Also: what are people’s takes on this (I think it’s really relevant to what we’ve been discussing)
France bans the burqa
So I’ve been reading “Does My Head Look Big In This?”. I find that I was shocking myself. I have nothing against the Muslim religion and completely respect and accept it, but deep down, I did harbor some grudging sentiments concerning Hijab wearing. I just always felt that it was a means of oppression for women (even if I was cool with the system of beliefs that dictated the wearing of a Hijab).
Thus, as I was reading this book, I was at first somewhat critical about Amal’s choice to wear the head scarf. I understood WHY she wanted to do it, for herself, but still felt that she was a part of a system of oppression. I just didn’t understand why a woman would choose to cover herself up.
But as I continued to read, Amal’s explanations for why she wanted to wear it weren’t just absorbed on the surface for me. It wasn’t “well yeah, I respect her choice and understand that it IS her choice, but I still think she’s in the inner workings of an oppressive trend”. I started to understand her choice on a deeper level. My opinion actually changed. And that is the part that shocked me. I had never looked at the choice to wear a Hijab in that light. I never thought about the fact that especially in such a hard environment for Muslims, wearing that headpiece is a sign of unity amongst others in their community. It never occurred to be that it was a true struggle that they were trying to overcome for their god.
I feel a little iffy about admitting on here my original critical disposition concerning Hijab wearing when reading this book. I will though because I think that one little change in my thinking that occurred on a Tuesday night at midnight flipping the pages of this story is exactly what this program is about. It’s about having an open mind (despite pre-existing opinions or notions, heavily influenced by the society we live in) and changing points of views. I know I’m just one person and I wasn’t exactly the biggest bigot to start with, but if only one american has been even a little enlightened from this program at the end of it, then I feel it was a success.