As you go regarding in your daily activities in Mogadishu, you cannot miss the amount of face veils on display. Almost all the women wear a full face veil. While conducting a quick survey on why a face veil is widespread, I couldn’t come up on a conclusion myself so I asked a young Somali woman to take her much appreciated time and write an article to explain on her reasons for Moga Tribune.
A face veil is an Arab tradition and not compulsory in Islam. Even when you do your pilgrimage at Hajj, the closes’ you can get to Allah (SWT), women cover themselves from head to toe but leave the face open as it isn’t an issue. Here’s her article:
For me, wearing a veil has a sense of Islamic identity. When you wear full hijab (covering of the head, neck, chest) there is no doubt that you are Muslim. You will not be mistaken for anything else but a Muslimah. The hijab provides me with an identity. I don't have to tell people she is a Muslim, as it shows.
The full face veil has its major benefit in the sense of privacy. The face veil “hides” me from prying eyes and helps me to “lower my gaze”. Men do not gaze at you in a sensual way, they do not approach you in a sensual way, and neither do they speak to you in a sensual way. Rather, a man holds you in high esteem and that is just by one glance at you! It is also provides a sense of security and confidence where one can go about with your daily life without any worries.
Face veil gives you the freedom of movement and expression. I can able to move about and communicate without fear of harassment. My Hijab gives me a unique confidence. It truly is a blessing to walk freely without anyone giving you un-necessary glances or making you feel intimidated.
But these days in Mogadishu face veil has its risk, especially in governmental areas because it presents a grave security risk. They had been incidents which occurred in Mogadishu when the government troops were killed by armed men wearing the face veil in order to pretend they were women. So a full face veil can have great disadvantages as it can arise suspicious like incidents I have mention above.
On the whole, I wear a face veil because I want to go about with my privacy and I wear it as a choice rather than being forced upon me.
Z - Guest Writer