Today I heard that I am not free
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
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?
When the people who are
Incessantly insist that you “take off your hijab”
Themselves dictating the garb
That we should wear.
Freedom means to conform to
Your criteria about how I should dress, right?
Do I have that right?
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.