Freedom from the Forbidden

All things gender and Islam. No bigotry is allowed in this feminist territory. #DeathToPatriarchy

Hijab-policing on the internet: images about how to wear the hijab “correctly”

I’ve come across so many funny images/messages on the hijab that I figured I should start compiling them and share them on the blog. I hope you enjoy them at least as much as I do!

DISCLAIMER: I am not against the hijab and I am not against any hijabis. In fact, I fully support the hijab as well as those who wear it. But I am against the objectification of the hijabi, as can be seen in too many of the images below; I’m against the sexualization of the woman (the human!) through the hijab; I’m against the many assumptions that are made about the Muslim female who does not cover her head, whether per her own volition or someone/something else’s–the hijab doesn’t define anyone; a person’s character does. Beliefs say nothing about us, and they mean nothing; it is our behavior, our personality, our character–everything that is “us” besides the piece of cloth that is on our head. After all, do most Muslims not agree that the hijab is more than just the head-covering? If that’s really true, then why the following images? Why the judgments against anyone who doesn’t wear the hijab? Why the comparison of the non-hijabi female to a lolly pop (wow – just wow) and that of the hijabi to a “pearl” (again, wow!)? Or the chicken metaphor (see below). And, dude! Men (or women) telling us “how” to wear the hijab or what’s hijab and what’s not? What the hellz? Who put YOU in charge, my dear “outwardly pious” brother (or sister) in Islam? And, by the way, to those patriarchal folks fighting for “men’s rights,” know that you’re actually insulting men by telling women to cover their head so as not to test men’s “sexual urges” & stop insulting women by objectifying them through the hijab. The human male is NOT a rapist or molester by default or by nature; he grows up as one, and our ideas that “women whose hair is covered are better and more self-respecting than those whose hair is not covered; the one with the head-covering on doesn’t want to be raped and doesn’t want negative attention, but the one without it OBVIOUSLY does” are crucial to their (men’s) growing up as rapists or potential rapists/molesters. These messages don’t help anyone but rapists.


It is tragic to realize that we live in a society that teaches women how NOT to get raped instead of teaching men NOT to rape. For more on this, see my post “The Hijab as a Solution to Rape?”

It’s never too late to repent, ladies! P.S. I wonder where the men go …  and, and, and I wonder where the women who dress in neither of the above styles go.
It’s very simple: wear the hijab (no, wait, that’s a niqab) and pray 5 times a day and fast and obey your husband, and you are guaranteed paradise. Why complicate it?
It reads: “In which of these dress styles would you want to see your wife?” It’s a FB picture; click for males’ responses.
… towards disappearance…
Apparently, we were monkeys once upon a time, in our most uncivilized, most barbaric stage, and we have, praise the Good Lord, now reached what MAY be the most civilized of all stages… but I assure you, there’s another stage–one where we women go completely disappeared; indeed, that is the preferred way for women to be . . .
With hijab, you’re all protected; without it, you’re screwed, and all these men, all of whom are beasts (like duh) will be all over you.
Same message as the one right before it.
Seee?? The hijab makes you feel at peace! You’re just naturally distressed if your hijab is not done properly. REPENT and RECTIFY yourself asap.
Seriously. It’s too hot.



The hump. It’s the haraamz.

From your Brothers in Islam :) Stop tempting them with that sexy hair strand of yours.
No, seriously.
The hypocrisy that tends to come with the hijab for way too many hijabis! Talk about the subjectivity and relativity of the concept of modesty. Good luck convincing these hijabis of this fact. (P.S. Some hijabis aren’t this judgmental or hypocritical, though. So this doesn’t apply to all of them, obviously. Just to the too many ones I know personally.)


In case you were ever uncertain about the modesty of men vs the modesty of women.

And now for the different styles of hijab …
Reminding you of the difference between hijab, khimaar (what? who uses this term?), shayla, chadar/chador, niqab, and burqa so you don’t use them interchangeably.
Covering your head leads to more attractiveness and bigger brain, hence more intelligence. Obviously.
What it says.
Rana Farooq – before hijab, after hijab. Seriously, “you look SO much more beautiful with the hijab on. Try it, sisters.”
9 damn steps to wearing the hijab? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Well, no worries. It’s not modest enough anyway, so it’s not the “correct” hijab in the first place.

Where you at, sister?

Of course, my favorite one 🙂 You tell ‘im, girl!

And then there’s this gem:


Categories: Death to patriarchy, feminism, forbidden things, funny, gender, Islam, Just stop, Religion, society, why we need feminism

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22 replies

  1. This is so important! Thanks for posting.


  2. What really gets me about this is that the body shaming happens on so many levels…not just pressure to wear hijab, but that all the images of women wearing hijab “incorrectly,” the woman has large breasts, a large butt and hips, etc. and all the images of women wearing hijab “correctly,” she doesn’t, is pictured as thinner, etc. As someone who has huge curves and wears abaya and niqab, I have always felt multiply marginalized by these types of things, because even in an abaya 2 sizes too big (or a bisht abaya or something) I still feel like I’m sticking out all over the place. And personally it doesn’t bother me because Allah swt made me that way, but I have been objectified even by members of my own family and by “practicing” brothers because of this – wearing a huge abaya and niqab and STILL not “good enough” because my boobs and butt are too big. You just can’t win with these people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Aisha ❤ It's a struggle breathing among these people! I'm sorry to hear of their intolerance to your body and the way you wear your hijab and abaya. You really can't win with these people, and I'm glad that you said it doesn't bother you! That's the spirit!

      Also, what an excellent observation about what the girls in the "right" hijab look like versus those in the "wrong" type! Thank you for noting that!


  3. The sad thing is a lot of Islamic and Hijab groups and pages promote these kind of pictures as well as individuals thinking they are spreading the right message.


  4. Salam all,

    Here is a guest post of mine on SSL’s blog that partly treats this subject:

    And yes, also this film with fake progressive soundbites, that are, in the end, lecturing women about Proper Hijab:


  5. The brain photo has a racial component if you look at the features of the women and the hairstyle. The features becomes less prominent /loud , they caucasianize with the hijab.


  6. I can’t stop laughing about “veiled Indonesian maid” in the Syrian one.


  7. That strip from Persepolis tho. Best. Ever~

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Orbala,

    Is the facebook page “freedom from the forbidden” maintained by you ? If yes, you should consider to repost some of your old article which been moved from blogspot to wordpress (the links are broken). This good article also I cannot find there. It would help to spread your critical idea to broader audience better. Since social media is one of the most effective way for spreading an idea (like button, share button, comment), all this activity would be seen on somebody’s timeline. A lot of muslim’s FB page that spread shallow thought about woman’s hijab made me feels afraid.


  9. “Sorryyyyyy? Hi? Seriously that even the strictly female subjects are the men who took to theirselves the duty to discuss “the ideal” of it? Sure they don’t have sense of ridiculous because it is evident the hypocrisy and contradiction if we remember well their “lectures” of setting apart the opposite sexes.

    Gulaba, I agree with you at all!
    My hubby complain but he can understand. I’m not in Pakistan and wait… even if I were, hijab is my “own concern” does not touch anyone else.
    Other points very delicate:
    Why summairze modesy and virtue to a piece of cloth?
    Why reduce islam to so little?
    Why too much attention to hijab while islam advice to take care of orphans and widows?

    It’s also very tragic to realize!



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