MILLIONS of Muslim women choose to wear a headscarf to observe Islamic traditions that insist they dress “modestly” in public.
Some also cover their faces – leading to controversy. But do you know the difference between a hijab, a niqab and a burka? Read on for more.
Alamy The hijab is worn by many Muslim women in the western world
What is a hijab?
The word hijab described the act if covering up and is generally used for a type of headscscarves worn by Muslim women.
A hijab covers the head and neck – but leaves the face uncovered.
World Hijab Day on February 1 is an annual event that asks people across the globe and of all faiths to wear a hijab for a day in solidarity with Muslim women worldwide.
The event was first celebrated in 2013 and aims to “create a more peaceful world where global citizens respect each other”.
The day particularly focuses on “fighting bigotry, discrimination, and prejudice against Muslim women”.
Alamy The niqab just leaves the eyes uncovered
What is a niqab?
The niqab is a veil that conceals the face.
It is worn along with a headscarf, leaving only the eyes exposed.
The covering usually flows down to the mid-back and may carry on down to the mid-chest at the front.
The niqab is mainly worn by women in Arab countries, but some Muslim women from Western countries also choose to wear it.
Alamy A burka is a full one-piece covering
What is a burka?
Covering the full face and body, a burka is the form of Islamic dress that conceals the most.
Those who wear the burka have their face completely covered, with a mesh cloth covering their eyes.
The mesh panel allows the wearer to see but leaves the eyes hidden.
The burka is often associated with Afghanistan and, during their rule, the Taliban forced women to wear it at all times when they were out in public.
What is a chador?
The chador is a full-body cloak designed for wear by women when they leave their home.
A chador is usually black and those who wear one must grasp the chador closed at the front as it has no clasps or fastenings.
The garment is most commonly worn in Iran.