We often hear the claim that Muslim women wear the hijab because they want to. And perhaps that’s true for some, though one must distinguish the various causes for “want to.” These include “wanting to” because you were indoctrinated that way, “wanting to” because you know that the alternative is beating or something worse, and “wanting to” because you know you have alternatives, but you really feel better draped in cloth.
Let’s first review the various garments worn by Muslim women, which are often confused. The hijab covers the head and usually part of the chest, while the niqab also covers part of the face:
We already know that many women who wear hijabs and niqabs don’t do it voluntarily, for in places like Iran and Afghanistan,they adopted these garments only after the countries were taken over by theocracies and veiling became compulsory. Before that, many women were sporting Western dress…
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