Freedom for Hijabis by Meryam El Bouhati, Morocco

13219981_10206819975405104_1261654102_nI like watching Youtube videos. One of my favorite youtubers, called Marie, recently posted a video where she talks about Rafael Nadal’s underwear ad and the effect it had on her. She says; the nudity of a man, to which she was not used to, has brought out the female in her. Every time she saw it on her way to work, she felt very attracted to the male offering his six pack  to her eyes. And even though she was trying hard not to look at the divine creature, her eyes would not obey. By the end of the week, she was completely obsessed. She says, “she hated feeling out of control of her own body and mind.” The fact that her video shows how  nudity isn’t exclusive to women, is not what I found shocking. I scrolled down to read the comments, as I usually do when matters like this are being discussed. One particular comment made me think a lot: One of the viewers of her vlog thought that every argument Marie gave about being uncomfortable with the opposite-sex nudity, was the same excuse Muslims give to force women into covering themselves. The reader talked about covering one’s self as a terrible thing. And her addition of the word ‘Muslim’ made it a lot more dramatic. A couple of days later, I came across another video : A French TV show discussing H&M’s new Hijabi collection. The reactions towards the matter were shocking, in fact, a right-wing Female Politician claimed, “This is a shame” while giving some over-the-top irrelevant arguments. Not to mention the struggles and sometimes violence that Hijabis face on a daily basis, in real life and on social Media. You only need to take a look at some comments on instagram to know that this is a serious issue. It is very sad that, in some countries, the fight against Hijabis, or what it represents, is getting more and more aggressive. The belief that the Hijab is against the liberty for which women have been fighting over decades, is now a subject of a hateful kind of advertisement. But a Hijab is much more than that, it is a philosophy and a form of freedom. It is also a matter of culture and cultural heritage. The world needs to understand that wearing a Hijab is a PERSONAL CHOICE. It is not about religion, it is about rights and freedom. In the 21st Century, it is a shame to still be struggling over issues, like religion, gender and race. Haven’t we all come to a point where we should all respect and accept each other?

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