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Little girls in headacarves

(462 Posts)
Tallulahoola Tue 19-Jul-16 16:17:32

Can anyone tell me why very young Muslim girls - Year 1 and above - wear headscarves and what it signifies?

I went to school with a lot of Muslim girls and a couple with very religious parents started wearing headscarves when they reached 13 or so. I always assumed this was because they had reached puberty so were considered to be young women, and as such were dressing modestly.

Skip to now and I see a lot of girls aged 5 and above wearing headscarves at the local primary schools. Is there a concept of a modesty at this age? Does it mean their parents are extremely religious? Or is it particular to certain communities (the parents are from Somalia and I think from Bangladesh, whereas the community I grew up around was Pakistani)

Tallulahoola Tue 19-Jul-16 16:18:27

That should be *headscarves in the subject line blush

peachpudding Fri 22-Jul-16 17:59:07

Faced with increased western liberalism parents are afraid their DC wont grow up to believe in the same gods they do. So the indoctrination is being increased and started at an earlier age.

Woodburningstove Mon 25-Jul-16 23:46:31

Peachpudding do you know that or are you just making it up?
As I understand it from talking to Muslim friends it's because little girls like to copy mummy.

annandale Mon 25-Jul-16 23:52:12

The impression I get is that Muslim women acknowledge that wearing a hijab is not always easy, that it's a discipline, and that it's good to start while their girls are small and still wanting to be like mum.

I absolutely hate seeing it, to me it's sexualising and separating girls while they are still just little kids, but it isn't my culture. I remember reading in my old School Friend annuals an article about how little girls of 5 who like to play with make-up 'may find growing up easier' and that seemed just as horrible.

BumWad Mon 25-Jul-16 23:57:05

I genuinely believe a lot of little girls do it for the 'fashion' and to copy their mothers/sisters/friends more than for 'religious' reasons

antimatter Tue 26-Jul-16 00:03:19

The business of copying mums/sisters etc is done with the agreement that mums want their dd's to wear those clothes.
Grown up's are buying clothes and dressing their kids in them.

albertcampionscat Tue 26-Jul-16 00:09:43

Tricky one. The 8 year olds round here with sparkly headscarfs and leather jackets didn't look particularly ground down.

niminypiminy Tue 26-Jul-16 10:52:34

Scarves are quite a big fashion item among Muslim women - colours and styles of scarf, ways of arranging it. I've seen many awesomely stylish and beautiful Muslim women in the hijab. It's not surprising little girls want to copy them.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 26-Jul-16 10:57:11

It varies hugely though - my daughter has a girl from a Pakistani background in her class and none of the girls wear a headscarf of any description, and the Mum doesn't either. In other senses they are observant Muslims in their diet and the kids go to mosque and learn Arabic. They just don't cover their heads.

The girls from another family, also from a Pakistani background do choose to wear headscarves after the girls reach about 9 - not tied scarves but stretchy jersey cotton ones sort of like a snood which is plain grey to match uniform. Mum wears a hijab too.

I think it's very much up to the individual family and their choices.

UntilTheCowsComeHome Tue 26-Jul-16 10:57:26

If it's for just fashion then it shouldn't be allowed at school.

If kids aren't allowed extremes of hairstyle or to dye their hair then why should hair scarves be allowed if it's not for genuine religious reasons?

Frenchsticker Tue 26-Jul-16 11:19:54

Luna yes it's the snood ones I mean. Do the girls who wear them come to birthday parties and playdates? When my schoolfriends started wearing them, that was the point at which their parents stopped them going to social things outside school. But like I say we were about 13 or 14 then so getting into things like boys and trying to persuade strangers to buy us booze in the off licence blush so their parents were actually being very sensible so I'm hoping with younger kids that wouldn't be an issue...

Atlas15 Tue 26-Jul-16 11:24:10

I'm Muslim I don't really like it either. Children don't need to cover up. I have seen children in nursery with hijabs on, why?
I consider myself to be quite a conservative Muslim aswell.
I would encourage my daughter to wear a hijab when starts puberty, which I'm sure some people won't agree with but not before.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 26-Jul-16 11:27:36

The girl with the snood type hijab thing (sorry, probably completely wrong terminology) is allowed to do most things that other girls do. She isn't in my daughter's year so they're not close friends but I have seen her at parties and she sings in the school choir - including at the nativity service at the local church. I don't really know her mum well enough to ask her about it.

Backingvocals Tue 26-Jul-16 11:30:51

Children don't need to cover up

Nope. But if it's not ok for children, it's not ok for grown women either. Women's heads are perfectly suitable for the open air.

Camembertie Tue 26-Jul-16 11:37:16

But grown ups freely choose to wear them, that's not the point.

Interesting though, and more and more girls at DCs school wearing them younger, I had also believed it was a puberty thing. Do agree with their being a definite fashion for them too though, see some very cool ones

Backingvocals Tue 26-Jul-16 11:43:16

Since little girls are wearing them you can see that women have this expectation on them since they were very small.

Hardly free choice. I'm sure some do decide of their own free will to wear this but the total absence of visible women where I live doesn't look that much like free choice to me.

Camembertie Tue 26-Jul-16 11:46:46

But I know plenty of women my age who have chosen to start wearing a headscarf as an adult - that is free choice.

Backingvocals Tue 26-Jul-16 11:49:24

Like I said, there's free choice, and then there's free choice in the context of a societal expectation of you. And as little girls are starting to take this on, the pressure grows.

Camembertie Tue 26-Jul-16 12:04:07

Society expects me to not have hairy legs but it's up to me whether I conform to those expectations, I don't have to but choose to.

Anyway, this is about children and whether it is because girls are perceived as sexualised earlier and thus start wearing the headscarf, and the answer so far appears to be no, it is just to get the girls used to wearing it.

Atlas15 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:08:33

Their heads are ok for air I however choose to cover mine.

Backingvocals Tue 26-Jul-16 16:28:22

I just don't buy that it's to get them used to wearing it. It's hardly something that takes training.

xenu1 Tue 26-Jul-16 16:37:00

OP wrote: "Skip to now and I see a lot of girls aged 5 and above wearing headscarves at the local primary schools."

Well the Islamic age of consent is 9 (or possibly 6) so that might be a factor? From a respected Hadith:

"Narrated 'Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death)."
— Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:62:64

Limer Tue 26-Jul-16 16:46:40

Religious clothing to protect the women from the lustful gaze of men - why not instruct the men to stop gazing lustfully?

It's awful to see little girls wrapped up in these constricting scarves.

Grown women can choose what to wear - although I'm not sure most of the scarf-wearers actually get a choice, they are told to obey the men.

moonstruckl8 Tue 26-Jul-16 20:28:11

What race are these girls you see in your area OP? Are they black because in such case it could just be convenience. I her very judgey because being black myself i firstly assume the mother may not have had time to brush through and plait her daughters afro hair! (my mother hoiks her judgey pants over little girls with open unplaited afro hair as to her its a sign of a lazy mother!) when my daughter was younger if she complained her hair style was going fuzzy but I didn't have time to dress it she would ask to wear her little mosque hijab to go out! when I figured out the pattern I totally discouraged her wearing a scarf at all as I realised it wasn't to copy mummy but pragmatically because she saw it like a hat to cover a bad hair day! (Also like mummy if im honest!). I didn't want her to have low self esteem and self worth because of her thick afro hair so I made sure that it's set all the time to divert her from Covering over it! As long as she is happy with her hair style and her edges are smoothed down flat each day she never asks to wear a hijab and im glad!

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