Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Know Your Female Islamic Headdress

Burqa has to be one of the most misused terms for the last decade.  The word has been used to describe any female Islamic headdress.  However, this graphic sent to me for Afghanistan training shows the different types of head coverings in the Islamic world.

The (really) rough rule of thumb for where these headdresses are popular is

Hijab:  Roughly used everywhere in some form.  Many times a generic word for head covering.
Al-Amira:  A hijab found in Arabic countries and those places where Muslims wish to immitate Arab outside influence.

Chador: Required by law in Iran.  Traditional in Persian areas.

Niqab: Popular in the Arabian Pennisula.  Some use in Pakistan since the 1970s.

Burqa:  Eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  Becoming the Islamic fundamentalist dress of choice in Europe.

When I was in Iraq the women wore regular Hijabs in the "hair scarf"-style.  The only place I knew where the burqa was worn was in a city of 100,000 called Karmah (roughtly between Fallujah and Baghdad).  Karmah turned out to be a primary place for al Qaeda to breed as the city was already Wahabbi (the only city to have a native Wahabbi population).  The city still is a launching pad for al Qaeda attacks against Fallujah, Ramadi, and Baghdad.


Anonymous said...

what about the Amish http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://patriarchive.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/inez_3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://patriarchive.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/oh-those-sexy-quakers/&h=420&w=312&sz=13&tbnid=ByFaUhBff6gzhM:&tbnh=125&tbnw=93&prev=/images%3Fq%3Damish%2Bwomen%2Bclothing&zoom=1&q=amish+women+clothing&hl=en&usg=__vLa5XCwaQcyJT9refastxXmypLk=&sa=X&ei=IC3tTJ3QOoP6lwe07OCfAQ&ved=0CCMQ9QEwBA

classicallib said...

The names hijab and chador seem to mean different things in different places: Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.