Harassment and Hijab

During last couple of weeks I am coming across many videos on Facebook shared by friends in which females walk through streets to show the way they are harassed. Firstly, the video(1st below) was filmed and many saw and shared it around the world.  It was about the harassment that female face during daily life. So today the topic is; Harassment and Hijab!
After watching these video(2nd) many have recorded their responses and mostly said,” If after wearing hijab girl should have walked in same area, where she came across some remarks before. This could have given us a better insight into the matter.”But I think that each type of people are present everywhere and even if she walked in same place, for sure those people were not there, waiting for her to return.
I am observing Hijab from 2007 and then for the first time I experienced in my life; when a woman wear Abaya she mostly remains unnoticed as no one see any attraction in her. It really feels great. 
As per my personal experience I can say this for sure, women in Hijab are not targeted much, sometimes they face problems as if someone feel pressure or fear to see them around. Otherwise it is great protection. Wearing Hijab or Niqab is according to law of Islam and in many countries of Muslim world it has become tradition. You can find the post about dress code of Islam here.  
When a small girl becomes few years old she tries on her mother’s niqab as she always see her mother in niqab or hijab. I have a 3.5 years old daughter and she always see me when I am going out I am in hijab and now when I ask her to get ready she runs and brings my abaya and sometimes ask me to help her and teach her how to wear it and normally asks me to buy her an abaya. The point, why I have mentioned this personal experience here is; it is all about how we do and how we teach our kids. If we teach our daughters to wear hijab we can also teach our sons to lower their gaze.
Many complain that if there are so much restrictions for female Islamic dress then why there is no problem for men to wear any kind of western dress. According to Law of Islam men are also advised to lower gaze and dress modestly. It is not just women who are told a lot to follow, about every aspect of Life. BTW women are allowed to wear whatever they want inside their homes and asked to dress herself properly and nicely for her husband. 

Where there is emphasis on modest dressing for both of Muslim women and men a need for eye Hijab is also expressed. It is necessary for men to wear eye Hijab and are asked not to stare at women.

Lot of Muslim women around the world, including Muslim countries  aren’t wearing hijab. They claim that we’re free women. But I feel freedom is not the name of running, getting rid of or breaking the codes or rules of religion. Like if, we are staying in any country we have to follow its rules, if we will not abide by any law we will be punished  for it. Same is the case of Islam, if we are in this religion, we must believe that all the rules are made to benefit us and for our safety. As the supreme power who has created us knows best about us; our needs or demands, likes or dislikes, problems and their solutions.  Anyone who do not follow rules cannot be an open minded person.Religion teach us to follow Hijab/ niqab, what someone choose to wear can be different. I am from Pakistan and no one from my close relatives wear Hijab including my mother but we wear a long piece of cloth( Dupatta) according to our tradition and we are not pushed by anyone to wear that. God has given us free will to chose and follow. He has mentioned both paths; Right and Wrong. Now, it is up to us , what we chose and how we benefit from it. At the end we will be responsible for our acts and face the consequences. It is not men for whom, women wear Hijab/ abaya, God wants a believer women to wear it as He has mentioned many times in Quran and its interpretation can be read in the Hadith. Hijab/Abaya is not something new but came with the beginning of Islam.

But wearing Hijab makes a big difference as I have mentioned before that I have started Hijab from 2007 and I met same people before and after wearing Hijab, I personally felt, great difference in behaviour of people towards me.  I can say that you will certainly see a change in men’s DISGUSTING behaviour!  
If we see the history then we will come to know, how this Hijab/Abaya started after Islam, “It was asked from Muslim women to wear it when they leave the home so , they can be identified.” Islam also teach us to be nice to other religions and its believers. So if a non-Muslim women is not wearing Hijab, no matter what dress she choose for her she do not deserve to be harassed. This is also a fact, even many women who are wearing Hijab still sick of men shaming her. If there is not problem in women outfit, if it is according to Islam, we cannot over look the problem with the men who do not follow Islam. So  to remove problems of the society is it also necessary for men to lower their gaze.
To all the interested people; It might seem foreign because in our world the focus has become more about how Muslim women should dress and the discussion of how Muslim men should dress got dropped or how they must act while seeing a women.
On another note, It’s not that over the years even a Hijabi has never experienced being followed or so many cat calls or wolf whistles. All women have to deal with Disgusting behavior and cat calls of men all around the world. We must teach our children how a woman walking alone would be treated. In many cases women are being followed by educated men and in some cases men try to give their phone number. Sadly, I can only write up to the bunch of ignorant and disrespectful people being idiots, and cannot point anything to the race or religion or the country, such type of men belong.
So the message that comes from these videos, cover yourself while going out of homes, if you don’t want to be bothered. But I also believe that it is needed for the parents to educate boys to respect  women, do not take women as objects of pleasure. Women is accepted to be the most respectful in all her relations like; Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister etc. in all religions of the world. She is not supposed to be abused .
Again, I feel that these videos are pointing out the calling for Islamic dress. I believe if Islam teaches women to wear Hijab there is some logic in that. If someone who do not like women to see in Hijab tries to find faults in Islam and prove it by some actions of few who do not actually bother about religion but have a tag on them and damage the image of certain religion. Today, when many Muslim women are facing problems while practising their religion there are many western women who have come forward to stand with them and accept their right to live freely, you can check a post here. In this (3rd) video you can check the views of people about women wearing hijab. This picture from Facebook tells what is the duty of man in real. 

If you have decided to wear Hijab, that is your choice and no one can force you to do so. I hope that you can make best choice for yourself. We must not waste our energy to find inconsistency of any message but try to act wisely and be safe. We must let God judge, and think with your mind to be on safe side. 

Came across a post about street harassment in Arab News.

What do you believe about such videos, do they really give insight about the matter or just edited accordingly, to do some business? Can they help modify the image related to any issue and help in awareness about cause??


Images: I have prepared these images by using Canva. 

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