Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hijab comeback in Bosnia!

Since the 1992-1995 war, hijab-clad women have become a common sight on the streets of the capital Sajajevo, which has a strong Muslim majority.

Hijab Comeback in Bosnia

After being banned for decades by communist Yugoslav rulers, hijab is making a comeback to the streets of post-war Bosnia.

"Being headscarved, I could not study in France, where basic rights are being violated, while here it is possible and normal," Alma, a student at Sarajevo's Political Science Faculty, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Thursday, May 17.

In 2004, France banned the wearing of the hijab at public schools and institutions.
Since then the issue of hijab, as an obligatory code of dress for Muslim women, has been thrust into the limelight with many Western European countries following suit.
"The fact that girls wear mini-skirts does not bother me, but I expect that people have respect for me," said Alma, 25, donning a maroon headscarf.

Headscarves in the former communist Yugoslavia, of which Bosnia was a part, were worn almost exclusively by elderly women in rural areas, more out of respect for tradition than as a sign of religious feeling.

Since the 1992-1995 war, hijab-clad women have become a common sight on the streets of the capital Sajajevo, which has a strong Muslim majority.

Yet, in regions mainly populated by Christian Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats, the hijab is still frowned upon as it was in the communist era.

In the ethnically divided northern town of Brcko, the issue of freedom of choice surfaced in a conflict between a Serb teacher and a veiled Muslim psychologist in an elementary school.

"My colleague refused my regular visit to his class because of my headscarf," said psychologist Semsa Ahmetspahic.

"I didn't insist on it because Brcko has a specific environment. We try to avoid situations which could lead to conflict," she said.

Brcko and its surrounding region populated by Muslims, Serbs and Croats was proclaimed a special district in 2000 by the international community overseeing peace in Bosnia.

It is autonomous from the country's two semi-independent entities and is ruled by its own multi-ethnic institutions.


Ms.Unique said...

Assalamualikum Sister,

Nice to know so much of Bosnian history ..... now I can tease my friend about knowing so much of Bosnian history ;) ..... And those girls and their dresses Masha Allah very beautiful ..... Keep your posts rolling in ..... Jazak Allah Khairan for sharing .....

Anonymous said...

AsSalamu Aleikum wr wb,
Sister may Allah bless you!
I know a little about oyur country, so for this i know you'r stronger in your faith, they could kick you but they can't bit your Identity!
MAsha Allah! Allahumma 'unzur al-Islam ual Muslimin! Amin

far far away..your sister in faith Agus

Anonymous said...

A lot about Bosnia - a country about which I've heard only in the news, that too long before, during the wars. And another thing I know about Bosnia is about its great leader, Alija Izetbegovic (Hope the spelling is correct), his book Islam between east and west.

Anonymous said...

Was it the war that made Bosnians more conscious about their Muslim identity?

Bosnian hijab girl said...

Yes,i think so!

Ibrahim Ismail said...

MashaALLAH, an enlightening reading indeed. It's true what Najeeba said, we heard (and prays) about it through the wars. Now we barely hear about it at all.

Anyway, I don't know how to tell you this, but let me be direct. It's been my dream to marry a Bosnian orphan. But I don't know where can I talk through about this.