This picture is dedicated to
, whose wonderful works encourage religious tolerance and defend a woman's right to dress according to her convictions. Two of my Muslim friends were recently treated with disdain because they choose to wear a hijab, and it saddens me deeply that some of my fellow Americans view all Muslims with suspicion simply because of the actions of a few violent extremists. I know that it is difficult not to fear people who are different than we are, but that's no excuse not to try. If we ever want to understand one another, we need to approach our differences with compassion and love, and keep an open dialogue rather than just judge a person based on the way he or she looks. I have not decided which religion (if any) I want to follow, but I believe that people should be able to express their peaceful beliefs without being scorned by others.
I deliberately chose to work from this reference image of a scantily clad cosplayer, [link]
because I wanted to show that a woman's worth isn't based on her looks or the way she dresses. Sometimes we jump to conclusions about a lady because of her posture or her attire (i.e. flirty pose = promiscuous), when we really don't know anything about her. Really, it's her personality and the integrity of her character that matter, and we can't know this until we take the trouble to get to know her as a person.
explained my feelings about the hijab far better than I ever could, so I will quote him here: Nowadays, many Muslim women are alienated , isolated from social life, and are oppressed by Muslim men and rulers who use the name of religion for their injustices. In this instance, the Hijab is used as a means of keeping many Muslim women away from society, with the misconception that it signifies isolation and weakness. But as many Muslim women come back into the fold of the untainted and true Islam, they are able to recognize the injustice of men who have for so long stripped them of their rights to be an integral part of society and "deserving the same dignity, honor, progress and prosperity as the men". Muslim women, regaining their true identity and role in society, are now wearing Hijab and embracing its concept of liberation for women, and are taking their rightful places that Islam had endowed upon them fourteen hundred years ago.
Islam believes that a woman is to be judged by her [virtuous] character and actions rather than by her looks or physical features. When she covers herself, she is noticed for her intellect, faith, and personality, not for her beauty. The western ideology of, "if you have it, you should flash it!" is quite opposite to the Islamic principle where the purpose is not to bring attention to one's self, but to be modest.
Thanks for looking!