What Does Niqab Mean To Me ?

A few days ago, I came across Huda’s instagram where she talked about this initiative to talk about the ban on Niqab in Quebec and other countries around the world. I loved the idea and decided to be a part of it. We are all talking about it under the hashtag #handsoffherniqab on instagram. The campaign is open for anyone who wants to stand up for women rights. Huda will include the best entries in the Affinity magazine. For more information, check out her instagram account. 

Also, be sure to check out the hashtag and look at everyone else’s contribution. Here is mine. 

If you meet me in person, I will be dressed in my favourite Blue Tie Dye Abaya and a head scarf which covers my face as well. If it’s a coffee date, you would see me lift my Niqab to gulp down Caramel Machiato. But if it’s a burger date, you will see sauces drip down my clothes. That is not a pretty sight.

The first thought that will pop in your head is ‘Bichari’ (poor girl). You will assume that I am being forced to wear it by my father or husband. Or you will ask yourself why I choose to do it ?

Why do I wear the Niqab ?

To me, my Niqab is not just another piece of cloth. It is a choice that I get to make everyday. It is a reminder that I should be kind to people around me even complete strangers, a portrayal of my beliefs that tell me to be nice, humble, patient and caring. It tells me to be a better person.

I wear that piece of cloth to strengthen my relationship with God. It has nothing to do with the men in my life. Instead it has everything to do with Allah mian.

You know how you gave charity to someone in need, bought water for the security guards in your building or went on that mission in High School to build a school. Why did you do all that ?

To become a better human being.

That is why I wear the Niqab.

Every time I read about a country banning Niqab, I take a deep breath, hold back those tears and add it to the list of places I will never be able to visit. Simply because I chose to live my life the way I want. We advocate so much about giving everyone the right to make their own choices in life. Yet we take away that same right the minute it doesn’t appeal to us.

I would be wrong if I said that I don’t understand why it is being banned in so many countries. I get it. You look at me, covered head to toe and you think of a terrorist. You think of someone out to hurt your country, violate your laws. But isn’t it my right to dress the way I want ? What if I am a French, Canadian, Swiss etc citizen ?

You are taking away that right from one of your own people.

I am just a girl living her life the way she wants. I am a dreamer, accountant, doctor, engineer, housewife, nurse, mother, daughter, sister, cousin etc. I am so much more than what you make me out to be.

No matter what you think of me, you don’t have the right to make my decisions. Whether that is wearing a Bikini, becoming an Astronaut, not having kids, living in a foreign country on my own, not getting married or covering my face.

It is my choice.

……

 

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