Muslim Men React to Hijab

I’m really such a curious person. I always wonder about so much and often gaze into my thoughts asking myself all sorts of questions…like “what do Muslim men think of hijabies?”

What do they think as Muslims when they see a woman representing the same religion?

I don’t really like to distinguish Muslims who are “more religious” and the “not so practicing” Muslims because in the context of Islam, all those who believe in God are Muslim. But lets face it, some Muslims have higher Iman than others, and I got a mix of reaction from the Muslim men I spoke to.

Many of them had similar replies to the first question: ” It makes me happy to see a Muslim women with hijab because it is a sign of bravery in the American society.”

” I respect them a lot because they bypass the culture and social norm and prioritize their beliefs and that takes a lot of courage.”

“It makes me feel good to know there are more practicing Muslims representing our Islam.”

I was kind of surprised to hear these replies because I never thought that men would really understand how it feels to be a hijabi– to be pointed out from the crowd and judged based on appearance (I’m not talking about beauty here, I’m referring to the judgment of appearance in the sense of being categorized)–because for the Muslim men, there isn’t that obvious sign or garment that distinguishes them as Muslims. Having a beard no longer really identifies the men as Muslims because breads are trending now. I mean, there’s a whole website dedicated to beards–it’s not really like hijab (or so I personally think). So, yes, I was glad to know that they understood and were cheering us on.

I got curious again. I wondered how they thought of hijabies in the sense of being a female? Is she approachable?

This is where I got the mixed reactions. I know hijab is supposed to signify the meaning of modesty and representation of a Muslim, but I guess your actions and style also play a role in the way others perceive you.

Their reactions:

“Is she single?” he said jokingly. “I wonder if she is modest and reserved–if she abides by the Islamic rules.”

“They’re not as easily approached as other women because hijab gives this sense of virtue and, usually, when a man is trying to approach a women, he is doing so because he wants to get to know her for personal reasons…or to ask her on a date. So in a way, I keep my distance as a way of respecting her.”

“I’m more careful of how I look and talk with her. If I’m going to speak with her, it will be with limits. She is wearing hijab for a reason and you’re supposed to respect her,” he said. “It really depends on the person, but for me, when I talk to a hijabi, I have to be more careful–I give her more value,” he said.”It’s like talking to a regular person and then talking to someone with power. I wouldn’t try flirting with a hijabi because she is signaling to you that she wants to be approached with limits.”

He went on to give an example to try to make a deeper connection. “It’s like having the tendency of continuously using foul language -but you have this close friend who is disturbed by profanity and he prefers that you don’t curse in his presence -so you don’t because you care about that person’s feelings and you respect their wishes and you refrain from cursing when they are around.”