Hat Lore

Under the Veil

Group of Muslim women, Montreal, 1995
Photograph courtesy of Sheema Khan

The veil is the only head covering virtually exclusive to women. It has been worn since ancient times, and today it is still worn by women who follow a religion that demands that the hair, and sometimes the face, be kept covered in public. Many Islamic women in Canada wear the Hijab (head covering) as part of a dress code prescribed in the Koran. They may also wear the Niqab (face veil). In Muslim countries, covering the head and face is sometimes viewed as a sign of female oppression, but to many Muslim Canadian women the Hijab denotes both female modesty and reserve, and female dignity and respect.

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