GGM Morocco: Perceptions of the Veil
in Womens Rights/Human Rights / Edit
“I Cover My Hair, Not My Brain”
Racha El Addar, Morocco
An acquaintance named Sarah said something recently that resonated with me. “I cover my hair, not my brain,’’ she said. Wow! What a powerful statement.
Like Sarah, I too, wear a veil. I’ve never thought that the veil had anything to do with my intellect. But that’s not what others believe.
Some people strongly believe that veiled women are not intelligent and lack the skills to invent things or participate in world events. Those people are wrong to think that women like me lack intelligence just because we cover our heads. Choosing to veil or not is a woman’s choice. We are quite content with our veils.
The veil is a symbol of my Muslim faith. I believe what Allah tells us about the importance of wearing a veil.
Here’s what the Quran says about why women should veil: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty…And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…” (Quran 24:30, 31).
I’m very convinced and persuaded by my God’s words.
Historically, veiled women were subject to hard conditions. Many of them had difficulties finding jobs because some employers refused to hire them. The Non-Arab world perceived them as terrorists. Veiled women were mocked and viewed unattractive and ignorant.
Today, things are changing. Veiled women are gaining more respect in the world. Bassima Hakkaoui, Morocco’s minister of solidarity of women, family and social development, is one of the most respected veiled women in the country.
Other respected veiled women include Qatar’s Queen Mme Sheikha Mozahbint Nasser al-Missned and Heba Seraj, a videographer with Maria
The perception of veiled women is changing because people are trying to understand Islam’s teaching on the issue.
Most of people don’t agree with a woman’s choice to cover her head, but our Quran stresses the importance of the veil.
“O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59).
Every veiled woman can make a difference in the world. A woman’s ability has nothing to do with how she chooses to cover her head or not.