The past few weeks there has been controversy in the local chronicle whether a muslim girl should be allowed to wear her hijaab(dress modestly) at school. Mainly opposing the idea. When you read something opposing your belief, never react harshly, trying to prove a point. Explain to the people in a good way what you stand for. Here is Nanima’s response to the whole situation – I am a muslim woman. I write this letter from peace and to inform your readers why Islam is so beautiful and practical. Muslim woman do not wear hijaab(headscarf and modest clothing) for men but for themselves. It is their choice to wear hijaab to follow what God has instructed them to do, not their husbands, fathers or anyone else but God. My favourite story about modest dress was: One day a school girl asked a religious leader – Mufti Menk. Why are muslim women oppressed and wear a head scarf and dress like that and why do men have beards and wear robes? His answer was: “the same reason the mother of Jesus, Mary wears the head scarf in all your portraits and the same reason Jesus has a beard and wears robes in all your portraits, for the love of God.” Why has God instructed women to dress modestly? At the time when Islam started women were treated the worst buried alive, etc. Islam came and liberated women. Many examples to numerous to mention here. A woman wears hijaab the same reason you lock away all your valuables in a safe. If you had the most precious stone in the world wouldn’t you want to hide it from everyone and wrap it up safely. Hijaab is a women’s security blanket. With her modest dress she feels safe to walk the streets without even being noticed and maybe even being respected for it. In these times where women are being sexually abused left, right and centre the hijaab is one of the best safety mechanisms she has, almost a shield of protection. With the hijaab all women are the same equal to each other and in retrospect equal to man. Fat, thin, tall, short. Woman are talking to each other, the person, not getting distracted by their assets or liabilities. The same goes with man communicating with woman. With the hijaab you are talking to HER not her looks. God is the most wise and knows best. I admire the father who is inculcating such beliefs in his children at such a young age. Religious freedom is a democratic right and one of the reasons I love South Africa and wouldn’t choose to live in France wear the headscarf is banned. My only regret is I didn’t ask permission to wear hijaab when I was the first muslim girl to attend my model c school in the eastern Transvaal way back then.