Lamya Kaddor and the Hijab

6 April 2011

In a piece for Qantara, Lamya Kaddor, scholar of Islamic studies in Germany, vividly explains why the Islamic veil in her opinion is no longer required in contemporary Germany and how it has become obsolete over time. She writes that the original purpose mentioned in the Quran (33:59), i.e. that the veil protects women from male desire, is no longer relevant today. Instead, wearing a headscarf may only expose the woman to harm in the form of discrimination. A well-functioning legal system is the modern day equivalent of social rules on protection of the individual.

In the course of her discussion, Kaddor gives a variety of evidence why the headscarf no longer serves its original purpose, ranging from the fact that the sight of hair no longer is a sexual stimulous per se and that a moral life does not depend on head covering to regretting the often very male perspective of Quran exegesis.