I've been mulling something over lately: the initial purpose of hijab, niqab, yea even burqa, was to render women INCONSPICUOUS. How well they work, given the stats on abuse of women in Muslim societies, is open to a good deal of questioning.
More than that, though, is the fact that women
wearing such clothing in Western or indeed in any non-Muslim societies
are ANYTHING BUT inconspicuous; they stick
out like sore thumbs! If Muslim men in non-Muslim societies want women
to blend in to the scenery, a better costume might be: a cap (in North
America, probably a baseball cap) with maybe a pony tail hanging out the
back, either t-shirt or sweatshirt depending on the weather, capris or
sweatpants ditto, sneakers and a pair of shades if it's a bright day.
And as a Westerner, I can only conclude two things about women who
insist (or their menfolk who insist) on wearing niqab or burqa in a
non-Muslim society: either they're shutting their eyes to certain things
about their 'host' society or they are deliberately raising a battle
standard and flaunting it in the faces of the rest of us!
even want to write what I think of males (they don't even deserve to be
called 'men' in my opinion) who compel their women to wear clothing
which, given the time and place, amounts to a battle flag saying
"We-you-coming-to-get, infidel!" except for that where I come from, most
men who deserve to be so called would consider such a gesture
Is a combination of both possible? I don't know.
But, as the hijab has a close resemblance to the headscarves which most
women still wear at some points or other, it's decidedly different from
the other two. Indeed, it can even be a sign of respect for the 'host'
society inasmuch as while it says something distinct about the wearer,
neither does it hide her face (anyone's most unique feature) and thus
enables her to blend into the societal stream as it were.
know someone who honors me with the title 'brother' (and I'm delighted
to reciprocate) who wears hijabs with more style, class and downright
sparkle than I'd have thought possible before! You know who you are,
Anyhow, to conclude: if women want to blend in and not
stand out, that needs to be sartorial as well. So, ladies, take my
'sister's' advice on how to wear hijabs if that's what you want.
Otherwise, go and get the sweatsuits, t-shirts, capris, caps and
sneakers. Dressed like that, most males, men and others, will pass you
by without a second thought.