These hijab-clad women are’ breaking the glass ceiling’ around the world

Shujaat Ali Quadri

The controversy surrounding the hijab continues around the world including in Iran. In India, this dispute started from Udupi in Karnataka. Where a local college had stopped girl students coming to college wearing hijab from coming to college. After which the girls demonstrated at the entrance of the college itself. After that the controversy took a political form, students belonging to right-wing Hindutva organizations started coming to college wearing saffron garlands in protest against the hijab. The controversy grew so much that the Karnataka government had to close schools/colleges in the state as well. This controversy is not over yet. Muslim organizations have gone to the Supreme Court against the decision given by the Karnataka High Court to ban the hijab. In such a situation, such statements came from BJP and other organizations that hijab is a hindrance in the path of progress.

In such a situation, we are mentioning here four women of the world, whose progress never came in the way of hijab.

Kubra Dagli

Talk about my success, not the hijab, says Turkey’s Kubra Dagli (25), who is the world champion of the freestyle duo Poomsae category of Taekwondo. She began by challenging stereotypes about women and sports by competing in a headscarf. Kubra Dagli of Istanbul, Turkey won the gold medal at the 2016 World Championships in Lima, Peru. Dagli’s success as a sporting role model is also significant because the hijab was ridiculed during the establishment of modern Turkey as a secular state, and was seen by many as a sign of ‘backwardness’.

But Kubra won the gold medal and said that the hijab would never become an obstacle in the path of modernity. On his success, Kubra had said that “They do not talk about my success, but about the scarf on my head. I don’t want this. The debate should be on my success.”

Indira Kaljo

Indira Kaljo is a famous basketball player in America. In the year 2015, through the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), she campaigned for a hijab ban during the match. Indira Kaljo won in the year 2017. FIBA allowed her to wear the hijab. Around 2013-14, Kaljo chose to play wearing a hijab. But the Bosnian-American player quickly realized that she would not be able to play professionally in Europe because the use of any form of headgear, including a hijab, turban or yarmulkes, was banned during official games of basketball.

In 2014, she launched an online signature campaign, collecting nearly 70,000 signatures. The campaign drew worldwide attention to the ban. Her campaign on the scarf, says Indira, influenced the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA. Following which, in September 2014, FIBA announced that women would be allowed to wear religious head coverings at domestic basketball games for a provisional period of two years. “I feel very sad when I hear about women who have stopped playing after deciding to wear the hijab,” kaljo complains.

She says that “I think Muslim women should be comfortable in their own skin, whether they wear a hijab or not, covered or not.” Kaljo believes that this restriction should be removed like other rules which restrict the participation of women in daily life.

Mariam Noor

A resident of Somalia, Mariam Noor, has achieved such a feat which is being discussed all over the world. Mariam Noor has developed a medical device that will help improve blood flow to the human heart and potentially eliminate the need for heart surgery. Maryam hails from Somalia and is currently a Ph.D. student at Aarhus University in Denmark.
Though Maryam has shown her skill and ability by achieving technological success, will that affect the mindset of those just judging her by the hijab. The mentality that links the headscarf with conservatism, backwardness, and fundamentalism. Will the mindset of that class change after seeing Mary’s success?

Dr. Hina Shahid

Last but not the least, the ‘success with hijab’ discussion cannot be complete without mentioning Dr. Hina Shahid. In India, there was a slogan that instead of hijab, give kitaab (books) to girls. It is necessary to understand that the hijab does not stop from the book. The success of Hina Shahid, an MSc doctor in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is a testimony to this fact.

Dr. Hina Shahid’s research paper was part of a United Nations project. She was also awarded the British Awards for Services to Medicine in 2017. Apart from this, the name of Hina was included in the list of 100 influential Muslims in England in 2018.


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