Rinzin: Cafe Discussion 3


GS 302: Cultural Studies

The Islamic Veil and the Global Politics and Gender by Stoddard and Collins

I thought this was a really interesting topic which shows explains the transformation of what hijab originally was meant for to what it means to modern day.

Although this topic is about the current meaning to veil and how gender plays a role in the politic, I can’t help but think about an experience I had while flying from India to America. While I was waiting at the Delhi Airport in India to come home to the U.S, my mom who has blonde hair and blue eyes and I  found a seat next to a Middle Eastern couple with heavy black veil and the male had the Turban on. Seconds later, I realized they were praying at the airport. Couple of people around us left which were Americans. Still to this day I am not sure if it was because of the prayers or if they had to leave for their fight but after they finished, it was me and my mom and a Indian couple in that room. After their prayer, they instantly made the effort to talk to me and my mom. In their broken English, they managed to say that they were on a vacation. They also asked where I am from and what I study. Through this discussion, I realized one thing which is right after their prayer, they felt the need to make sure to let us know that they were friendly and good people. I am not sure if I made the assumption that they felt the need but if it was the case, I still to this day think about what people who veil and share the middle eastern feature have to go through during their travels.

This essay about Islamic Veil explains that what is meant as a simple traditional wear in the Muslim culture now signifies much more than that. Due to how Global North treat people who veil and Muslims, and the spread of fear which affects Muslims in school and social standing, the veil is now a symbol of resist and identity. The story which I really was appalled by as a student is the fact that schools teacher and adult give young girls with hijab on hard times but in some case banning what is meant to be part of religious identity. Conflict like this have transformed what is meant to be a simple wear of tradition is now a symbol of freedom. Not too long ago in the United State, a teacher filmed herself pulling a students hijab down and post it on snapchat. This kind of act shows that there is hate within even professionals such as teachers against wearing hijab. If anything, this angers the family members and the community which in result wears hijab to show that this is their freedom and they should be able to do what they want as long as they are not harming anyone.

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