Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jewish Women of Hijab

I was walking down 13th Avenue in Brooklyn’s Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park a few weeks ago, and I saw a woman walking down the street decked out in a hijab and an abaya.

My first thought was that she was an observant Muslim woman — there is no shortage of hijabi women in Brooklyn — but her Hasidic female walking companion and her shopping bags made me realize she was Jewish. My realization of her Jewishness was followed soon by a sense of anxiety.

“Please tell me this woman is Persian, please let this woman be Persian”, I muttered under my breath as the woman approached. Many Iranian Jews in America continue to wear the clothing of their homeland, with some older Jewish women retaining the chadors they had worn in Iran. As she approached, I could tell by her accent — the woman was Hasidic and she was apparently a follower of the hijab and abaya-advocating movement of ultra-Orthodox women taking hold in Israel.


“Muslim women are imitating Jews to try to gain God’s favour with modesty. The truth is that the women of Israel are lessening in God’s eyes because the Arabs are more modest in dress."

Continue here


Anonymous said...

This is such a very disappointed blog to be posted on a blog that was originally started by a member of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations). I wanted to comment on this blog and not the blog that it was quoted on because I do not know anything about the writter...


This blog entry (aside from the fact that it was horribly written), undermines what Islam stands for-which is definitely not being racist or biased . Furthermore, the stereotype- since when does a shopping bag determine what one person's religion is. This post neither does justice nor has any point.

Rather, you can simple take this observation and create a constructive discussion that promotes the root foundations that Islam and Judaism has.

Huda Shaka` said...

Assalamu a`lykum anon,

1. Muslamics was not originally started by a member of CAIR.

2. I posted the excerpts from the blog because I thought it was interesting how women's 'dress code' is very similar in Islam and Judaism. Also, I thought it provided some insight from the Jewish perspective, which I thought was important to understand.

3. I don't see how this post is racist (in case it wasn't obvious, the original author is a Hasidic Jew). Moreover, in the comments section on the original blog, the author made it clear that he did not mean to criticise or disrespect Islam or Muslims, which is what encouraged me to post. Also, there are other posts on the original blog which promote interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Anonymerican Muslimah said...

That and can somebody please ask this "anonymous" to proof read their comments before posting. Sister Huda you may have addressed what this person was referring to but we can't exactly be sure, as it wasn't even written in coherent sentences. :-\

Sarah Al-Habib said...

I agree with Huda's statements. I enjoyed reading the article and even checked out their website and their comments.
In high school, I had known a few orthodox Jewish girls who also shared their personal experiences with me. About being covered similar to us, and also describing some of their strict rules on gender interaction. I found it to be very enlightening then, especially since we were able to find similarities which we could relate to aside from all the political differences.. Thank you Huda for sharing the article with us :)

Anonymous said...

Couple points- in no particular order :-)

1. if your going to quote an article, give background to readers who may not be familiar with the source.

2.i stand corrected if Muslamics was not originally started by a CAIR employee, my apologies

3. I didnt know this was a grammer class

I think I value the concept of this blog and the main idea. However, this guy realized a person's religion because of that kind of shopping bags? What does this mean about Muslim women and their shopping bags? Unless a Jewish lady came from a non-secular shopping district.

Maybe I just missed the point of this article. I definitely do not believe this would be a was a good way to show that Jewish women and Muslim women are similar.

I apologize sister Huda if I offended you. However... I just dont think this gets discussion going or maybe it does. Maybe this is where the conversation switches and someone also writes how muslim women and jewish women are a like even when they are not wearing hijab.

Anyways, thank you for sharing your blog.

These are my incomplete thoughts.

Huda Shaka` said...

Anon, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts - no apology necessary.

Affad Shaikh said...

i dont get whats wrong with being a CAIR employee? I am one, but I didnt start this blog, i was invited to write on it, for what reason I still dont know, but I enjoy it often times more then my own blog, which you can say was started by a CAIR employee, however, its not an official CAIR blog but a personal blog, so it really blurs that line of what is and isn't, however, I dont see whats wrong with being a CAIR employee.