Banning Hijabs Is Not the Solution to Equal Rights | Teen Ink

Banning Hijabs Is Not the Solution to Equal Rights

May 25, 2021
By Isa-vo SILVER, Tirana, Other
Isa-vo SILVER, Tirana, Other
8 articles 3 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."
~Elbert Hubbard

It has recently been in the news and on many social media platforms; France wanting to ban the hijab. There are many arguments about this topic (especially on social media). Some feminists support the ban because the hijab “oppresses” women. This however is not true in France. I strongly believe that hijabs aren't oppression if it’s a choice. A ban takes away heritage, liberation, and safety. 

In the western world, Muslim women have the liberty to choose if they want to wear a hijab or not. In that region no countries oppress women to wear a hijab, unlike several countries in the middle east. As The Daily Evergreen stated, “‘Some might say there’s nothing inherently liberating in covering up, just as there’s nothing inherently liberating in wearing next to nothing. But the liberation lies in the choice,’ said Muslim feminist Hanna Yusuf, who wears a hijab, in a video testimony on Everyday Feminism (Stephens, 2015).” This emphasizes my point that liberation is in the choice. If they disallow it, that freedom shall be taken away. This is unjust because many countries’ constitutions are founded on liberty. If a Muslim woman decides not to wear a hijab, that is their choice, and it should not be because of a law.  

Forbidding the religious veil would also take away heritage, as it would be confining a part of a person’s tradition and culture. Jennifer Hussein said about her hijab, “These scarves and headwraps embody everything I love about my Middle Eastern heritage. They're not just pretty, they also represent thousands of years of culture and tradition (Hussein, 2020).” Woman have been wearing hijabs for thousands of years, and for many it might feel that it “symbolizes my religion as well as my culture... (Hussein, 2020)” and that “it has become a part of my identity (Hussein, 2020).” The foundation of the idea behind the hijab might indeed be sexist, but that is true for many religions, and they’re not wanting to ban anything from those other religions. 

If a ban were to take place, many women would feel unsafe. Because the hijab covers more, many Muslim women said to feel safer and more protected from sexual harassment. Fariha Hossain explained, “‘Hijab makes me feel more safe; [it is] a guard from sexual harassment and makes me feel secure in my religion (Kuziez, 2020).’” This senior feels that she is out of harm’s way. Amani al-Khatahtbeh, activist and founder of, commented on twitter on April 2nd: “[They are] Forcing minor girls from a vulnerable minority to reveal their bodies (Amani, 2021).” This was about the laws France wanted to enforce, which included girls under eighteen not being allowed to wear a hijab in public. What she exclaimed is very true and can make many young girls feel unsafe.  

Many people talk about the Muslim countries that oppress and force women to wear the hijab. This is where the idea of women wearing hijabs being “oppressed” came from mostly. It was also the base of the idea of banning the hijab. Though western countries obligating and oppressing women to take it off is the same form of control. Amani al-Khatahtbeh stated, “Western countries that force women to take off hijab is not only the same force of control, but worse: it’s systematic anti-Muslim hate (Amani, 2021).” She explains that banning the hijab targets Muslims and is Islam phobia. The governments use oppression as an excuse for islam phobia. Many other religions have head coverings. Such as Catholic nuns, many Orthodox women, Hindu women, etc. And yet they must point out the Muslim women. Those questions if it’s really to save “oppressed women” or because of anti-Muslim hate.  

Forcing women to take off their hijab is just as bad as forcing women to wear it. Either way is oppressing women. Prohibiting the hijab takes away culture, freedom and their security.  

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