I have a genuine curiosity about headscarves

(41 Posts)
blueraincoat Mon 14-Oct-13 18:52:59

Please pardon my ignorance I just have a question and no one in RL who would know the answer. I have noticed recently, particularly young women, wearing their headscarves in such a way that it's sort of built up with lots of folds of fabric on top of their head. I just wondered if this is a "fashion" thing (the way they are wearing the headscarf not the wearing of the headscarf itself) or specific to a certain culture or group and I'm just noticing it more. Not the most intellectual of questions but I live in an area with a large Muslim population and I see this more and more and am genuinely curious. TIA!

RussianBlu Mon 14-Oct-13 20:44:33

It's a fashion thing and kind of takes away the whole point of wearing the scarf in the first place! It's based on an Arab style way of wearing the scarf. Very eye-catching don't you think??

blueraincoat Mon 14-Oct-13 21:02:55

Thank you! Been wondering for weeks. Yes it is very eye catching. As someone of no faith I also think it looks quite lovely. smile

RussianBlu Mon 14-Oct-13 21:06:08

Yes it can look very nice, which as I say also detracts from the whole point of wearing the scarf, especially when teamed with a pair of skinny jeans and a face full of make up!

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Mon 14-Oct-13 21:06:27

Hijab fashion is a big thing, there are many, many websites devoted to it.

For me, as long as I look reasonably coordinated, I'm happy, but others put a lot of time and effort into their hijabi style.

SantanaLopez Mon 14-Oct-13 21:07:40

Oooh can I hijack and ask if you are allowed to compliment someone? A lady I know uses the most beautiful material in hers, but I don't know the etiquette.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 17:10:28

Santana - yes, compliments are welcome smile

Russian - as a headscarf wearer, my general policy is not to judge how others wear theirs. Different people wear theirs in different ways, for different reasons and I think that's ok.

I also find that people who are not very fond of hijab/headscarves tend to either complain that Muslim women wear too much black, or that we wear too many bright colours, or make up or whatever - we can't win!

blueraincoat Tue 15-Oct-13 18:14:00

Ooo thanks for the info everyone. Knew mumsnet would deliver. smile

SantanaLopez Tue 15-Oct-13 19:37:08

Thank you Gosh!

RussianBlu Tue 15-Oct-13 21:55:49

GoshAnneGorilla it isn't a case of judging people on how they chose to wear their scarf, its about plain and simple facts about the reason for wearing it and it isn't to bring loads of attention to yourself whether its intentional or not.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 22:11:54

Russian, are you Muslim?

RussianBlu Tue 15-Oct-13 22:50:42

Why do you ask? Wearing of the scarf is all about modesty. The way some people choose to wear it doesn't suggest modesty to me at all.

OddBoots Tue 15-Oct-13 23:01:16

Which goes to show how much of a subjective concept modesty is in the first place, and given its subjectivity it can't be the role of any person to judge the modesty of another.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 23:02:39

I'll take that as a no.

The problem with the "drawing attention to oneself" argument is that it is a double edged sword.

I currently live in a city with a high number of Muslims, no one looks twice at me in my hijab here.

When I visit where my parents live, there are very few Muslims there, so I do get a lot of stares. Does this mean I shouldn't wear my hijab there as attracting such attention isn't modest?

Also there is the fact that what people consider modest us very variable, to some anything less than a niqab with a black abaya is not modest ( I have no problem with that viewpoint, as long they accept that others have a different view).

To avoid thinking I'll of others and to view people with empathy, is an important part of Islamic spirituality, that's why I don't pass judgement on how others wear their hijab.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 23:03:22

Oddboots - Exactly!

RussianBlu Tue 15-Oct-13 23:09:31

You can take it how you like! I still hold the opinion that wearing your scarf in the manner written about by the original poster is not modest. I do not judge the person or think ill of them. I am also aware that you will bring attention to yourself by wearing a scarf in a place such as the Shetland isles more than you will on the main street in Whitechapel. I don't really think that is the same thing as wearing the scarf is seen as obligatory. Wearing it like the girl in the BBC sitcom Citizen Khan is a different way of bringing attention to oneself.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 23:18:27

Because I don't think a Muslim would deny their faith when asked. If you aren't Muslim, why be coy about the matter?

RussianBlu Tue 15-Oct-13 23:30:56

I have no idea what my religion, or lack of has to do with the thread. I can have an opinion regardless. I am not one for sharing numerous details about myself online. I still say that wearing the scarf in such a way isn't the best way to wear it. I am not passing comment on the individual who choses to do so, that would be ridiculous. I have no idea what is in their head/heart. I just think they have lost sight of why they are wearing it in the first place. That is all.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Tue 15-Oct-13 23:52:25

Because I think a Muslim would have a greater insight into the various reasons behind a religious practice and how and why people might vary in that religious practice, then a non-Muslim would.

