Available to download as a PDF and read on any of your mobile reading devices and platforms, this groundbreaking work remains relevant as controversies rage about head-coverings and Muslim women.
It aims to record the main areas of concern in regards to the Hijab. The wearing of the Hijab has always been controversial, especially in a post 9/11 climate which has seen Hijab bans in both France and Turkey and the case of a British student, who was excluded from school for wearing a jilbab (full-length overcoat).
This report particularly aims to voice the views of both men and women who recognize or affiliate to the concept of Hijab and to present recommendations to the government by analysing responses from a nationwide survey of 1200 Muslims, qualitative answers of 56 Muslims and 365 quantitative questionnaires from IHRC's 2003-2004 survey entitled the 'Hijab-Project'.
A hard copy can be bought from here.
"If we are to work towards a truly egalitarian society we need to have the courage to
problematise and interrogate our conceptions of each other and what motivates us." So
begins this study of the meaning of the hijab to the Islamic community, to Muslim men,
and, most importantly, to the Muslim women who choose to wear the headscarf.
In recent years, the hijab has been (mis)represented by many writers as a sign of the
"clash of civilisations", of extremism, and of inequality. This study offers not only a
scientific response but a personal one, allowing those who choose to wear the hijab to
express their opinions and their identities. As one respondent offers from her religious and
cultural perspective, "for me hijab is part of my worship and identity. Hijab is quite
liberating, forces me to rely on the inside rather than on the outside."
This book should not be the final word on the issue of the hijab - it does not seek to
be. Rather, in its presentation of the views of individuals who too often are treated as
inferior or threatening, it makes a contribution that should be heard by all of us, Muslim
or non-Muslim. If as one respondent argues, "British society is an open and receptive one
where multi-culturalism is concerned", then these voices in this volume deserve respect
- Professor Scott Lucas
Department of American and Canadian Studies
University of Birmingham