• Yezarck

Day 84: The Niqab is NOT a Mask?

100 burpees done.

A funny thing happened to me today when I went out to the bank. I had gone to make a deposit at the local branch as I usually do. Since the lockdown and everything we have to queue outside and wait until we are told to go inside.

There wasn’t anyone in the queue in front of me so when I got there the assistant came outside to tell me that I could come in. and then that’s when something really weird happened:

She asked me if I was wearing a mask?

For those of you who don’t know I am a Muslim woman who wears the ‘niqab’ or face veil meaning that I cover my face in public as part of my religious practice and beliefs.

I was taken aback by her question as for the longest time the niqab has been referred to in many negative ways in the British and western media. Muslim women who wear the niqab often get called ninjas or even letterboxes because we are covering our faces. I just didn’t understand why she was asking me if I was wearing a mask?

I was of the belief that anything covering the face is a mask of some sort. She was wearing a medical mask and I often wear those when practising cupping therapy which I do part time so I know what it feels like and how thick they are. I have also seen in many shops and banks people wearing the plastic visors which kind of just hover in front of your face while all the sides are left open (makes no sense to me) but that seems acceptable.

I gestured toward my niqab and said- ‘I’m wearing this’ and she said –‘oh that’s not a proper mask, the material is too thin, it has to be a proper mask like this’ she said gesturing to her medical mask.

Er? Excuse me but when were there rules on what type of masks we were supposed to be wearing? From what I’ve seen masks have become a big business now with people using all and anything to cover their face in the name of corona protection. Yet, this heifer at the bank with her medical mask is telling me that my niqab doesn’t serve as a mask even though it covers my whole face except my eyes?

Are you kidding me?

What does she know about the fabric of my niqab? Its not see through, yet she’s saying that the fabric is thin? My niqab is actually double layered (very breathable) but not see through and I wouldn’t describe it as being thin as such.

Bear in mind that her co worker who was standing outside and directing people and answering people’s enquiries etc. was not wearing a face mask at all. How is this OK? How does that make any sense?

Could it be something to do with the fact that the media has been spreading that the corona virus is most likely to affect and be spread by those in the BAME communities and that white British are the least likely to be affected? And Karen and her co worker are both white British.


I don’t like calling the race card butt I’ll call a spade a spade.

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