Historically, Muslim women have always been a topic of discussion by the media and countries around the world, with particular attention to dress code. It reached extremes when some countries started banning the Hijab and Niqab by law. Numerous incidents have caused outrage about the banning of religious head coverings.
Why? Because it directly infringes on a person’s right to practice their religion freely.
Why do Muslim Women observe Hijab?
In an article published by Striving for Modesty (Why do Muslim Women observe Hijab), it is explained that Hijab should be observed by both Muslim men and Muslim women as it is a commandment from Allah (SWT). It is a symbol of Modesty and represents ones Islamic identity. An aspect that forms part of Hijab is the observing of Niqab. Observing Niqab is a practice fulfilled by Muslim Women. While Islamic scholars have differences of opinion on whether it is obligatory or not, most agree that it is an Act of Piety.
Countries that have banned religious head covering including Hijab and Niqab
One of the most famous incidents involving the banning of Hijab took place in France, where it was the first European country to introduce a blanket ban on wearing burkas in public. This became law in 2011 and included the banning of Niqab. Since then other countries including, Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Netherlands, China, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland, have passed laws banning the wearing of face veils.
Last year, on January 1, 2022 at Government PU College in Udupi, an incident occurred where six female students claimed that they were not allowed to enter classrooms wearing hijab. This sparked outrage around the world, and many participated in Human Rights protests.
How do these bans and enforcements of Hijab written into these countries’ laws violate the rights of Muslim women?
While there are many Muslims who live in Muslim countries, a large portion of the ummah live in environments that do not align with Islamic principles. The "Navigating Non-Muslim Society" section of SFC is geared towards discussing the challenges that occur in these situations.