Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, February 11, 2008

Muslim journalist discusses her distaste for headscarves

Mona Eltahaway discussed the conflicting views of Muslims and headscarves in a Washington Post column on Sunday.

Muslim women and headscarves are synonymous with one another and Eltahaway states that she is “fed up that the fights between the two sides always take place over women’s heads – literally and figuratively. Women rarely get a say in such arguments – just their hair and what’s on it is deemed more important.” When female students were prohibited from wearing headscarves in Turkish universities, Eltahaway thought that was unfair. However she thinks it is also unjust that Muslim women in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran are forced to always wear headscarves. “If Turkish women were barred from education because of headscarves, Saudi girls were dying from lack of them.”

Eltahaway personally decided that after 9 years of wearing a headscarf, it was time to take it off. But she noticed that once in the minority of women who wore headscarves, she is now in the minority again—as more women have decided to wear headscarves as part of a religious obligation. Eltahaway attributes this trend to a “growing conservatism” among the Muslim Brotherhood which holds 88 seats in the Egyptian parliament, as an arm wrestling contest is created from the “my Islam is just as good as your Islam” feelings.

Eltahaway urges the Muslim community to “get over this headscarf obsession” and move on to issues that truly need addressed.

For the full article on Eltahaway’s opinion, click here.


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