There's not sharing details about yourself online and there's trying to pass yourself off as something you're not for the purposes of trying to "win" a debate.

I as a Muslim, know that it is a serious, serious thing to deny your faith, I don't think it's something a Muslim would ever do lightly, even in the realms of online chat.

I've met women who cover in all different ways, for all different reasons, those experiences are why I wouldn't even begin to judge how a women wears her hijab, many Muslim women I know would say the same.

niminypiminy Wed 16-Oct-13 08:46:14

Also, to add to what GoshAnneGorilla has said, I think there is respect due to women who publicly affirm their faith through wearing the hijab, whatever way they arrange the scarf. It isn't for non-Muslims to make a judgement about how good a Muslim any particular woman is (and from my point of view, only God can judge that, because only he sees into our hearts). The hijab has many meanings, only one of which is modesty. Another, which we might be more important in our secularised society, is 'I openly and publicly affirm that I am a Muslim'. That can be a difficult thing to do, and I certainly admire Muslim women for being willing to affirm their faith so openly -- especially given the lack of understanding shown them by certain segments of society.

RussianBlu Wed 16-Oct-13 18:19:44

You make whatever assumption you want about me. I do not wish to share my religious or not beliefs with the online world at this point in time. I am not denying or hiding anything. I answered the question set by the op. It is a fashion thing, I do not think you can disagree with that. It tends to be worn by those less than 30 I would say, more so by teenagers in my experience.

I would be very interested to hear all the many meanings for hijab other than modesty and protecting oneself and it being a rule.

Please stop turning this into an argument.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Wed 16-Oct-13 19:11:36

Of I can disagree with whether it's a fashion thing, as someone without mind-reading powers, I have no idea exactly why someone is wearing their hijab a certain way. It could be fashion, comfort, what they find stays in place best.

Then there are the many reasons why someone might wear hijab in the first place, as a religious obligaton, as a statement of identity, as an act of worship, because they think they look nice in it, as a way of adhering to a particular lifestyle...

It would absolutely not be my place to criticise anyone's reasons for wearing or not wearing the hijab and I know the harm that such criticism can do.

I also know that when non-Muslim mock or criticise how some Muslim women wear hijab, it's because they don't want there to be any hijab wearers at all, by making Muslim feel they however they wear the hijab, people will mock and despise them.

RussianBlu Wed 16-Oct-13 19:33:28

I cant help but feel you are looking to turn this into a debate. You appear to have decided that I am against hijab and am looking for ways to mock it. I think you are twisting my words. No doubt you will say I am not.
I would be amazed if wearing hijab in such a way as original poster cited would be the most comfortable way to wear it or style that is the one that stays put best. I would imagine it takes a fair bit of time to put it on compared with a more simpler version.
When I asked about reasons for wearing hijab that another poster mention I meant religious only as I assume she/he did. People could wear it for a whole host of non religious reasons and it would be pointless to think about them here. It really is a fashionable way of wearing the scarf and that's about it. No point pretending otherwise.

Nobody is saying anything about questioning a persons morals by the way they observe hijab. You are just trying to make it sound like I am doing so.... which I am not!

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Wed 16-Oct-13 20:43:11

I wear a headcovering, and it has nothing at all to do with modesty for me or religion and this is true for many others. Cultures worldwide have headcoverings and people wear them for many different reasons, fashion has always been one of them.

I wear it because I like to, it makes my life easier, it's easier to look nice than messing with my frizzy hair, and I feel closer to my heritage wearing it. My grandmother wore them as well and always looked great. And really, with practice, fancy looking styles take no more effort than ones that look simple (actually, smooth "simple" looking ones can be more a hassle, you can prep fabric so it ready folded the needed way).

The idea that someone outside of a group can judge whether members of a group on sight on whether or not they are following "the point" of their own practices is quite bizarre. Surely that's not your role any more than someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas telling people they aren't following the point of it. Really, the only person who can't judge the point is the person wearing it themselves.

stressedHEmum Thu 17-Oct-13 11:24:11

I can see both sides of this. I am a head covering Christian. I cover my hair for several reasons. 1 is because we are told to cover our head when we pray and that we should pray constantly - so a hair covering reminds me that I should do everything as an offering to God. Another reason is modesty, but that's a 2 edged sword. Where I live you NEVER see anyone covering their heads. There aren't any women in hijab, tichel or anything like that - it's completely monocultural. So wearing a head covering actually singles me out, which kind of defeats the modesty thing. Another reason is completely selfish and secular in that a headscarf hides any hair fail that have - which is all the time.

I don't think that anyone can judge another person on how/why/where they cover, but at the same time, I don't think that someone who covers can say that they are a better Christian/Muslim/whatever than someone who doesn't. Only God can and should judge our hearts.

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