All of them are facing stop signs of one kind or another in French society because they wear the head-covering veil or hijab. “I broke out in tears,” says one of them, recalling the day she was told she couldn’t accompany her small child on a school trip.
Tired of the polarizing effects of wearing the hijab after a 2004 ban and two more that followed, Muslim women in France are struggling to cope with a scarcity of social acceptance. Among the dozen women interviewed, some are thinking of leaving for good.
“I used to think that wearing a scarf on my head was my highway ticket to paradise,” says one woman. But then she found it weighing her down with role-model pressures. For Ramadan, she and two others reflect on a personal nexus of culture and religion.
Designers, photographers and bloggers are generating interest in all the fashion possibilities of loose, flowing fabrics and covered hair. Fans include Christian women who can’t find much church-going attire at the local mall. The second of two stories for Ramadan about Muslim women in the United States.