Ghufran Khir Allah , a Muslim doctor of sociology, has explained the meaning of the Islamic veil . He has done so in a vehement debate that has confronted him directly with Lucía, a Muslim convert who wanted to stress the fact that " ninety percent of Muslim women in the world do not wear a hijab because it constitutes a radical representation of the Koran comparable to that of the Catholics who put on a hair shirt".
However, Ella Ghufran has refuted her interlocutor, relying on the freedom preached by the Koran, as well as the Spanish Constitution, which guarantees both religious freedom and the right to one's own image.
" To understand a cultural sign, you have to approach the culture to which that cultural sign belongs ", explains the sociologist, pointing out that "the biggest mistake that occurs in intercultural communications is that experts take the sign and analyze it from the mental framework in which they process the world" because "there they lose the meaning of the cultural sign", as he affirms.
Stereotypes associated with the hijab
Ghufran Khir Allah has explained that the fact of wearing a hijab implies the constitution of a series of stereotypes with which one does not recognize oneself. " People think things about me that I don't identify with; people treat me and understand me in a way that doesn't belong to me," she explains.
Precisely these stereotypes lead to discrimination that she, she says, all Muslim women belonging to the cultural minority who wear the hijab suffer. " In Spain, every Muslim woman with a hijab suffers discrimination at the indicative and labor level ", she denounces.
Perhaps the germ of his sociological research towards the use of the hijab in the West was discrimination, or perhaps he only aspired to break with the stereotypes put forward around this garment, but the truth is that Ghufran did not want to delve too deeply into this matter because it is very "painful".