Rethinking the Veil

As a Christian in a country that is both officially Muslim AND welcoming to those of other faiths, I see the hijab as a beautiful item that is both a statement of modesty and a statement of fashion. I think of the teen I saw at our sons’ international school, winning a sprint race with her hijab swirling behind her in the speed she created – so strong, so beautiful, so willing to go out and engage her world. At the same time, as a Christian, I am pretty sure that I am NOT allowed to wear a hijab; at least, the Christians nearest me could be offended by my “trying on” the signal of another religion. It intrigues me that I am not free to wear what many Westerners scoff at as a sign of deference or patriarchy. As always, there is so much to learn, to absorb, to ponder, and to try to figure out how to gracefully ask about!

Marilyn R. Gardner

Pakistani Family

Today I’m honored to be a part of “Let’s Talk About Hijab” – a series that Rachel Pieh Jones began over a month ago. You can find Rachel’s work all over the web, but her home space is Djibouti Jones – Life at the Crossroads of Faith & Culture. She is one of my favorite writers so to say I am honored is an understatement. Enjoy and make sure to take a look at the excellent essays that have come before mine. 


In May of last year Dr. Leila Ahmed, a well-known professor at the Harvard Divinity School published a book A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America. The idea for the book was born one evening in the late 1990’s when Dr. Ahmed was walking with a friend in her Cambridge neighborhood. As they passed by a park, they noticed a group…

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