As part of our South Asian Heritage Month, we bring you articles that would give you more insight on other communities' culture. This week we highlight Sri-Lanka and Pakistan in our socials. As such, it is only fitting that we should discuss something that the two have in common - their religion.
A good number of Sri-Lankans and Pakistanis are Muslim and one of the many things associated with being part of the Islamic religion is the use of the Hijab. As such, here are 5 common Hijab Myths and the truth behind them:
1. Women are forced to wear the Hijab.
In some cases, this may seem so but on the contrary majority of the Muslim women actually willingly choose to wear the Hijab. They often want to showcase and express their personal identity through this kind of devotion to their faith. With the Islamic religion, wearing the Hijab is closely associated with modesty and the act of showing faithfulness to the religion. It has always been a personal choice of the wearer to actually wear the Hijab.
2. It is a symbol of oppression.
Many of those who are not Muslim confuse oppression for religion practices which are not the case. It is essential to determine the difference between those who are forced to wear it and those who choose to wear it. The Hijab means different things to the wearer but for the majority of Muslims it symbolizes faith, strength, and empowerment.
3. It is a symbol of extremism or radicalism.
It is important to note that Extremism and Radicalism are NOT exclusive to any particular religion. It's also important to not stereotype and associate such things simply because of how someone dresses. It doesn't imply that if one is wearing a Hijab, one already has extreme beliefs.
4. Muslims who do not wear the hijab are "bad".
Wearing the Hijab is a matter of personal choice, but the level of commitment to one's faith shouldn't equate to how they dress. Islam places importance to inner faith and making more good deeds rather than someone's daily appearance.
5. All of the Hijabs look the same.
The Hijabs are pretty diverse as it has a variety of colors and fabrics to showcase different styles such as the Niqab, and Burqa that are worn in different Muslim communities to reflect the different cultures and traditions.
The practice of wearing the Hijab should be seen as an act of commitment to one's faith. These five common misconceptions about Hijabs are essential to dispel in order to encourage mutual understanding and respect for the diverse Muslim culture and the women who choose to wear them.