A 4th year medical student at Imperial on why she started wearing one, what it’s like, and how everyone’s reacted

My decision to put on a headscarf (or a hijab) was easy. I knew that it would eventually happen one day but I struggled with when it would actually happen.

salaemun hijabis

I’m the one on the right

The idea came into my head when people would ask me why I didn’t wear a hijab. It’s quite a bold question to ask and I never really had an answer for them. I was even flattered that they thought I was at that stage of my religion where I could put one on. At the time I didn’t think I was ready.

But the more I thought about it, the more it hit me. Why wasn’t I wearing a hijab? I prayed, I fasted and I practiced Islam the same way a girl wearing a hijab would. I always knew I wanted to become more religious but I always thought it’d happen later in life. I’m young and thought a hijab would restrict me from living my life to the fullest.

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“What do you mean Dominos is going to take an hour?! Iftar is in like 20 minutes and me and Barrack are mad hungry, man”

The literal meaning of hijab is to veil, to cover, or to screen. To put on a hijab is more than just covering your hair. It is a different way of living. You don’t just place a scarf on your head. You commit yourself to living a modest life, behaving with dignity and in a respectable manner.

By putting on a hijab, I am showing the world that I am a Muslim woman. In recent years, this has become a very important symbol for Islam. I am now an ambassador of Islam and people should be able to learn about Islam through the way I am and how I live my life.

For that reason, the decision to put on a hijab is something that requires careful consideration.

One of the best influences on my decision was my female Muslim friends. I have many friends who wear a hijab, including my best friend. The main thing I noticed was how they did the same things I did, acted the same way I acted and lived completely normal lives. The only difference was that they were wearing a scarf and I wasn’t.

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I had always believed that wearing a hijab meant you had to be a certain kind of person. You had to be quiet and reserved and you could never speak your mind. I had been brainwashed to think that it was a sign of oppression, that it was limiting and restricting.

But these girls showed me that I was completely wrong. They all love their hijabs just as much as I love my religion. There was never a moment that they regretted wearing it or found it inconvenient. They were happy to show the world that they were Muslim. They showed me the beauty of hiding one’s beauty.

I was also scared that I wasn’t good enough to put on a hijab. I didn’t have enough knowledge, I didn’t act the way I was meant to (and by this I mean, I’m loud and pretty crazy). How could I become a model of Islam if I wasn’t at the peak of my religion?

But the truth is that every Muslim is constantly striving to become a better Muslim. There is no ‘peak’ in time where I could say that I was good enough to put on a hijab. I realised that it was about taking things a step at a time, putting on a hijab just being one of those steps.

I realised that I could put on a hijab and continue to better myself. I learnt that by putting on the hijab, it made me even more motivated to become a better Muslim. I know that I can still improve and now I feel I am even more committed to my religion than I was before.

A hijab is not a tool of repression, and it never has been. It is a modest, pure and beautiful concept. The Quran clearly states that there is no compulsion in religion (Sura  2:256). Therefore it is a woman’s decision if she decides to put on a headscarf and, at the same time, no one can judge her if she doesn’t wear one.

The ultimate reason why Muslim women but on a hijab is because we believe that God has commanded us to do so (Sura 24:30-31). Our duty as Muslims is to submit to God and we do so with pleasure. We believe that God knows what is best for us, even if we do not understand it ourselves and so we follow His commands without hesitation.

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After putting on my hijab, I have noticed subtle changes in the way people act towards me. It’s nothing too major. It just shows how people view a woman in a headscarf.

My Muslim girl friends were so happy and supportive. They have been amazing in my transition from non-hijabi to hijabi. I can even see how they are freer around me and more willing to share their knowledge, because they know I am eager to learn.

Muslim boys are different when it comes to how they treat a girl in a headscarf. I’ve noticed a bigger change in the way they act towards me. Guys are now more respectful around me. They are more aware of the boundaries that Islam has placed between men and women when a hijab is involved.

Because they know that I am covered to hide my hair from them and that the only person who will ever see it will be the man that I marry. Only my husband will be able to see and appreciate the beauty underneath. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the hijab.

