Wearing Hijab: A Right or Constraint?


  • Yufei Li




Constraint; Wearing Hijab; Muslim Women in Modern Times.


The word “hijab” has for long been synonymous with terrorism, exposing Muslim women who wear hijab to racial and religious discrimination. (Sara Slininger 2014) “Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 17-fold in 2001 compared to 2000.” (Anna Piela 2022; Human Rights Watch 2002) In addition to the dreaded cries of terrorism, “hijab” is also slightly paradoxically linked to oppression, inequality, and slavery that evoke people’s sympathy and urge to help. Governments and organizations issued decrees banning women from wearing the veils such as hijab and burqa -- first at sporting events, then on the streets, then in schools, and gradually throughout the country -- to emancipate vulnerable and stigmatized Muslim women from religious and patriarchal oppression, (Shaista Aziz 2022) liberating Muslim women while marginalizing them more and more. The well-intentioned “liberation movement” was met with the resistance of many “liberated” conservative Muslim women -- “Hijab is my right!” (Imran Qureshi 2022) The liberators, who imposed their views on others, issued edicts that forced the removal of the hijabs, edicts that were seen by conservative Muslim women as equally misogynistic as edicts that forced the wearing of hijabs. (Shaista Aziz 2022) The freedom that some conservative Muslim women seek is not the freedom to take off the hijab, but the freedom to choose to wear it or not. However, various regimes in the past and present made decisions for women by exploiting hijabs or other veils such as burqas and niqabs to oppress women or gain international fame. Other countries ban women from wearing hijabs in certain places or throughout the country, barbarizing and stigmatizing the “hijab” culture to achieve value export and colonization. Similarly, women do not have a choice about what to do with their hijabs. This paper will examine the effect and influence of wearing the hijab on the status and human rights of conservative Muslim women in modern times.


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How to Cite

Li, Y. (2022). Wearing Hijab: A Right or Constraint?. BCP Education & Psychology, 7, 314–320. https://doi.org/10.54691/bcpep.v7i.2682