Thursday, October 19, 2006

Would you teach in a school with compulsory hijab?

I've been thinking through the issue of the Madani High School's proposed dress code, which includes hijab for all girls, including non-Muslims. (There's a nicely emotive headline here - the schoolgirls will be forced to wear headscarves which sounds like a St Trinian-esque sub-dom scenario with a misguided sartorial twist.)

I haven't got a daughter so I couldn't get my head round the question of whether I'd send her to a good school where she had to wear a headscarf... So instead I have been asking myself whether I would take a job in a school which required me to cover my head. It wouldn't offend me as Christian to adopt an Islamic practice per se. On the other hand, I dislike the theological and philosophical basis of headcovering and what it says about women and men... but I am usually quite pragmatic about matters like this (for pragmatic read cowardly.)

To be really honest, though, at the end of an eight week half term, on my last legs after two Open Evenings and a bout of food poisoning...I would love to be able to wear a scarf and not have to worry about how terrible my hair is looking at the moment. Yep, I am that shallow.

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