For most, if not all, non-Muslim girls, they will continue on as normal and treat me the same since my hijab does not change the dynamic of our relationship and underneath this scarf, I am still the same person.

My non-Muslims guy friend’s reactions to my hijab are a bit hit-and-miss. I’ll have guy friends who will still try and hug me and then I have guy friends who will be a bit more reserved and are not quite sure how to act around me. By acting like my usual self, they understand that they can still be normal around me just not as close.

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The rest of the world views me differently. I am now ‘one of them’. It’s a difficult climate for Muslims in the West. It is even more difficult to boldly state that you are Muslim.  You have to be strong to handle any negativity that may be thrown towards you. You have to be ready to explain why you wear one and you have to realise that some people may associate you to things they see in the media, things that you wouldn’t want to be associated to.

But all people are different. Some will see me as more trustworthy and reliable. They’ll stop and ask me for directions or ask me to take a photo, because they know I won’t run away with their camera.

Unfortunately there are those people that will keep their distance. I’m not offended by this at all. People are scared of what they don’t know and I can understand their innate reaction is to avoid me altogether. I can only hope that one day they’ll approach me and ask questions so I can answer to the best of my ability.

The biggest change I’ve noticed is in me. I am happier, more optimistic and freer. I feel more liberated when I am covered up because I am showing the world who I truly am. I can proudly step out the house in my hijab, knowing that I am on the path of becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.

Aemun is raising money to go do some charity fundraising work in South America, donations can be made here.

  • 123

    *”Everyone BACK off or you’ll get CS’d”, not F*ck off… Typical tab making up tag lines to get people looking.

  • A Mad dog

    the protestors were just being massive arseholes

    • fart

      which means it was a-okay to pepper spray them, because we live in one big family guy gag

      • Tom

        They committed battery by resisting removal from the premises, and some of them also assaulted the police officers.

        • Broton

          Oh cool you’ll have some evidence of that yeah?
          No?
          Oh…

          • Tom

            My evidence is the footage of this you dipshit. Police had a right to remove them so resisting was battery. Secondly in the footage it’s clearly visible that several of them are assaulting police. Namely the ones who get tasered and gassed

    • hkq999

      how?

  • Tom

    The fucking stupid cunts deserved it. If you watch the footage of this you will see plain as day that they assaulted the police officers. The police were heavily outnumbered and had to use pepper spray/tasers sparingly to defend themselves from this violent left-wing mob.

    Good night left side. 14/88.

    • fart

      ah yes let’s take advice from literally a nazi

      • Tom

        Considering where taking advice from marxists has taken society it might be worth a try

        • fart

          i wish i could live in your fantasy world where marxists have any influence on anything, it sounds great

          • Tom

            You’re living in a fantasy world if you think they don’t….I’m not talking specifically about communists (although I would argue that communists hold far more power than you think), I’m talking about marxist ideas in general and social marxism

            • littletrotsky

              Oh right yes the society is full of rampant marxism yet “marxists” (I’m willing to bet mostly anarchists though) get attacked by the state forces they supposedly influence, and you’re given the implresion that you can join the police whereas given that this is such a marxist society after all nazis aren’t allowed to join state forces.

              First question I’m going to ask is why the police went in with this stuff in the first place to go after students? Secondly when a peaceful protest that happens to break not the law but the rules of the university (as students they have every right to be in that building, so they’re not tresspassing as such) the police are called in and deal with them with considerable force? Thirdly when some students react to being attacked with some force of their own that justfies tasers and cs gas?

              Of course I’m never going to persuade you, so I’ll end by saying I hope that you survive to see a marxist society, realise that it’s better off than the capitalist crap we’re in, and that you are/were a top-grade prick.

              • Tom

                Cultural Marxism pal. I am not literally saying that Communists run society, that’d be ludicrous. Cultural Marxism is a specific term referring to far-left social views infesting and destroying society. As a Marxist yourself I don’t expect you to be anything other than completely blind and ignorant of this so it’s pointless to carry on this area of the debate.

                To answer your questions though:

                1.) Because they were a large group of protesters, protests have a tendency to get violent/angry when challenged by police.

