Egypt: Men Should Wear the Veil!


Written by Mona Kareem, Global Voices

With Islamists rising in post-revolution Egypt, fear of religious oppression is growing among youth, minorities, and women. Recently, a group of Egyptian women started a Facebook page in Arabic called “Echoing Screams” pointing out sexism in their society and the oppression that might be coming with the expected arrival of Islamists in power. The group has also started an event “Wearing Hijab in solidarity with women” that had the following description:

They say the veil (Hijab) is a personal freedom and not a sign of enslaving women whom they look at as a sex object, a commodity, an Awrah, yet they use Hijab as a reference of disrespect when saying “men who wear hijabs” as to insult their manhood. Thus, those who call on women to wear Hijab should not attack men if they chose to wear Hijab.

The group posted several pictures of men wearing Hijab in the event page, one of which was taken from the campaign that Iranians launched online two years ago in support of a male student who was arrested for dressing up as a woman to escape Tehran, as authorities claimed. Tunisian netizens have also taken part in this event and have commented with laughter on the event’s wall, leaving sarcastic comments against the Ennahda party, which won a majority in Tunisia’s constituent elections last month, and its head Rached Ghannouchi.

Abdelhadi Ben Seghir commented on the event with criticism to Ghannouchi:

I support my brothers who want to wear Hijab in solidarity with Ghannouchi who prefers the Chador!

Ines Ben Hamida was not optimistic about the event in her comment:

Men who will wear Hijab in solidarity will unfortunately be a small minority.

Facebook user Emad Basta wrote in disagreement on the event’s wall:

I cannot agree to this, women should not cover up either, women are not a disgrace they are as equal in rights to any man if not even needing more rights as they are the ones responsible for the reproduction of the human race they are the queens of our world.

People calling for women to cover up are discriminatory and bigoted and should be persecuted, if women were a disgrace, then why were they created this way, this cover up issue is some men’s idea of control. A women’s hair is not 3awra, it is beauty, people who want women to cover, are basically unable to control their sexual needs and should be prosecuted as menace to societies.

An Egyptian user called لا للرجعية والتطرف (no to backwardness and extremism) wrote he was against abusing religion in the name of politics:

No to using religious signs and no to politicizing religion. Religion is sacred and religious beliefs are agreed upon while political changes are open to interpretation and disagreement.

Another Egyptian Amre El-Abyad wrote a comment about the role the Arab Spring should play in empowering women:

Arab Spring should not be about toppling dictators. Democracy starts at the mind level. We have to topple the taboos that are holding back our innovative potentials: patriarchy, misplaced religiosity and sexual obsessions. Hijab is an ancient Semitic custom- experienced at one time by so many cultures. Although it had seemed to be on its way of vanishing in the 20th century, it persisted and has gained wide currency all over the Arab world in our present time. Clearly, an indicator of our dire need to take the revolution up the cultural and mind levels.

Sa Neb went to discuss whether Hijab is a religious obligation or not:

If men wore Hijab in solidarity with women that will be a confession that Hijab is part of a woman’s femininity and I do not see it as an Islamic must.

This post was originally published by Global Voices.


Related Stories:

5 Saudi Women Arrested For Driving

More Egyptian Women Fighting the Revolution Under a Veil

15 Arrested Over NY Amusement Park’s Headscarf Ban


Photo from DVIDSHUB via flickr

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Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

When has any man ever controlled his lust? Have we progressed in 2,000 years? NO.

Lindy E.
Belinda E.4 years ago

Rob and Jay B say that the Qur'an commands that women be covered up. I'll take their word for it, as I am not personally knowledgeable on the Qur'an.

However, all that says to me is that in the days of the Prophet, men were incapable of controlling their lust, so it was necessary for women to hide themselves to avoid attracting attention.

Have we not progressed in the past two thousand years? or more accurately, have the Muslims not progressed, that they must hide their greatest riches to prevent theft?

Ed O.

Elaine If men didnt harass women, then women would not have to hide their bodies. Men who harass women are the issue and the reason for veils etc.

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Dan Cooper
Dan Cooper4 years ago

All this is is a way to keep the women in their place. Just like how if the wife doesn't feel in the mood, the husband gets to beat her for "rebelliousness."

A real man is going to feel lust, sure, but a real man also won't just jump on a woman to rape her because we see more than her eyeball. And if the only way you can get your wife in bed with you is the threat of beatings, you have some very deep-seated problems. Then again, your average ten-year-old girl isn't going to think her 40-year-old cousin she got married off to is sexy, so maybe the wife's hang-ups ARE the problem.

If you are looking for equality for women, the dead last place you should be looking is the Mohammedan "religion". As R&J point out, the (un)holy koran is chock full of how they are deficient and shari'a law codifies it all into rules for daily life.

Carola May
Carola May4 years ago

Quoted in the article is this perfect, logical gem of wisdom & truth: "if women were a disgrace, then why were they created this way, this cover up issue is some men’s idea of control. A women’s hair is not 3awra, it is beauty, people who want women to cover, are basically unable to control their sexual needs and should be prosecuted as menace to societies"

Amen! What more needs to be said? It's the sex-obsessed men, who can't control their animal cravings, who should be controlled & restricted. Why must the victims be the one to be sentenced for the man's crime or potential crime?

Why would the most intelligent being in the universe come up with such a silly idea or even care whether a woman wears a hijab, niqab or burqa? It is only men, who can slake their lust with other women, who need to keep their women locked up & under their control.

I get so angry every time I see some poor Muslim woman trudging along covered from head to foot in a big black tent while her husband walks along in his t-shirt, shorts & sandals on a hot day. No good god would ever want this.

It is an ancient way to control & own women, plain & simple. It's brutish, bigoted, unjust & demeaning. It's so sad that women & girls are brainwashed from birth to accept their inferior servile status to men. Islamic doctrine even has them filling most of the positions in its hell from where they will be taken up to Islamic paradise to become one of th

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S.4 years ago

Saleem K, you say, along with other uninformed Muslims, that the hijab or other veils are not Islamic. Well unless you reject what the Qur'an says, it is very clear that women are supposed to cover up except for one or two eyes:

"Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and all Muslim women to draw cloaks and veils all over their bodies (screening themselves completely except for one or two eyes to see the way). That will be better."Qur'an 33:59 This is Allah speaking here.

There are more if you want to deny this one. Covering women up is very Islamic, whether it is ancient Arab custom or not, Mohammed decided to keep it, along with other pagan customs like the Kaba'a, the crescent moon seen on the tops of minarets (the ancient symbol for the Bull or Moon god) & the star - the ancient world's symbol for the consort of the Bull or Moon god, Ashtarte, a pagan goddess.

It always amazes us how few Muslims actually know what Islam really teaches. Read your Qur'an & Hadith. See what you are supposed to believe. They may change your mind.

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta4 years ago

I hope the women of Islam get their voice one day :-(

Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

The hijab may be a fashion item pre-dating Islam. But is now a symbol of oppression for Muslim and all women. 
I particularly hate when I see Moslem men in western clothes while their wives, sisters and daughters dress like Ninjas.