It has been two years since I wrote the first chapter and then, I was actually very

messed up. Yet, I still stand by many of my opinions and what I wrote. Of course

now I have the sense to proofread what I post. This time I thought I should write about

hijab or as some people may call it "those towel things they wear on their heads". And

yes, I have had people refer to my scarf as a towel. So I hope to explain a little bit about

the head scarf which we call hijab, and to help others understand it a little better. I guess

before when I wrote the first chapter I was in a private school, isolated, and now I've had

to deal with people that couldn't recite the 5 pillars of Islam in nearly a second.

I cannot tell you all the funny situations and conversations that I have had because

of the scarf. I guess that's one benefit of a headscarf, you are always entertained. A walk

in downtown is not complete without frightful stares, or perhaps someone running away.

I have had people ask if I was bald, if I ever take it off, and my personal favorite, if I

shower with it on. So lets just get a couple of things straight before getting into the

logistics of why a scarf is worn. First of all, hijab is not only covering your hair. Hijab is

a complete dress code. Girls that practice hijab may only have their face, hands, and

perhaps feet (controversial, I know) showing. However if perhaps by accident someone

else shows, then it is okay. I won't go home and get beaten up for my dad because my

hair tie came loose and a lock escaped. By the way, I have had someone ask me that.

Secondly, hijab is practiced with men who are not exceptions. The exceptions are fathers,

brothers, husbands, uncles, grandfathers, nephews, and sons. It is permissible to not

practice hijab in front of these people and other women. Finally, hijab cannot be forced

on someone. It is true that to practice Islam you must practice hijab just like you pray or

go to the mosque, but no one can force you to. Sadly, some are forced but those people

that force them think they are doing good, while they are only hurting themselves. My

parents never forced me. I decided to start hijab by myself and without them guilting me

into it. So now that we have some basics out of the way, let's get to the controversial stuff

that you are really here to read.

A Muslim woman is oppressed. She must wear clothes that keep her from doing

what she wants. We must liberate her from the force her father and husband use. All are

sentiments of people that do not understand hijab. How can you say that we are

oppressed? What does it mean not to be oppressed? Is it to wear micro micro minis so

men are distracted from the tasks at hand? Is it to flaunt her beauty to get what she wants?

Or is it to spend hours picking an outfit rather than preparing a speech or presentation?

When women are in hijab, they force others to think about their personality and their

intelligence rather than the size they wear or how shiny their hair is. Their beauty is

hidden, like the diamond you only bring out for special occasions. So go ahead and say I

am oppressed, but know that I am truly free for people to judge me by my character and

not by how I look.

Now you are saying why this 'burden' of hijab is only placed on women? You

must take into account however that in Islam, men and women are equal but separate.

While a woman wears the hijab and men don't, she has the option of not going to Friday

prayer while men must. You also must take into consideration today's standard for men

versus women. While many boast of an equal status, I beg to differ. Just think of the

corporate world. While men wear slacks and shapeless coats, business women run around

in short skirts baring their legs and sometimes even cleavage revealing tops. Need

another example? Just look at any jeans sold at any store. Men's jeans are generally

baggy, while it is nearly impossible to find jeans for women that aren't low rise, hip

hugging, and skin tight without jumping a size or two. It just goes to show you that

standards are different, as they are in Islam.

And now you are saying that we shouldn't always believe the worst of human

nature. I agree. However, I would rather be safe than sorry. The fact of the matter remains

that human nature does not always have the best intention inside. If you still believe in

good human nature than just think of the first thought that you think, as a male, as a

woman clad in a mini skirt and tight top walks by in a sultry way. Honestly you can tell

me that you think "wow, she must be very intelligent"? And ladies, can you tell me that

when you see a lifeguard with nice abs and you think "He must be nice with kids"? The

truth hurts and it may not be pretty but that's why they call it the truth. Human nature is

not good, so why feed it? Why place a gun in front of a child? For example, public

restrooms are always segregated by men and women. No one complains and no one

minds because I wouldn't want to be in a stall next to a man about to do my business. I

have no idea what he is thinking and if he might jump me as soon as I leave the stall. So

why take the chance? Why make a bathroom for both men and women?

I really am not trying to offend anyone or anyone's opinion. I am simply

qualifying my opinion. This piece was not meant to convert anyone or to make anyone

confused, it was simply meant to help people understand what hijab is and why Muslims

practice it. Oh and just to be clear, the stories I have shared of my funny encounters while

wearing the scarf was in no way making fun of people. It is just meant to show how much

people do not know about hijab. In fact I have never taken offense to the comments

because I know the people who asked were only curious and did not know what they

heard was so wrong. I only took offense to the one about my father beating me because

frankly, anyone would be angry if someone accused your father of beating you. I want to

thank you for reading and lets hope my next chapter won't take me 2 years.

P.S. Thank you to everyone that reviewed, your reviews helped so much and your

support was overwhelming. To be honest I was ready to be flamed, several times but your

understanding and intellectual comments have inspired me to believe in humanity. Just

kidding, but really, some people can be very rude so all of your thoughts and feelings

mean a lot.

P.S.S. for those interested, here is a link to a youtube blog kind of thing of a

Muslim man who speaks about a lot of topics popular with young muslims at the time.

He makes me laugh out loud, and that is a feat. Some of you who aren't muslim may find

his jokes over your heads, but you might like it anyways.