I Am A Muslim Girl. How Does It Matter?

Posted on May 5, 2011 in Editor's Picks, Society

By Adeena Jamal:

I am a Muslim girl. I am a 20-year-old girl who has tried to break through the several stereotypes a Muslim girl is chained down to. I do not wear a burkha. I am friends with men. I update myself at several instances on Facebook in a day. I wear clothes that going by the conventions set for me, would be extremely revealing. I go partying. And yet I do not think I am a sinner. Maybe I am a sinner in the eyes of several orthodox Muslims, who claim to be an authority in this religion but just because I have the ability to voice my own opinions does not mean I am an outcast.

I have come across several young Muslims girls bearing the brunt of coming from an orthodox family, have limited education and are married off against their will at a very young age. Just because they are denied to speak doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice.

Muslims are the largest minority group in India. According to the 1991 census, 65% live below the poverty line. The literacy rate is 18 %. Few young Muslim men and women reach college, leave alone post graduation. Out of the few lucky ones, fewer are women, who probably have to take some step or another to reach the stage of college. Apart from the inability to pay the tuition fees, several Muslim women have the inability to reach to this level of education with the boundaries imposed on them.

Have you ever heard of a Muslim guy being whipped on the streets of Afghanistan for inadequate dressing or probably showing a bit of ankle? Sadly, no. However, one cannot miss onto the several burkha clad women across the globe. Giving due respect to their religious bent of mind, is it really required for you to wear a burkha? Is it necessary to impose a burkha on a girl who is just about to hit puberty? No. A little girl of 12 can surely be allowed to play around in a skirt and not a salwar kurta.

My implication here to write up is just to make one understand that one has seen such discrimination over the years, but nothing has been done. Sati has been abolished, so has untouchability. But what about this little aspect that young Muslim girls have to face. A little girl’s mental make-up is degraded over the years and after the entire hullabaloo, nothing has been done.

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 There are plenty of Muslim woman out there who have chosen to wear the Burqa or some the Hijab. If they find it so offensive, they have the choice of not wearing it. But if a family forces their woman to be covered against their wishes, there is no help they can get from outside except oral rhetoric like this.
Its not limited to Muslim woman, Women from other religions are also forced by their parents to live their lives a certain way. The problem here is not Islam but the Male dominated patriarchal society in place. Women as considered as property and possession. Something which is a sign and projection of the whims and values of a household. That should not be the case. Its not the hijab or Burqa which is the problems but the attitude which comes with it.
When you do not understand the Muslim culture then dont view their way of living through your own looking glass filled with prejudices and ignorance.


Very good article. Very good contributions from all. Humanity should be the first then anything else.Regards


“necessary to impose a burkha on a girl who is just about to hit puberty? No. A little girl of 12 can surely be allowed to play around in a skirt and not a salwar kurta.” This sentence seems to imply that the young ones shouldn’t wear burkha but there’s no harm in the older ones wearing it. Burqa is a form of slavery. It should be banned in india just the way it has been banned in france. and don’t go about saying that it shouldn’t be banned cause some women actually want to wear it. No woman wants to wear a burqa…she is either forced to wear it or brainwashed that if she doesn’t wear it she will become a “sinner”


Childish at best. May you grow closer to your religion in years to come. Dont discard religion and religious boundaries. Keep looking for the truth,

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