Join Date: Nov 2006
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OK, when I first saw this thread, I thought it had to do with dressing up for Halloween. Like do you put your mask on over your hijab... or what.
I've personally never encountered any metal niqabs...and to be honest, I've seen very few Niqabi sisters too... both in a very Muslim area of Brooklyn and in other places I've lived.
If you're afraid your DC might be scared, you might want to see if your library has the book "Muslim Child" by Rukhsana Kahn. In it, there's a story called "The Black Ghost" about a boy's Mom who wears niqab. "The children run from fear of her and her young son is dreadfully embarrassed until the black ghost rescues one of the boys. Reaching out from under her black abaya, the mysterious woman is soft and gentle. The young boys confront their friend, "You never told us you had such a nice mother."
It's really a nice collection of stories for kids and even includes a recipe for Samosas.
Of course, not every uncommon choice signifies oppression. I think even most people within "western society" can fathom that. Does it follow that no unfamiliar practices can ever signify oppression?
Personally, I find that most religious and cultural practices are given the benefit of the doubt. I rarely hear anyone suggest that Amish women are oppressed because they have to wear bonnets and do all the housework; or that Orthodox Jewish women are oppressed because they must cover their heads in public and maintain two sets of dishes. But it is hard to imagine how a culture which had any regard for women would even come up with something like this. It is not just a question of "different" or "unfamiliar." It is simply a hateful thing to do to any human being.
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