The Portrayal of Muslim Women in the Media Sarwet Kaddour

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The Portrayal of Muslim Women

in the Media

Sarwet Kaddour

I believe my journey and experiences as a Muslim woman date back to even before I was born. I am a 21-year-old Muslim woman, born and raised in the land Down Under, the land of the kangaroo. I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercing. I do not possess a leather jacket. I wear the hijab, I follow Islam, and strongly believe in the Day of Resurrection. In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of "oppressed female". Nevertheless, I am as Australian as they come. Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth. Like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, I chose to wear the hijab. In basic nature, we cover our entire bodies except for our hands and faces. And the concept of the hijab, contradictory to popular opinion, is actually one of the most crucial aspects of female empowerment.

When I cover myself, I make it implicitly difficult for people to judge me according to my appearance. I cannot be categorised because of my attractiveness or lack thereof. It is a myth that women in today’s society are liberated. What kind of freedom can there be when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being "checked out’’? Allah (swt) has provided the women in Islam with such boundaries so as to provide protection for us from the Kufar, evident in the following verse: "O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the womenfolk of the Believers to draw their outer garments about themselves (when they go abroad). That is better, so that they may be recognised and not molested. And Allah is forgiving, Merciful." Al-Ahzab (33:59)

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