Wearing a hijab is important for many Muslim women, although in certain places it is prohibited, or recommended not to wear one. Here, we take a look at some reasons why the hijab is being frowned upon in business.
Wearing a hijab is not allowed in many schools and universities in western countries, especially throughout western Europe. Therefore, students, as well as those who work in such environments are not allowed to wear any Islamic coverings. In a few countries, coverings are not allowed in public places at all. This has led to more and more Muslim women turning to self-employment and working from home. This can be seen as something positive however – women are creating opportunities for themselves and are creating new start-ups and services which weren’t around before.
In the UK, wearing a hijab is allowed, and legally an employer cannot punish an employee for choosing to wear one at work. However, schools are allowed to make their own decision as to whether or not students are allowed to wear head coverings, so in these circumstances, perhaps a teacher should not wear one either. Students at schools with strict uniform rules might feel like those wearing a hijab are being treated differently by being allowed to wear colourful scarves and decorative Hijab pins. Some also feel those working with children should not wear the hijab, as it is not required until puberty and young children might feel they would like to copy the adults they see, before they are required to wear one.
There are many reasons why some people feel the hijab should not be worn in places of work, in non-Muslim countries such as the UK. Many feel it is anti-western and unsociable – we are accustomed to seeing people’s faces when we interact with them in the west, so not being able to do this can be unnerving. Some also feel that Muslims should follow the customs of the country they are living in – as westerners would be required to dress modestly in Muslim nations, Muslims should not cover themselves in a non-Muslim country.
Other reasons why many feel the hijab should not be worn in places of business is the fear of something being concealed under the clothing. Whilst it might be untrue that those who wear such coverings are more likely to be involved in attacks or violent events, many westerners hold this belief, and as such can be made to feel uncomfortable when seeing someone dressed in this way.