Project #4: Meaning of the Scarf Video

Meaning of the Scarf Video

With all of the powerful images depicted in Persepolis, one of our readings for this semester, the one that stood out to me most was actually on the first page. The author explains how an event that came to be known as the Islamic Revolution resulted in the requirement of her and her friends to wear the veil to school. Like most kids, her being forced to do something (especially something that she did not understand the reason behind or the importance of) led to extreme frustration. For that reason, the author illustrated a picture of her and her friends angrily taking the veil off them, choking each other with it, and even jumping rope with it. The veil became an object of force and one that they wanted nothing to do with. 

In many Islamic countries, there is a forbiddance against women walking out without being covered by the veil. This obligation has had an opposite effect as is intended; it has made several women resent the scarf that is imposed upon them. This project is aimed towards finding the true meaning of the scarf and understanding what it means to those who wear it by choice (as in not living in a country that requires them to do so). After interviewing several women, I have made a video that is a compilation of women representing all different parts of the world (e.g. Germany, America, Lebanon, Somalia, and more) explaining what their views on the scarf are. These women generally described the scarf as their way of showing to the world their commitment to God and allows them to proudly represent to the public their stance as a content Muslim women. Many of them discussed how the scarf  brings them peace and enables them to feel most like themselves/safe. They condemned words of people calling the scarf “oppressive;” instead, they characterized it as both beautiful and liberating. These women proved that they see the scarf as a wonderful portrayal of the beauty that Islam encompasses. It is just another symbol of belonging to a particular faith and they disagreed with the backlash that the veil receives. They are all extremely happy with this component of their identity and although they are all against the idea of forcing it upon someone as was seen in Iran, they also denounced countries such as France who completely ban this indication of individuality as they believe it should be up to each women to choose whether or not she’d like to wear it (similar to views of Recep Tayyib Erdogan). In lecture, we learned about a once leading figure in the establishment of Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, who explained that “The religion of Islam will be elevated if it will cease to be a political instrument.” This quote expresses how their is a clear distinguishment between Islam as a religion and Islam as a political state; one supports expression, tolerance, and kindness to one another while the other uses force and power to ensure the “correct” Islam is being practiced.


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