A couple days ago I ran into an article by Valerie Tarico on her blog “Away Point” about the hijab and how it relates to religious liberty. I’m posting it here because I think it offers insight into a religious practice, a cultural norm that is unfamiliar to many Americans (and many skeptics, who often dismiss the veil as a kind of eastern chastity belt without contemplating the ideological complexities surrounding it), and the intersection of this norm with the religious liberty discussion.
Debates about the rights of women of color, and women who identify with ethnic or religious minorities, too often take a strictly academic approach and fail to enlist adequate insight from the very women who must often live the consequences of the legal and cultural consensus. By contrast, Tarico’s four-part series, “Unveiled. Three Former Muslim Women Look Back on the Hijab,” shares of the poignant stories of Marwa Berro, Reem Abdel-Razek, and Heina Dadabhoy, women who have been directly affected by feminist religious liberty debates, and who have made the difficult decision to leave their faith, and their hijab, behind. ♦