                2.) The police were called to forcibly remove them from the property, by resisting they committed battery and in the video it’s clear that some border on assault.

                3.) Yes. You do not have a right to stop or assault a police officer who is legally removing you from somewhere by force. Assaulting a police officer definitely justifies tasering/CS gas.

                A Marxist society will never happen, and theoretically if it did happen I would be dead before it was realised as I would be on the front lines fighting against it.

                • littletrotsky

                  1)depends how well stewarded they are. Just because your lot get violent at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean ours do.
                  2)I saw one attempt at assault, after the police had started using tasers and grabbed a girl from the crowd and CS’d her. That’s pretty fucking restrained.
                  3)Yes yes legally you don’t have the right to resist the state when it exercises force against you, that’s not a reason to use force that’s a justification.

                  See you at the barricades then.

                  • Tom

                    1.) You’re really clutching at straws right now pal, police take tasers/gas/etc with them to any situation that could potentially become dangerous. Why does this simple concept confuse you so much?

                    2.) It doesn’t matter if you think it was excessive, the police had a right to escalate the force they were using, and evidently it worked.

                    3.) Errr…. no. If you resist an officer who has the right to remove you from somewhere, he has the right to escalate the force used.

                • No one takes you seriously

                  Cultural Marxism – Marxists who go to the opera and have dinner parties.

                  • Tom

                    Cultural marxism – far-left social views perpetuated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the media and education system

    • nazi scum

      14/88? Do you think you are some kind of 1990s neo-nazi? Jesus Christ, grow a brain.

      • Tom

        You can get as buttmad as you want little boy, I’m here laughing at all these leftie trash getting pepper sprayed and beaten up LOL. I actually plan on joining the police force after I graduate so I can beat the shit out of marxist scum.

        • Precious Little

          I love how the standard reaction on the internet to being called out is to call someone butt hurt/mad and a reference to them being less senior. Do you suffer from an inferiority complex which means you cannot handle a different persons opinion on an open forum or are you an ironic troll saying everything you expect to hear from a pro-police, right wing, daily mail commenting, bigot?

          • fart

            scroll down, he’s literally a hitler-loving nazi

          • Tom

            Your point would be valid if the comment I was responding to wasn’t exactly what you described and if your comment wasn’t full of insults either.

            My original comment, despite being harshly worded, did make a couple of valid points, and none of you or your left-wing chums have offered anything of substance in response.

            You must live in a very narrow-minded fantasy bubble if you think being pro-police or right-wing is automatically a bad thing. I’ll agree with you on daily mail commenters though.

        • hi

          Yeah, good luck with that. Extremist fascist antiques are pretty easily weeded out by the police.

      • dfdf

        Now imagining a nazi in a bucket hat.

  • Joe Citizen

    Talk to Liberty. File a Subject Access Request with the CCTV data controller on a bit of paper stating SAR. They have to accept it, not on their own pro-forma which may take 40 days to arrive, as long as you bung a tenner they have to give the footage.
    Ask to see the notes they’ve kept regarding the use or deployment of CS gas and Tasers (firearms). File a complaint with the IPSA. Get a spitfire of a lawyer with something to prove, file a civil action for assault.

    • Tom

      Very sad world we live in where police are being sued for using reasonable force against violent thugs

  • short back and sides please

    police are scum – we should know this by now. What on earth could prompt you to join the police other than having a worryingly simple black and white view of right and wrong and a thuggish thirst for power?

    • Tom

      This dickhead above me will call the police the second he needs help

  • fart

    i can tell you’re a rationalist because you’ve deduced this one without any recourse to empirical evidence

  • hkq999

    What does their weight have to do with anything? :/

  • John Lapage

    It wasn’t the campus police, it was the *actual* police.

  • Borton

    Wait wait wait – you’re asking the folk who got pepper-sprayed to prove that they didn’t deserve it? Even law courts don’t work like that…

  • Guest

    is the burden not on the protesters>

  • geko

    The burden is on the police and University to provide evidence for the alleged assault that led to the police being called.

  • geko

    Low moral fibre clearly correlates with high-fibre diet.

  • hkq999

    lol wow