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Today I heard that I am not free
Because apparently
A woman’s freedom is only granted
When her hair shows and her body is flaunted.

Hmm, I must’ve missed that memo.

Since when did freedom inherently
Require me
To show parts of my body
That I don’t want others to see?

My freedom is in the way I choose to look.

Does it bother you to know
That I have control
Over what I choose to show and withhold
From the world?

How ironic
When the people who are
Supposedly pro-freedom
Incessantly insist that you “take off your hijab”
Themselves dictating the garb
That we should wear.

So…
Freedom means to conform to
Your criteria about how I should dress, right?
Do I have that right?
Riiiight…

The hijab symbolises my faith,
And you want to ban it?
Well, while we’re at it,
Let’s ban charity, selflessness,
Equality amongst races and sexes,
Being good to your neighbour.
Because those are also requirements of a believer.

But, of course, it’s not about freedom,
Is it, really?
I make you uneasy
Because my hijab reminds you
That I’m trying to obey God
And not you.

And that bugs you.

See, if headscarves entered mainstream fashion,
You would never protest to them.
You wouldn’t assert that my freedom is jeopardised
Or blurt, “oppression!”.

It might not be to your fine fashion taste,
But you’d move on.
Go on, admit it.

But since modesty equals faith,
You unabashedly bash me,
Claiming to want to “free” me.
Ladies and gents,
Welcome to modern chivalry –
A hidden form of bigotry.

I depend on God,
Not on your latest analysis of me,
Because, you see,
Through you, too,
He is testing me.

-Amena

Click here to see me recite my poem in a video.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AmenaOfficial

    COMMENTS (2)

  1. Nuray

    ()

    Asalamu Alaikum,

    I am 34 years old and I wear my hijab about 1 year and a half Elhamdullilah. I have 3 sisters and they do not wear hijab yet. In Shaa Allah they will wear it very soon. Sad enough the people around me mostly family where looking strainge at me. Because I was born and raised in the Netherlands and they probably thought that I do not know much about Islam. Or they thought it is not needed or even they thought maby that my husband oppressed me. So they asked what the reason is why I wear a hijab? What kind a question is that comming from a muslim? I said, you know why we woman wear hijabs. I do not need to explain to you what Islam is about, it is your own religion. It breaks my heart that my own family or the people from my own village thinks that we have no knowledge about Islam. Or they think that a hijab is not needed or something like that when practicing your faith. I wonder how it is that hijab is so blurred over the years in my community. But I hear lately more compliments on how I wear my hijab. I wear it just like Amena :) I bought some hoojabs for my older sister (she find them very beautiful), and she is going to wear it very soon In Shaa Allah. Amena keep up the good work, I learn a lot from you, mashaAllah. Jazak Allah khair.

    Reply

  2. zoya

    ()

    Exactly!! Its been almost 3 years when i first started wearing hijab but i am still going through the same situation!! :( Questions over questions, taunts over taunts uff!! When a non muslim questions you about your hijab you feel so proud to explain it but when the people of your own community raise questions you go SHUT! because they suddenly start telling that hijab is not so required or important or compulsory in islam! ofcoz its not compulsory because its your choice, your right! why can’t people get this simple thing!!

    Reply

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