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The word hijab comes from the Arabic for 'veil' and is used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women.
These scarves, regarded by many Muslims as a symbol of both religion and womanhood, come in a myriad of styles and colours.
The veil covers at the very least the hair and the neck. It is usually worn outside the house, as well as in any place where non-related male adults are present.
Muslims scholars say hijab also has a wider meaning, that of modesty, privacy, and morality.
There is debate among Muslims as to whether or not the Quran actually requires that women wear a hijab.
In some Muslim countries the hijab may not be worn in public buildings.
Some Western countries forbid certain veils, usually the Burqa and/or the Niqab, from being worn in public buildings and/or other public places. See, for instance,
The type most commonly worn in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.
The al-amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and an accompanying tube-like scarf.
The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.
The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear.
The chador, worn by Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underneath.
The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, this may be obscured by a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf, such as a khimar.
The burqa is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It covers the entire face and body, leaving just a mesh screen to see through.
- Source: BBC
He lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with his wife, Janet.
Anton's interests vary from Christian apologetics and interfaith dialogue to reading murder mysteries (and lots of other books). He enjoys street photography, quality coffee, cooking Mexican food (complete with home-made salsas and moles), and working online.
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