The purpose behind wearing the hijab is for a woman to cover herself so that a man should know her for her mind, not her body. However, recent claims suggest that the purpose behind the hijab has started to lose its meaning.

To what extent is a hijab, a ‘proper’ hijab? There are head scarves that just cover your ears and neck. Would this actually stop a man from lusting over a woman’s body? Recent claims suggest these types of ‘hijabs’ are fashion scarves, like something you’d see on the catwalk. Some women only wear it when they ‘feel like it’. There are head scarves that have bright, attractive colours to match an outfit or to match the summery scene surrounding them. Many would argue that men are like bees and that this only gives a woman more attention, compared to women not wearing a hijab at all. How about head scarves that don’t cover the chest, versus head scarves that do cover the chest? The fact that there are head scarves that do not cover the chest, suggests that head scarves are indeed being westernised. A lady would feel compelled to wear a shirt that is not low-cut, even on a very scorching sunny day.

On social media, ladies are repeatedly bombarded with images of beautiful women wearing the hijab. So, do you need a hijab to be beautiful, or do you need a hijab to cover beauty? The message from social media is unclear and also unnecessary. You are not bombarded with images of Christian nuns who choose to be covered up, because nuns are not westernised. More recent claims suggest that wearing the hijab has become a fashion accessory and it has been materialised. Women who wear the hijab are seen to have transformed themselves to the status of diamonds or pearls, becoming objects who are rare and different from the rest of society. Whilst this may be seen as flattering, it’s not. Diamonds and pearls are still valued by men and are sometimes fought and killed over. Is this how women in hijabs should be portrayed? As rare prizes that have been ‘won’ because western society has taken a different approach on this religious item?

Muslim women who choose to show their hair have been constantly critiqued and questioned for doing so. In western culture, showing your hair is actually more common than covering it. So wouldn’t wearing the hijab actually create even more attention from boys? Whilst this is not an argument about whether a woman should wear the hijab or not, it is still necessary to point out common views concerning this practise. If Muslim women are being encouraged to wear hijabs, then it is not really a religious choice, but rather religious pressure.

Why do you think hijabs were banned in French schools? Schools are meant to be neutral places where children are away from political or religious pressure. Wearing a hijab does suggest a statement to those not wearing one. Some argue that one reason why this law was passed was to prevent further encouragement of women towards succumbing to such western ‘ideologies’. In other words, it was an attempt to stop the hijabs from being westernised.

Is it better for a lady to wear a hijab with lipstick and eye shadow or is it better for her to not wear one whilst wearing no makeup? You may think that the correct answer lies with the woman who causes the least attraction. However, this should not be what defines a lady. Understand that, to many people, wearing a hijab does not symbolise modesty – but your personality does. So why is social media beginning to present women in hijabs as those that men want to marry? Perhaps wearing a hijab can improve a lady’s confidence because she no longer has to deal with bad hair days. Or perhaps, it can hinder a lady’s confidence because she views every man as a predator to hide away from.

The hijab has been promoted and encouraged for reasons of good in the western world. A secular society welcoming religious symbols, should be treated with caution. In fifty years’ time, will western tolerance for the hijab lead to it being another fashion item or will its religious significance remain and influence non-religious women? That is what really matters here.