Sociology- Hijab: Oppression, Patriarchy, Discrimination

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Mackenzie Ballas The Hijab is not a symbol of oppression nor a division of imprisonment instructed to be worn by a male authority- yet every day Islamic women who adhere to God’s desire and wear the Hijab thrive within an individual, gender-based, organizational and structural discriminating society that fails to acknowledge and accept cultural differences. If the world would just stop and listen, perhaps the hatred, lack of respect and biased racism would come to an end. Just who in fact, in the world we live in today, is being oppressed, patronized and discriminated? The common misconception non-Muslim follower’s especially western women associate with the Hijab is loss of freedom. One may argue that freedom is the ability to act upon anything one would like to do, when in fact freedom is defined as ‘doing the right thing without fearing other people’. I discovered a beautifully collaborated video targeting key points of Islam, deriving from global cultural debates, topics of discussion circling the internet and unanswered questions via word of mouth. Wearing the Hijab is a women’s right; however, women who proudly wear the head scarf live life caught between forces and without a doubt, in a bind. If one refrains from wearing the Hijab, non-Muslim believers question the individual on a personal level based on their ill compliance with their beliefs, yet a covered Muslim women has tremendous difficulty blending in because of the Hijab and is subjected to discriminating looks, lack or denial of a service and or respect from the world around them. The Hijab poses a threat to consumerism. The head covering along with the Islamic dress code compels men to value women for their intelligence verses attractive assets, giving women the upper hand when meeting strangers. In a patriarchy society, western women are brainwashed, pressured and yet

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