She once was one of Egypt’s most popular actresses. Now, Hala Shiha has created a row by announcing she no longer will wear a hijab in public. Wearing the hijab was her decision, she said, and so was removing it.
Modest dress for women, including the hijab’s covering of the head, or the niqab’s full face veil, has always been a point of contention among Islamic scholars and Muslims in general. Anti-hijab activists claim that these coverings are not mandated in the Quran, while advocates claim the exact opposite. The Muslim Brotherhood and most Islamists have adopted both the niqab and hijab as political symbols and a banner for their global expansionism.
The “veil was and is still used in the Egyptian society as a divine weapon for discrimination against women,” said Egyptian women’s rights activist and blogger Mona Al Ashry. “It is not a personal choice by free will as they claim. No! it is used to stigmatize and degrade whoever woman (sic) refused to wear it.”