam is not the only religion which practises this.
The world should embrace women and respect the rights they have gained over time. Women were not allowed to vote but now we can. We didn’t have equal pay as men in jobs but can now be taken seriously and equally in most professions. I think that any rights women do have should be kept like the right to being able to choose what to wear. Women or men should not be dictated what to wear.
We should be educated that Islam is one of the religions which give women the most rights. We should be not just educated to read but to question what we read. We must proactively seek as much information as possible before we have it handed to us by the media.


Henna Riaz,
Riaz Reports


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