Ok bloggers and bloggerettes, here’s the deal. Every year, the super-shiny Muslim summer camp where Aniraz and I were campers (and then counsellors) puts out a camp book. It’s a collection of articles geared towards readers about 14 years and up. The book covers the basics of Islam and also includes crazy quizzes, jokes, poems, and general goofiness.
Though there is no shortage of Islamic articles circulating online and in print, the problem is that they are usually written way above or way below the teenage level. And very few of them are humorous or written in a way that will command attention from a 14 year old. The challenge is to write concise, interesting, and sometimes funny articles that simplify things without insulting the reader’s intelligence. That’s where Aniraz and I need help. If you can write, or have read any article that would fit the above requirements, please, please, please email Aniraz or myself. Or, if you have any questions, leave them in the comment box. We have 60 pages and three weeks so gentleman, start your engines…
In the mean time, here’s a sample article from one of the camp books from a few years back. If it seems sort of odd, remember it was written for young girls, published in a book that was distributed only for girls.
Myths, misconceptions &
blatant ignorance about Hijab: A Dialogue
What is hijab? That thing on your head?
Well, that’s called a scarf, but a lot of people do call it a hijab. Hijab means modesty, and hijab is the clothes you wear and a way of speaking and behaving in public.
So you never, ever take that off, right? Not even at home?
No, of course not. It’s been welded to my head using a state-of the art grafting system. I even shower with it!
People who ask that question are silly. The hijab is worn only in front of non-immediate-family member males, whether they be outside, at school, at home, or in the shower.
Can you hear what I am saying?
Huh? I can’t hear you, I have my scarf tucked into my ears.
If I can answer, then I can hear. Yes I hear you. The scarf goes over your ears, not in them. Sometimes I tuck my scarf behind my ears, even if it does make me look like dumbo…
Do you stop wearing that off when you get married?
No, a married woman’s beauty is private property (not the husband’s property, hers) as much as a non-married woman’s. The Hijab isn’t worn out of obedience to men, it’s worn out of modesty and obedience to God.
Are you already called for?
Yes. When I was born my father traded me for three goats and a chicken that gives sour milk.
Ok, Not really. Getting ‘called for’ early on is not the most recommendable practice in the world. First off- you choose who you marry. Your parents can suggest people, but forcing you is completely non-Islamic. The whole idea with Muslim girls being passed off as goods the moment they are marriageable is a bit of an ignorant stereotype. Although it may happen in some cultures, it is not part of Muslim belief, which clearly states that a woman can only be married according to her choice and free will.
Have you been forced to wear that?
Not anymore than I am forced to put pants on before I walk out the door. Without a hijab, I consider myself naked, well, head-naked is the appropriate term.
Does wearing a scarf mean you’ll go to heaven?
I don’t know about myself personally, since only God can judge, but as a practice, no. Wearing a scarf does not guarantee a fun after life any more than wearing a cross or a yarmulke. Looking religious is only part of the deal. You can’t just look pious, you have to be pious.
Why hide your hair and beauty? God gave them to you, so why be ashamed?
I am not hiding, I am protecting. You don’t desire what you can’t see…hint hint. About being ashamed, I am not ashamed. I have enough respect for myself to keep my dignity. I have no intention of turning myself into a walking sex-symbol. Now that’s shameful.
So wait, the whole purpose is to make yourself ugly?
I am not ugly!
Shuddap! Ugly are the women with fake faces and clothes they need poured into. They represent the degrading of women all over the world. Even business women wear short skirts. You can’t even be successful unless you’re half nekkid! Women go along with this, and that is what’s ugly.
Hijab does not make you ugly! It focuses on your inner beauty, and there is no visual standard that you could possibly come up with. Hijab represents the dignity and strength that come with being a good Muslim woman, not ugliness. The most beautiful Muslim women don’t need make-up, they have Noor.
So if the Muslim God said women have to cover their hair, how come not all Muslims do?
Does every Christian go to church? Do all Jews eat Kosher? Does every Hindu stay vegetarian?
I’m glad I’m Christian. I don’t have to cover my hair.
Oh yeah? Read 1 Corinthains 11:3-10. The bible calls covering the head a mark of respect.
What color is your hair?
What color are my eyebrows?
Why can’t you just tell me what color your hair is?
That would ruin the whole purpose of wearing the scarf. That’d be like wearing a loose shirt and then telling everybody your waist and hip measurements.
So, what are your waist and hip measurements?
How would you like your remains displayed?
So, what are you doing on Saturday night?
Kicking your butt.