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!

FantasticDay Sun 03-Nov-13 18:16:54

Many Jewismarried women cover their hair, but with a wig, so you wouldn't necessarily recognize they were covering ,- iyswim

sashh Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:59

Oooh can I hijack and ask if you are allowed to compliment someone?

I bloody hope so, I do it quite a lot, about some scarves but also some of the hairgrips/pins. There was a fashion a year or so ago for there to be a sparkly pin just above the ear, very fetching.

OddBoots Fri 18-Oct-13 15:54:45

Some women who are Jewish cover their hair - Wiki link.

cloutiedumpling Fri 18-Oct-13 11:46:56

Thanks. I don't know any Jewish people to ask.

stressedHEmum Fri 18-Oct-13 11:24:46

Yes, many Jewish women wear a tichel (mitpatchat). It's worn by married orthodox Jewish women. it isn't worn like hijab to cover the neck and shoulders but just the hair. it is often tied over the hair to look like a bun at the nape of the neck. That's the way I usually wear mine, as well.

cloutiedumpling Fri 18-Oct-13 10:28:51

I think it is interesting that you find both Muslim and Christian women covering their heads (albeit only a small percentage of Christian women do so). Does anyone know if Jewish women do so also?

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 23:27:33

*would follow

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 23:26:08

Spork - you made up an argument that people are trying to tell people what to wear, on this thread.
They are simply giving an opinion. They might not be a Muslim but they are entitled to their opinion. Islamic philosophy, for example, has an opinion of Christians, Jews, infidels, etc. many Muslims adopt these as their view points. Some of these views you would class as judgements rather than a simple opinion.

Talking about native Americans, they have belief that the men would become bad hunters if they were near a woman that was menstruating. Any woman menstruating would be moved away from the men for this period.
My opinion of this is that it oppresses a woman purely because of her biology. It is wrong.
I don't expect my opinion to be valued by that group but I am entitled to it.
Being dictated what to wear, I don't agree with but this isn't the case on this thread. Alternatively, I wouldn't follow the cultural rules of dress in a particular country (maybe a religious standard of dress). If I lived there and the population changed and society moved away from the original culture. I would expect a gradual change in dress and more than likely a compromise or middle ground of dress to be reached.

Of course you would seek a doctors opinion??? But you shouldn't silence other people's opinion either. You probably wouldn't solely seek medical info from a public Internet forum.
If you had asked me I'd say see a doctor.

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Thu 17-Oct-13 20:48:46

Russian - there are plenty of Muslims on Mumsnet, I'm not sure saying you were Muslim would make you hugely outable here. You're coming across as a bit precious, especially when others have been open about their religious affiliations, or the lack thereof.

Spork - I appreciate your comments so much, you enrich every thread you're on. smile

RussianBlu Thu 17-Oct-13 19:00:38

I have been quietly watching this thread after posting my opinion. I imagine that people are referring to me when they talk about someone pretty much having the cheek to comment on something I am not part of or know nothing about. Perhaps I am wrong and it is all directed towards another poster. It is sad that just because another poster very quickly decided that I couldn't possibly be Muslim because I didn't wish to confirm if I was or not (due to me not wanting to give many facts about myself that would identify me to others) that others have also decided that she must be correct and that I have no right to speak my mind. Thank you to those who are able to see that everyone is entitled to an opinion regardless of their religious beliefs in this matter.

At no point did I judge anyone for how they wear hijab or not. My opinion still holds that it is a fashion and not the most modest way to wear it. I am not sure why somebody would assume that I am not Muslim just because I hold this view, but then some people do like to look for an argument without looking at all the facts first. I am fairly sure that if you were to put it to an Imam or Islamic scholar they would not advise the wearing of hijab in such a way that it stands out so much when there are other ways to wear it. No doubt I will be flamed for this opinion also. Someone who wears the scarf this way may well be a better person than someone who wears niqab, who are we to know.

I am just really quite amazed that someone took what I said and turned it into something quite different. I answered the original poster quite simply with my point of view, not slandering anyone or saying anything terrible, simply saying that it was very fashionable and not very modest when worn together with tight clothing. I said nothing about a persons morals or reason for wearing it in this way.

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 16:32:59

The philosophy of religion is judgemental. If people take values from that philosophy. Some religion is enforced by state. Other indoctinates it's followers. If it makes you happier to say that people will act judgementally, because of their religious philosophies.
I am happy to say that religion is judgemental and gods are judgemental.

