23 June 2009

The Burqa

I have to tell you that I am not Muslim and only acquainted with a few Muslims (of the ones I'm not related to). Anyhow, until the U.S. went to war with Afghanistan 8 years ago, I only knew very little about what women wear in Muslim countries and areas. In Franz Fanon's work, I learned that women in Algeria would hide important "resistance" items like guns and documents in their full body/head dressings.

Then, I read in an undergraduate filmic anthropology class about a documentary where a Muslim documentary director had this snooty Egyptian lady who was decked out in aristocratic Euro-wear denouncing the wearing of headscarfs and veils as "barbaric" leading the viewer to the conclusion that she was thoroughly colonized.

That was about it until the U.S. war against Afghanistan in 2001. I have since learned with the media flood on images of Muslim women (and my more adequate perception of Muslim women in the Philippines) that there are a number of different styles. Yet, between laziness and level of interest, I never had a comprehensive comparison on the different styles of headwares of Muslim women.

Sarkozy yesterday said that the burqa is not welcome in France -- as a threat to France's secularism (I wonder if this applies to Christian nuns?). Anyhow, the BBC was kind enough to give a very very clean visual introduction to the various styles and purposes of different kinds of Muslim headwares for women.

I found this little 4 graphic thing to be education. Enjoy:

BBC comprehensive graphic of headware


  1. Hi Lance! I've always wondered about the burqa and why Muslim women from different countries wear different styles. I've a classmate in college who simply wore a hairnet.

  2. Thanks. I felt a little silly put this up but perhaps I'm not the only one that found the 4 graphic side-bar helpful in understanding Islamic female headwear.

  3. that's interesting... i hope you will continue to delve into serious issues like these.

  4. ahehehehe thanks for the comment in my blog...