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What is the meaning of Hijab in British culture?

The aim of this essay is to look at the meaning or meanings of Hijab in British culture. As such this discussion will look at the context of Hijab within Muslim cultures both in the past and today. It will look at the feminist issues surrounding the adorning of the Hijab both from the male and the female perspective, as well as exploring the various meanings Hijab holds in the minds of non-Muslims.

Before we can begin to understand the meaning of Hijab in British culture we need to understand what it means and has meant in Muslim cultures since that is where this particular form of veiling originated.

Many would argue that by desexualising themselves they are not recognising themselves as women and as such cannot be oppressed, yet at the same time not be appreciated as women. She has to deny her femininity to feel like an equal and in order to do this she must observe Hijab.

The fact is that it largely appears that the majority of British citizens are being wrongly educated either through the media or other sources about other cultures. The main issue here is that the true meaning of Hijab is not fully understood and has perhaps been lost amongst a lot of speculation and competing developing cultures. The enclosed nature of Muslim communities has perhaps led to the ill-education of non-Muslims about the customs of the Muslim community and as such the meanings of things like Hijab have not only been misinterpreted historically and culturally, but are also numerous given the diversity of the British culture.

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