Why Nadia took off the niqab

Nadia, 19, had always caused her parents, Moroccan immigrants much trouble. It started when she walked about in tight jeans and ignored all rules. When she decided to wear a veil her parents were overjoyed. "I was the perfect daughter. They were very happy. But it wasn't what the koran meant for protecting women. I was still whistled at out in the street. And the Moroccan boys shouted that a veil means nothing these days. I was disappointed and searched on my own for the true Islam. That's how I got to the traditional clothing,jilbaab and khimar."

When she wore a niqab, her parents were furious. "In retrospect" she says, "I'm sorry abuot it. I should have talked things out with my parents. Maybe things would have then gone better with them. But my friends weren't practicing, my sisters weren't, my brothers weren't, nobody was." She finally found refuge in an Amsterdam mosque.

Her friend Maryam, also Moroccan explains it like this: "My parents' religion passed on to me as a culture, not as Islam. They did want me to wear a veil, but didn't explain why. Therefore I went to search for answers on my own. I didn't have big fights over religion, but the fact that my mother is a Muslim herself and said she doesn't need a khimar, caused disagreements. We got into arguments. My mother based her arguments on culture issues while I took my arguments from Islam. "

Nadia: "In retrospect I understand my mother. She belongs to the first generation of Moroccans in the Netherlands. She is illiterate, has never studied and speaks almost no Dutch. The only thing she does is watch the news on TV. And what does she see than? Islam in bad light. The woman walking about like I do now is oppressed. She is radical and extreme. It's all prejudices that are stuck onto my veil. My mother sees that. She doesn't aquire knowledge over her religion in other situtations. She sees her daughter exchange tight jeans for a black veil and has the same prejudice. She thinks she can't tolerate it because the Dutch don't tolerate it either. That is why I can't blame everything on her, but on the media. They poison the relationships between mothers and daughters with their prejudices. Adn between fathers and sons. Because what do you think of boys that don't have a beard because they've been called names by people from their own community? It's so sad that I need to tell my own mother: 'no mom, not every women with a veil is a radical'. They've already lost their kids to Dutch society. They're afraid to lose us again to someting that is new to them."

After a few months Nadia decided to take off her niqab. "That caused me a lot of pain. But I had to choose between the relationship with my family and the niquab - that is indeed not obliged by Islam. Above all, according to Islam my mother is the most important person after Allah and the Prophet." After her decision, her parents came around and things are going better at home. "But it's a pity that they don't fully support me. I wanted to try it out, that as teenagers do with drinking and smoking, simply out of curiosity. My parents didn't have to agree with me, but they could have just given me the freedom to find my own way.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)
For more info on Muslim dress, see the BBC site


Kiddo said...

Excellent report. A very interesting view into some of the cultural attitudes on the ground there in Holland.

Anonymous said...

Non-Muslim do not know how niqab came into Islam.

One day prophet Mohammad's wives were Shitting and Farting.Umer, the second Khalifah was passing by. He found the smell difficult to bear and asked that the women should be veiled to impede the smell.Umer wanted a niqab for a male but Allah granted it only to women as male farts more than women.Now a days even male has got a Niqab as this by becoming Islamic Terrorist.