Wearing “covering” or “barrier,” as in it divides

                        Wearing the Hijab, or headscarf, as
a Muslim woman symbolizes culture and more importantly, religion. It has a
deeper meaning than what many outsiders believe. Hijab in Arabic means “covering”
or “barrier,” as in it divides the public sphere and the private sphere of a
woman’s life. The private sphere being certain family members such as husband,
uncles, children, and other women while the public sphere encompasses everybody
else. While it is a religious obligation, there is also a spiritual and soul
elevating experience behind it that is different to each individual; therefore,
the Hijab cannot be simply defined to generalize about all Muslim women. When
people understand the true reasoning behind why Muslim women wear it, they tend
to receive a great amount of respect and admiration because it is definitely
not an easy journey for some to truly accept it since it comes from within that
individual. Of course, there are different misunderstandings of the Hijab
causing challenging experiences for Muslim women to encounter especially after
the event of 9/11 as well as other terroristic events and secular beliefs.  While Muslim women, generally, do not need
saving from wearing a Hijab, they do need saving from the day-to-day obstacles
and micro-aggressions that they face so that they can find different ways to
overcome these social difficulties and to embrace the Hijab.

            Western
ideals and beliefs have come to identify the Hijab as a degrading symbol of
violence and oppression for a Muslim woman; therefore, sparking the idea that
these women need saving. In some cases, that is very true. Women who are forced
to wear the Hijab due to male dominance or government rules are indeed in need
of saving. One example of this is the women of Iraq and Afghanistan under the
Taliban being forced to wear the burqa. Another example, is the Hijab ban in
France due to secularism. These are not the only examples, as the work of Orientalism by Edward Said has
demonstrated why and how many Westerners depict Muslim Arabs and treatment to
women in a negative way goes back to the beginning of time.