Saturday, October 29, 2016

Little Kids Wearing Headscarves

There was an article in the Guardian recently which was entitled This trend of young Muslim girls wearing the hijab is disturbing

Now I will be the first to admit that I myself find it disturbing when I see six year old girls wearing a full hijab. Six year old girls are not required to wear hijab in Islam. They are not even required to pray. All of these rulings come much later, when they become adults (i.e. puberty). Why objectify young girls by asking them to wear a clothing that is supposed to be modest (and thus hide their sexuality - which they don't have SINCE THEY ARE SIX YEARS OLD)? 

Now I will also admit my discomfort is because most of the people I know (fathers especially) who make their little girls wear hijab usually tend to be those close minded hateful so-called "orthodox" Muslims with limited knowledge and a very harsh understanding of Islam. These are the 'fire-and-brimstone' type people and usually it's their kids I see dressed like this, hence my discomfort. 

But, is it any other person's business? And then if you continue to read the Guardian's article, you will see it slowly veers into nonsense. It makes statements about the hijab which isn't true. And then you come to realize that it's not the hijab that this writer finds scary, but the very fact that Muslims are practicing their religion. To this writer, the only good Muslim is a non-Muslim.

Now, if I were to write in the same veneer as the article, I would also say that this trend of young girls treating themselves as sex objects is highly disturbing. I am of course talking of the beauty pageants that occur in the US, with teenagers and sometimes kids as young as six. It's actually a documented fact that kids are now becoming hyper sexual and sexually aware in the West at a very early age.

The other day a video of a 13 year old girl setting up her boyfriend to see if he would cheat on her was widely shared on facebook. 13 years old?!!! At that age normal kids are thinking about exams and cartoons and movies. Yet in America and the West, it's normal to be engaged in a physical relationship when you are legally not even old enough to have that relationship.

So you tell me, which is more scary?

Perhaps it's those thirteen-year-old kids that should start wearing the hijab.


Anonymous said...

I don't find it disturbing to see a little girl wearing hijab (and they often do wear hijab on special occasions even if they don't wear it all the time). Small children like to imitate an adult way of dressing... if anything that trend is increasing. I also see young children wearing makeup and 'suggestive' clothing that is obviously based on adult trends. Which is more disturbing... to see a small child mimicking modest attire of an adult or wearing a bikini and lipstick? Keep taking off clothing even on a small child and at some point you would reach the point where you say, this is not appropriate... is that comfort level really coming from islamic guidelines or is it what popular opinion says is 'ok'? (Likewise, why is the idea of another person choosing to cover more skin offensive to others? Isn't it only when it is because of religion? Nobody is disturbed by the sight of someone wearing a hat, scarf, and gloves completely covering them on a snowy day as protection from the elements). Hijab is not just about modesty as an adult woman, it is also about being known as a muslim, and being able to demonstrate that identity is something that shouldn't be denied due to age (nor cause consternation in others... why is a covered girl more sexualized to you than an uncovered girl?) Although hijab isn't required for children, I can also see how letting a girl get used to the idea and try it before it is required can be beneficial. Wearing hijab, especially in a society that can be intolerant, can take some getting used to before it feels comfortable and natural. We don't wait for children to reach the age of puberty before teaching them how to pray, even though it is not required before that. To reach puberty and abruptly have to change your way of living with no preparation would be much more difficult.

Yawar Amin said...

@qatheworld, there is a very fine line between parents letting their kids try out and get familiar with orthodox Islamic practices, and parents imposing their views on their kids. Parents are the biggest influence on their young, impressionable kids. Introducing kids to strict Islamic observances might seem like a great idea because the kids want to try it out and then they can get used to it, but in reality the kids may be influenced by their parents' beliefs and may simply be trying to earn their approval.

Young kids are exempt from a lot of laws and observances. They're not required to pray or wear the hijab. This is incredibly wise, because it lets them form their own ideas and opinions. Islam gives all people a choice in religion. In fact to ensure this, kids are given time to mature to adulthood before they face the choice of whether to practice or not. Parents though, understandably want their kids to be just like them....