The following is an insightful article, derived from the personal experiences of a Canadian Muslimah, who has put forth a comedic piece reflecting on the everyday challenges faced by Muslim Sisters in North America. Hold on to your seats and get ready to enter the mysterious world of Muhajibis from Mars…
Ever walk down a hallway and feel like you’re being looked upon as if you’re from another planet? With the occasional stares lasting from a few seconds up to minutes of confused awe? Welcome to the world of the Muhajibi Muslimah.
I remember once I was sitting on the bus, coming home from a tediously long day of university. Tired as I was, I couldn’t help but feel immensely annoyed at this one girl who stared at me, wide eyed, for the whole 40 minute bus ride home. “Weird”, I thought, almost feeling as though I should have asked her if there was something on my face, although in this case I knew it had nothing to do with my face at all, but what was wrapped around my head. At that very moment I wish I could have been able to hear her thoughts, really seeing what the poor girl was pondering over. That being out of the question, I figured I should try to use some more orthodox methods by analyzing the situation at best on my own, with the help of the blessed media. The portrayal of Muslim women by the media today makes all non-Muslims in the North America wonder what breed of human we really are. Filled with falsities, over exaggerations, and outright negative analogies, the media has shaped us into helpless monsters from Mars!
In the following paragraphs I will try to address some of the major misconceptions faced by Muslim women in the North America. In order to accomplish this I have basically personified all the misled teachers, colleagues, classmates, and strangers into one fictional character, Catherine Norma Neders (further referred to as ‘CNN’). Using this character, I hope that you, the reader can somewhat experience the visage of misconceptions us Muslimahs deal with today. [NOTE: the character ‘SM’ refers to ‘Simply a Muslimah‘]
CNN: You know there’s lots of things I don’t understand about you Muslim women, especially why you don’t like to grasp onto freedom! You’re all always drowning yourselves in long robes and veils, limiting your freedom, and making it so difficult to tell you all apart!
SM: Our religion encourages women to have respect for themselves, especially when it comes to the beauty that God has bestowed on us. Thus the ‘long robes and veils’ you speak of are actually a command from God. In Arabic the term for such adornment is called ‘hijab’, which literally means to cover the entire body, excluding what may be seen as apparent (ie. Hands and face). Being women who love God, we tend to take a lot of pride in wearing the hijab. We don’t at all see this as oppression, but as a great form of freedom. Hijab enables us to be free from being slaves to specific body images, fashion, makeup, as well as from becoming the object of lust for every Joe, Billy, or Bob walking down the street! We are very proud of the fact that hijab makes people judge us solely by our intellect, as opposed to how short our skirts are!