Before analyzing which clothes belong to which country we must clarify some general misconceptions related to Middle Eastern clothing, as well as introducing the basic terms of Arab fashion. This statement is wrong for two main reasons: Islam was introduced in the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century, and improved the status of women compared to earlier Arab cultures.
The niqab is the dress that the highest percent of Saudi women felt was appropriate dress for women in Saudi Arabia. In accordance with these statistics, the Saudi woman that is used in the video, cited above, to show the popular view of Saudi women was wearing this niqab that only exposed her eyes.
During regular, day-to-day activities, Somali women usually wear the guntiino , a long stretch of cloth tied over the shoulder and draped around the waist. In more formal settings such as weddings or religious celebrations like Eid , women wear the dirac , which is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress made of cotton or polyester that is worn over a full-length half-slip and a brassiere. Married women tend to sport head-scarves referred to as shash , and also often cover their upper body with a shawl known as garbasaar.
Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian garb such as the hijab and the jilbab is also commonly worn. The New York Times published a flip-book of illuminating photographs of Muslim women dressed in different levels of modesty. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled against an Abercrombie and Fitch dress policy that prohibited the job applicant Samantha Elauf from wearing a hijab. In , the Canadian government made it illegal for women to wear face-covering garments at citizenship ceremonies, because the judge must be able to see each person's face reciting their oath.
In , the Supreme Court issued a rare split decision on whether women could cover their faces on the witness stand. Four judges said it depended on the circumstances, two said witnesses should never cover their face, and one said a Muslim witness should never be ordered to remove her veil. Canada is considering a wider ban on veils in government offices, schools, and hospitals. Argentina has proven to be a country that has given more freedom to its Muslim population relative to the more oppressive governments that exist.
The law was created in order to help promote freedom of religion and expression in the country, and help the Muslim population, which is estimated to be between , and one million, feel more integrated into society.
Chile has a minority Muslim population. Fuad Mussa, the President of the Islamic Cultural Centre, is quoted as saying that "there is a general ignorance among Chileans about Islam. There are many different views of Muslim women regarding the hijab.
Some  women believe that the hijab is too constraining but accept other Muslim women's donning of the garment; whereas other women  are against both themselves and other women wearing the hijab due to its claimed oppressive nature. Furthermore, some women  embrace the hijab as a way to celebrate their religion and feel that it helps them maintain their intellectuality rather than becoming a sex object in society.
Some Muslim women  wear the hijab because it has been part of their family tradition, and they do not want to give up something that is sacred to their family. The subject is complex and layered, and below are a few anecdotes to provide real Muslim women's experiences with the hijab and their views. Muslim women do not necessarily view the hijab as oppressive garment that is forced upon them as many westerners believe. Syima Aslam, a Muslim businesswoman from England, feels a special place for the hijab in her heart and feels that it directly connects her to Islam.
Although she garners some disdain and disapproval of her choice to wear the hijab from some business partners, she stands firmly by her choice to don the hijab. Hirsi Ali writes about the positive experience she has had living as Muslim and wearing the black garments and veil. Hirsi Ali says, "[the Islamic dress] had a thrill to it, a sensuous feeling.
It made me feel empowered I was unique [ It sent out a message of superiority [ Hirsi Ali is among those who support the hijab [source? When she wore it, she did not feel oppressed, but instead empowered and individualized. Hana Tajima, a Muslim fashion icon in her interview with Vision says that fashion-conscious Muslims are proving that you can be cool and modest, stylish and individual without compromising faith.
She started her own fashion label Maysaa in , and blogs about her far-reaching influences and inspirations. Twenty-six-year-old Tajima epitomises the new Muslim hipster, glamorous yet edgy, elegant yet quirky. There are some Muslim women that believe that the hijab indeed hinders their personal freedom as a woman.
A Muslim woman by the name of Rasmieyh Abdelnabi explains that she decided to stop wearing the hijab because she felt that it was putting too much pressure on her to "represent an entire community". Some women do not want to have to deal with this on a daily basis, and it is another reason that some Muslim women decided to un-veil themselves. In an article written in September , Nesrine Malike explains her discontent with being forced to wear the niqab, a kind of dress that only exposes the eyes, her whole life.
Malike says, "I would rather no one wore a niqab. I would rather that no woman had effectively to disappear, from a young age, because that is the norm in her family. A recent incident in Germany reflects the extent of the issue on an international scale: Iran is another country with strict [ citation needed ] rules on the hijab, and many women feel pressured from the government to dress in a certain style.
Islamic dress in Europe , notably the variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women , has become a prominent symbol of the presence of Islam in western Europe. In several countries the adherence to hijab an Arabic noun meaning "to cover" has led to political controversies and proposals for a legal ban. The Netherlands government has decided to introduce a ban on face-covering clothing, popularly described as the "burqa ban", although it does not only apply to the Afghan-model burqa.
Other countries, such as France and Australia are debating similar legislation, or have more limited prohibitions. Some of them apply only to face-covering clothing such as the burqa , chador , boushiya , or niqab ; some apply to any clothing with an Islamic religious symbolism such as the khimar , a type of headscarf some countries already have laws banning the wearing of masks in public , which can be applied to veils that conceal the face.
The issue has different names in different countries, and "the veil" or " hijab " may be used as general terms for the debate, representing more than just the veil itself, or the concept of modesty embodied in hijab. Although the Balkans and Eastern Europe have indigenous Muslim populations, most Muslims in western Europe are members of immigrant communities.
The issue of Islamic dress is linked with issues of migration and the position of Islam in western society. European Commissioner Franco Frattini said in November , that he did not favour a ban on the burqa. The reasons given for prohibition vary. Legal bans on face-covering clothing are often justified on security grounds, as an anti- terrorism measure. Ayaan Hirsi Ali sees Islam as incompatible with Western values, at least in its present form. She advocates the values of ' Enlightenment liberalism ', including secularism and equality of women.
For her, the burqa or chador are both a symbol of religious obscurantism and the oppression of women. Western Enlightenment values, in her view, require prohibition, regardless of whether a woman has freely chosen Islamic dress. Islamic dress is also seen as a symbol of the existence of parallel societies , and the failure of integration: Proposals for a ban may be linked to other related cultural prohibitions: In France and Turkey , the emphasis is on the secular nature of the state , and the symbolic nature of the Islamic dress.
In Turkey, bans apply at state institutions courts, civil service and in state-funded education. In , France passed a law banning "symbols or clothes through which students conspicuously display their religious affiliation" including hijab in public primary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools,  but this law does not concern universities in French universities, applicable legislation grants students freedom of expression as long as public order is preserved .
These bans also cover Islamic headscarves, which in some other countries are seen as less controversial, although law court staff in the Netherlands are also forbidden to wear Islamic headscarves on grounds of 'state neutrality'. An apparently less politicised argument is that in specific professions teaching , a ban on "veils" niqab is justified, since face-to-face communication and eye contact is required. This argument has featured prominently in judgements in Britain and the Netherlands, after students or teachers were banned from wearing face-covering clothing.
Public and political response to such prohibition proposals is complex, since by definition they mean that the government decides on individual clothing. Some non-Muslims, who would not be affected by a ban, see it as an issue of civil liberties , as a slippery slope leading to further restrictions on private life. A public opinion poll in London showed that 75 percent of Londoners support "the right of all persons to dress in accordance with their religious beliefs".
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