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THE FOUR
FEARS ABOUT HIJAB

Samana Siddiqui

The first major fear I faced before beginning to wear Hijab over 10 years ago was how other people, especially my high school peers, would react to me.

It was hard, but Alhamdolillah, I did it. Despite rude comments, one attempt to pull off my Hijab and of course, the often hateful and disgusted stares I still get on the city bus, subway, stores, etc. Allah gave me the strength and I stuck with it.

THE SECOND FEAR: ACCEPTANCE AT UNIVERSITY

The second fear was that I would not be accepted into the program of my choice at university.

Concordia University's journalism program required applicants who had passed an English test to come in for a personal interview before a final decision about their acceptance was made.

I thought I'd be automatically rejected once they saw me in Hijab. After a successful interview with the head of the department and one of the professors, Alhamdolillah I was accepted.

THE THIRD FEAR: ACCEPTANCE IN EMPLOYMENT

The third fear was that I would never get a job in a non-Muslim environment. But right after graduation, I worked for three months at the daily newspaper the Montreal Gazette, albeit as an intern, but nonetheless as a reporter, full-time. With my Hijab. Alhamdolillah. I was also able to write for other publications after that with no problem. Alhamdolillah.

But the fourth fear is one I never imagined I would ever think of, let alone seriously consider.

Would I die to wear the Hijab?

THE FOURTH FEAR: DYING FOR THE HIJAB IN TURKEY

Living in North America, many of us who wear Hijab never consider this possibility. Although we have come to expect and deal with taunts and various levels of discrimination and harassment, rarely do we think we will die for choosing to wear Hijab, let alone supporting this choice.

But in Turkey, this may become a reality.

DYING FOR THE HIJAB: COULD BE A REALITY FOR TURKEY

On June 27th 1999, a Turkish prosecutor demanded the death penalty as punishment for 51 Islamist activists.

They were charged with trying to overthrow Turkey's secular constitution.

The crime of these 51 activists: organizing demonstrations against the country's official ban on Hijabs in universities and state buildings.

This revolting demand, which is probably supported by the country's fanatical secular government and army, seems to be the result of years of frustration at their inability to smother Islamic sentiment among Turkish Muslims.

According to the U.K.-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, one of those on trial and facing the death penalty is 16-year-old, Gulan Intisar Saatcioglu.

She tried to “overthrow Turkey's secular constitution” by reading out a poem entitled 'Song of Freedom' at the demonstration.

Her mother, a journalist, and two of her sisters also face the death penalty.

A FIGHT AGAINST SECULAR TYRANNY

Tariq ibn Shihab related that a person asked Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him): “What is the highest form of striving in Allah's cause?” He replied: “Speaking the truth to a tyrant.” (Nasai)

It's easy to say, ‘Of course I would die to wear the Hijab, and/or to support it.' Facile words for many of us living in a relatively calm, peaceful and tolerant environment in comparison to Turkey, although I'm not denying they could be sincere for many Muslims.

We must act now to defend them, they who have spoken so boldly against secular tyranny.

(Those Hijabis were eventually not sentenced to death).

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Your Comments

bahareh, tehran - wrote on 7/8/2010 6:37:53 AM
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Comment: salam. your article was very nice! I'm iranian. u know in iran we do'nt have any problem for hijab. but I have decided to go US for my PHD,In shaa allah, I like Hijab very much and I'm now concerned about reaction of Western community to my Hijab.


Mary Ann , Fairfax Virginia - wrote on 12/8/2004 7:28:35 AM
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Comment: Salaam'Alaikum I will never understand, why Muslims, think there is a one size fits all sollution, and that everybodys experience will be the same, and that an issue such as wearing hijab in America particularly is worth such a short article. I respect this writer, and am happy for her. My experience in hijab since day one has ruined my life, and I'm struggling to just pray. I got kicked out of an American High school in Moline Il, I have lost several jobs by having to quit becuase of the hostile, and intimidating enviornment, and was fired on the day of 9-11-2001. This has been a terrible struggle that has put me behind academically, and especially economically. If I wouldn't of gotten married, I would of ended up apostating from Islam and joining the military. Hijab is no easy experience all of the time for all people. I wish Muslims would of been honest enough about the terrible forms of discrimination you will experience. I wouldn't wish my experience on an animal. Salaam


Rafael, NYC - wrote on 5/16/2004 11:37:17 PM
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Comment: AsSalaamu'Aalaykum, Thank you very much for taking the time to have this article published on your website. I am greatful for all the Islamic articles on your site because it shows that the proprietor(s) of SoundVision.com go out of their way in the way of Allah subhanawat'aala rather than simply resell Islamic goods. Articles like this remind the pious and mindful reader that we've many more of the Ummah to worry about than those suffering under tyrannical rule in Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and everywhere oppression of the Ummah is widespread— even Turkey, where many "contemporary Muslims" sell their faith in the belief that they will be more readily accepted by the surrounding kafrun, for an economic return on investment in Turkish business & infrastructure, they must show that Turkish women can be objectified just as much as "christian" European and American women and can "proudly" parade their bodies in bikinis and sleep with whomever they want... secularism is the new religion, blood and souls its price... not cheap but as long as someone else has to pay. They will not realize that Allah takes all into account, and it is *them* whom will be in great deficit! Thank you, again, for this article and for all the Islamic literature on your site...


maria, glasgow - wrote on 3/28/2004 10:34:57 AM
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Comment: i just wanted to say to yous that it was great not just great but more more more more more great and i hope turkey can not stop hijab for banding THANK YOU


kholoud, fresno - wrote on 3/8/2004 5:31:12 PM
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Comment: It very interesting explanation about Hijab.


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