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A misconception in the 21st century is that “The hijab is oppressing women”

By Ryane Fyith-Mcarthur (Canada)

Wearing the Hijab for more than 5 years has allowed me to feel more empowered and beautiful than ever. At times, wearing the hijab was challenging and felt degrading to my confidence because I was always different and I never fit in. These challenges have made me feel stronger and have improved my Emaan(Faith). A misconception in the 21st century is that “The hijab is oppressing women”. My hijab makes me feel beautiful among others because people only can see my personality and not judge me based on my appearance and body shape. The hijab allows people to get to know me based on my personality and character. Also, just like most others, I play competitive sports and that is one of my passions. My hijab and religion has not ever forced me to stop playing because of the way I was dressed compared to everyone else. It makes me feel special and different and motivates me to continue playing. The most important aspect of my hijab is that it continuously reminds me of who I really am on the inside. It also promotes self-respect and love by protecting your body from the external forces of the 21st century and not being persuaded to take it off.

Being a Muslim living in Canada among a diverse mosaic of people, has forced everyone to look at me in a different way than everyone else. People have learnt not to ask me to do things against my religion. Why? Because they have learnt to respect me and my religion and accept me for who I am. Instead, my friends and I choose to do other activities that allow me to be included and have a good time. It’s wonderful living among my beautiful friends who are not of the same religion but yet have so much love for me. When there is anything wrong with my hijab they fix it for me or if they hear the Athan ring they remind me that it is prayer time. They don’t only remind me its prayer time they observe and allow me to explain my religion without judgement. Also, if anyone is judging or bullying my because of my hijab or religion they get involved and stand up for me. This is what respect is, learning to love each other while being different and respecting each other’s religion. Among everyone I feel special, kind of like a Queen… the hijab on my head acts as the Crown. My hijab protects me and reminds me that Allah (SWT) is always watching over me with love. All and all, my hijab is between me and my creator and I am only accountable to him.

May Allah (SWT) guide the whole Ummah to embrace and accept Islam. Ameen

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