Muslim Characteristics and the Hijab Commentary (by a non-muslim)


Just about the reply to the anon who asked about Muslim girls wearing hijab at home:

You stated that Muslims pray five times a day (with the exception of periods). While that is true, and what is supposed to happen, many of my Muslim friends don’t take notice of this at all, and generally only pray 2 or 3 times a week, either at a mosque with their family or in their Islamic Education classes at school. (note: I am a teenager at a British school in the UAE. This probably only happens in schools following international cirricula)

Also, from the ask, it seems like the anon is trying to write a Muslim character who is surrounded by non-muslims, where she feels less obligated to wear the hijab. Also, whether or not she wears the hijab can depend on where her family is originally from. For example, if they are from Gulf nations, you can be almost certain that she would wear the hijab at least around conservative family members, if she isn’t persuaded to wear it full-time. However, if the family originally is from places like Jordan or Lebanon, where there is greater religious diversity (like Turkey, as you mentioned), most Muslims there don’t wear hijab or dress particularly conservatively. 

As a general rule (from my own personal observations), Muslims in places with greater religious diversity among the locals tend not to wear the hijab, even if the country they are in is Muslim-majority (e.g.: Jordan). In contrast, places with low religious diversity among the local population tend to enforce the hijab (e.g.: Saudi Arabia and Indonesia). However, even in countries with a high expatriate or foreigner population, (like the UAE, where I am), if the local population is predominantly Muslim, most women will wear the hijab.

Of course where you grew up/whether your family is liberal or not also has a huge effect on whether you choose to wear the hijab, but in the end it is (supposed to be) a personal decision. Also, if you choose to wear the hijab, you’re expected to cover up everywhere else too. Be mindful of that.

*I would have submitted this through the ‘ask’ box but it was closed; thought this was important to send though anyway. Sorry if you already know this!


All of your observations stem from different Muslims practicing Islam in different ways. No matter which country a person is practicing in, you still find examples of religious diversity down to the way people dress.
I am concerned that a lot of your statements carry a Western, orientalist undertone colored by outside observations on Islam, and a narrow population to observe.

For instance, my friends are from Indonesia and Malaysia, and on their trips back from visiting their grandparents, they have described how the West pictures these places as full of hijaab-wearing women; when, in reality, women often choose not to wear it except to masjids, where the majority of these pictures and depictions stem from.

In addition, choosing to wear the hijab doesn’t necessarily mean covering up in the manner of a burka or abaya, as I believe you are implying with “elsewhere”. From visiting Saudi Arabia and having close friends in UAE, I understand that there is more of a norm there and regulation on being covered, but that area of the world is not a representative of the cultures that practice Islam.

I would advise that you read a little more on religious diversity within Islam, and not conflate your personal experience and observations within UAE globally, or over Muslim voices.

-Mod Kaye

octobre 18 - +52 - Via - Reblog

918D // caret initio et fine

it ends with faded cherry bomb and french toast; curls too dense to comb, eyeliner crooked. the overarching theme of the day is inexpressible but recognizable;

a late bus and 60 kids standing near the road huddled in small groups, aching for cigarettes, the cold like a punch to the gut. princeton in the library with thirty white kids and a feeling like a man made island. meetings, in the traffic circle with two cookies and a bag of hot cheetos, kelsey asking whether or not she is the type to be liked, whether love is that great or if this is really happening.

it’s a feeling like low water pressure and matte lipstick, wishing for a ride. i can’t remember his name - but there is a kiss on the neck and an arm subbing for an anchor - red shared and breath pooling in the dip of a collarbone.

think - to spend eternity with smudged lipstick, and skip half a day for a touch.

octobre 17 - +1 - Reblog


a study in nothings:: ::the itchy feeling of closeness in summer, torn between alone (think in color schemes, count by mornings) and glued together, sides touching on the way through the mall. the far away sound of conversation and the tinny shrieking in my ears.

it’s by far easier to breathe when knocking into someone in the dark, when this body is not mine, than when trying to navigate the conversation. that two people can love each other while one realizes the smothering medicine smell of closeness is inverted logic, no? intimacy is not the same as base need. one never registers, and so it goes down easier than the pill of someone saying: “you know, we could probably be together for a while. this is something good.”

there is no compression in a nothing, and no content for condensing:: ::a study in someone else’s bed.

octobre 06 - +1 - Reblog


Your Character’s Speech (and their accents)


We’ve talked about them a couple times before (more than a couple times, in fact) but I’d like to leave something very clear:

You are free to write your character’s accent as much as you want, however, people are also free not to read your story; harsh truth, but truth nonetheless. 

I more than agree that if your character has a particular way to express themselves, you can point it out through dialogue. I encourage it. Whether it is that, like, they use verbal crutches and stuff (they’re perfectly fine) or they use a very formal syntax and grandiloquent word choice (your character may be a bit pretentious), it shows something about their character, which is always useful specially if you want to back up certain statements (with the pretentious person, for example that they are suave, or wannabe suave depending on the context; on the other hand abrupt sentence structure may reference the character’s preference for straightforwardness, only looking to talk as much as it is necessary to do so).

Finally, accents in my opinion are a particular layer of your characters’ speech that should be used in moderation. It has the chance to be very, very annoying, and/or very, very offensive (particularly quite racist or classist), and sometimes only saying your character has a French accent may give us the feeling that they are talking in a French accent.

You are reading this right now in Morgan Freeman’s voice.

Look. Imagination. 


(warning: gif / gif not mine)

Sometimes dialect may make an entrance (dialect is different from just accents because dialect involves vocabulary and grammar; accent is pronunciation), which’s okay, y’know, so long as y’don’t exaggerate.Because if you overdo it (the way someone may overdo a character that stutters), it’ll disrupt the flow of my reading because I’ll be too busy trying to understand what you even mean. 

There’s also a special kind of issue with characters whose first language is not English. If it’s shown your character speaks perfect English, has done so for a while, and then drops the occasional little Spanish word in every other sentence, only that point out that sí, they speak Español, then that’s not only a bit extraño (if they speak perfect English, why would they do this?) but offensive (because we know the answer, that’s why).

See gratuitous Spanish, German, and French (among others).  

This only applies if it’s not quite explained why they do this. If they’re not perfect English speakers, or if they are doing this deliberately for any other reason, then you may not be doing this. However, sometimes not even people that are not fluent in English will speak this way. More often than not, they’ll try to express themselves as clearly as possible with what they know, and if they don’t know how to say something, they’ll try to explain it. Gratuitous (insert language) is just there to remind the readers these people are foreign and different, and that’s just not acceptable.

See my accents, character’s speech, and dialogue tags for more on this. 


septembre 30 - +676 - Source - Via - Reblog