Last Updated on May 12, 2022 by Patheyo Edwin
Wearing traditional Arabic clothing was always frowned upon in the US. However, it is not as dangerous as it used to be. The new law protects the rights of the citizens of the US. Lately, there have been numerous discussions about the dangers of wearing traditional Arabic clothes from Muslim countries in the US. Some people believe that it is too dangerous to wear these clothes because it will make them a target for hatred or violence. However, others believe that these clothes are part of their religious and cultural identity and should not have changed who they are to feel safe in the US.
What Are Some of the Arabic Traditional Clothes?
The Arabic traditional clothes are attire interpreted as adhering to Islamic beliefs. Muslims dress in various styles influenced by practical, cultural, social, and political reasons and religious considerations.
Some Muslims have adopted Western-style clothing in modern times, while others wear modernized versions of traditional Muslim attire, including long flowing garments. According to Islamic traditions, sexually active body parts must be covered from public view.
Traditional Muslim men’s clothing typically covers the head and the area between the waist and the knees.
In contrast, traditional Muslim women’s clothing covers the hair and the entire body from the ankles to the neck. Some Muslim women also wear facial coverings. The Quran and Sunnah are two scriptural texts that influence Islamic attire.
The Quran contains guiding principles attributed to God, whereas the hadith describes a human role model based on the traditions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Islamic fashion is a subset of the fashion business influenced by Islamic values. Some of the traditional Arabic clothes for women include:
- Abaya: A conservative woman can dress in an “Abayah,” a long black garment covering the body from the shoulders to the feet.
- Thawb: A traditional Arabian dress worn under the abaya.
- Hejab: A scarf-like cloth cover used to cover the hair only and not the face.
- Burqa: Also known as a niqab, it’s a type of veil used to conceal someone’s face.
Men, too, dress differently depending on their country and whether they live in a rural or urban region. They may wear western-style clothing or traditional clothing. Some of the traditional Arabic clothes for men include:
- Thobe: This is a robe-like garment that is ankle-length and has long sleeves. Men in the Arabian Peninsula and also some neighboring nations commonly wear it. Cotton is commonly used, but heavier materials like sheep’s wool can also be utilized, especially in colder climates. It differs wildly across the Gulf’s various regions. (To make the shirt look more formal, tighten the sleeves and collar).
- Kaffiyeh: The Kaffiyer is an Arab men’s traditional headdress composed of a square of cloth (or scarf) folded and wrapped in various fashions around the head, mainly cotton (but also a mix of cotton and wool for winter).
It’s often used in desert climates to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand and direct sun exposure.
There are regional variances. The kaffiyeh is secured by a rope circle known as an igal. Under the kaffiyeh, a skullcap is sometimes worn.
The kaffiyeh is nearly generally made of white cotton cloth, but several versions have a checkered pattern embroidered onto them in red or black.
- Igal: The Igal is a cord-based device attached around the kaffiyeh to keep it in place. A black cord is frequently tightly wound around a core of goat wool or bunched fabric.
What Are the Dangers of Wearing Arabic Traditional Clothes in the US?
Muslim women are a rapidly growing segment of the population in the United States, reflecting the diversity of the country’s racial, ethnic, and multicultural heritage. They include U.S.-born Muslims of various ethnicities, immigrants from various countries and regions, and converts from various backgrounds.
Many Muslim women, but far from all, wear traditional Arabic clothes regarding their religious beliefs. Due to their dressing, some of them face various dangers such as:
Likely to Be Branded a Terrorist
Since 9/11, unfavorable media coverage of Muslim communities has exacerbated the demonization of Muslims, as have government counter-terrorism strategies in many Western countries.
This has led to Muslim subjection to undue scrutiny at airport security. Following terrorist acts such as the 7/7 London bombings, some hijab wearers decided to quit wearing the veil to avoid encountering bigotry.
Facing Infringement of Their Rights
Muslim women are barred from wearing their traditional headscarves in several cases. Because they wear hijab, they have been harassed, sacked from employment for refusing to remove their hejab, denied entrance to public venues, and otherwise discriminated against.
Muslim women who wear hijab are especially vulnerable to discrimination because of their prominence and have become increasingly targets of harassment in the aftermath of September 11th.
Students have also been denied the right to wear hijab to school and the ability to take part in extracurricular activities like musical concerts and sporting events.
Muslim women have been denied driver’s licenses and other civic activities unless they uncover their head-coverings for the photograph. Women attempting to obtain passports and NSA photos have had the same experience.
How Can We Protect Those Who Wear Arabic Traditional Clothes in the US?
The United States Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments prevent federal and state governments from enacting laws or policies prohibiting women from wearing hijab. Federal and state officials and private actors are prohibited from discriminating against women who wear hijab under the 14th Amendment and other federal civil rights laws.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) adds to this protection by prohibiting the federal government and its officials from restricting women’s ability to wear hijab. Either expressly or through generally applicable rules unless they can show that their action was the “least restrictive means” for achieving a “compelling governmental interest.”
RFRA does not extend to state governments, but many states have passed their own “mini-RFRAs” or construed their state constitutions to grant similar enhanced rights.
Protection at Places of Work
Civil rights act of 1964 Title VII prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, or firing, because of religious practices such as wearing traditional clothing such as the hijab or abaya. However, there is an exception if the employer can demonstrate that it made a “reasonable accommodation” or could not make such accommodation without causing “undue hardship.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission categorically prohibits the refusal to hire someone because you are concerned that customers or coworkers will be “uncomfortable” with the hijab.
Many states and municipalities have extra legislation protecting employees from discrimination, threats, and harassment because they wear traditional Arabic clothes. Recently, the Supreme Court approved the rights of job candidates who seek religious accommodations, deciding in favor of an applicant who wore a hijab, which violated Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy.”
All Americans, including Muslim women, have the right to exercise their religion. They equally have the right to equal treatment. They are free from discrimination or harassment based on their religion, gender, or perceptions of their country or ethnicity just by wearing traditional Arabic clothing.
Simply passing laws in the US to protect all people who choose to put on traditional Arabic clothing has decreased the danger they face since their rights as citizens of the country must be upheld at all times.