Religion and cultures should not be against critique. Or beyond someone passing comment on them.

Cultures change, naturally or as a result of war or colonialism. Originally a head scarf was not part of culture in the UK, now many British people are Muslim.

The poster, was not telling anyone what to wear. If anything religious people are dictating this. He simply made an opinion. His opinion may not be as informed but he is untitled to it.

It's almost as though religion and Gods are beyond comment. When these religions are happy to spread judgement on everyone else.

Anyway, I had a vision that all gods were gay. They are depicted as men. They all hang out up there trying on thongs

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Thu 17-Oct-13 16:11:54

Religion doesn't do anything. It can't - it is a concept. People use religion, but the religion itself can't do anything. People do things, not concepts, concepts can't do anything unless a person interprets and applies it. And many other concepts - science, popular culture, history, philosophy - like religion are made by people and used to pass judgement but they can do nothing without the people - they would just be ideas in the ether. Separating them from the people makes them useless.

When your opinion comes to saying that people, particularly of a different group you don't belong to, aren't doing things right or are missing "the point" of their own religion, culture, or choices, it should be questioned why one should think they are in any position to decide that better than the people themselves. And these opinions often become telling people what to wear in daily life, both in law and in civil situations - it happens a lot and should be questioned.

It's not scripture (where it could be interpreted in is a debate for those communities, not for outsiders to impose), but these perceptions are mostly from popular culture representations of a religion and several cultures, representations that are which are flawed, biased, and homogenizing of over a billion people on the hows and whys they do things. It's like a White American telling an Ojibwe that to wear a traditional item to a civil event would ruin the meaning of said item because they're only doing it for fashion/to cause a stir. Oh wait, they're still doing that now, in 2013, all the time - people have been fined over $1000 for wearing a single feather, been refused their diplomas over a single feather that has a world of meaning to the person and culture involved, but to an outsider they think it is "missing the point" to wear in civil situations and say it's just someone being rebellious/ruining the atmosphere. Their judgement has ruined people's lives because they think they know better about over 500 American indigenous nations and why we do things.

I'm not offended or upset, I just think it is rather entitled to think that someone with no personal involvement would know more about it and are in a better position to judge than the person involved. I would take absolutely no stock in said opinion of someone with no experience and would challenge the attitude and beliefs behind it. Just as I would from a non-medical person who has no experience of my medical conditions trying to give me tips, typically they just come across as a bit silly and very clueless.

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 15:25:59

It's not telling you what to wear. The poster gave an opinion, on his interpretation of a scripture.

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 15:23:13

Religion maybe a concept, religion will use the idea of the supernatural as a tool to judge others. Be it other religions, races, non-believers, homosexuals, women, etc. the fact that religion makes judgement so regularly, and it is religion that passes on these judgements to its followers. I don't think these judgements are correct.

I don't think that people within religion, should be offended by someone giving an opinion or judgement on a 'religious matter' or a fashion matter.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Thu 17-Oct-13 14:19:54

A religion is a concept - it doesn't have the capacity to judge. If you mean people within said religion (if a person who is covering for religious reasons and/or has any religion), then while that person's religious community can set up guidelines, surely any judgement is not only not their place, but would be against said religions tenets about how to treat people.

I'm not sure what kind of answer I can give on whether or not it's right for a deity to judge, but we're talking about people. People saying that a deity or deities would judge them for wearing X or not wearing Y falls under the same category as people within a religion.

People outside of a religion or culture should not try to set up standards, rules, or judge clothing based on some kind of point they perceive. Coming from a culture where our clothes were forcibly taken from us along with many other aspects of our culture, where we are still currently denied being able to wear them in public and having them and their patterns turn into costumes by others for their profit and amusement, there is a lot of issues with the idea that people outside of a culture can tell people within what we wear and why and act as if they know better about our own practices than we do. As I said, it would be like me telling people that they aren't celebrating Christmas right, I don't celebrate it, for what reason would I try to dictate the hows and the whys of it.

Yougotbale Thu 17-Oct-13 13:59:48

If it is wrong for someone to judge another, is it right for a religion or a God to judge someone within that religion?

And secondly, someone outside of that religion?

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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 23:18:27

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

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