Rahmah is one of China’s 23 million native-born Muslims. Under communism, China’s Muslim minority—like its Christian minority—has been persecuted. Now that China has opened up to the world and relaxed its communism in many respects, its Muslims have more religious freedom. But state schools still teach atheism and Rahmah couldn’t study her ancestral faith till she reached college. Upon doing so, she reclaimed her Muslim heritage and began wearing the distinctive Muslim headscarf. Wearing hijab clearly means a lot to Rahmah, as she now designs fashions distinctively for Muslim women. But wearing hijab has also brought her discrimination.
In this BBC video clip, Rahmah tells what it means to be a hijabi Muslim in China. What I like about it is that it takes the entire discussion of hijab out of our Western context and shows us hijab in a completely different context. Viewing it in the context of a still religiously repressive “communist” regime reminds me of our need to release Muslim women to wear hijab without discrimination here in the West.