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Hijab Liberated Me: Phillippinian Model
When Felixia Yeap received an offer to take photo shoots while donning Islamic hijab, according to her, the occasion gave her unprecedented feelings of protection, happiness and safety.
“I realized that I was looking forward to cover up (my body) more,” Yeap told Malaysia Star on Thursday, December 12.
“When someone grows up they become wiser,” the 26-year-old model added.
Yeap, who is not a Muslim, used to pose in Playboy Philippines after taking the modeling career two years ago.
During these two years, she has been lamenting feelings that she was "used" by men who were only out looking for fun instead of a wife for marriage.
“I crumbled time after time...I picked myself up just to crumble all over again,” she said.
This all changed when she received an offer to parade in the hijab for a commercial casting a few months ago.
At this moment, Yeap felt "liberated".
She now feels “happy, protected and safe” every time she dons the hijab.
Though Yeap has not converted to Islam so far, she started to skip fashion shoots that makes use of her body.
“I am planning to slow down on those kind of shoots and try my best to avoid them. I only do about 30% of the requests I get,” she said.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media, with many citing the Islamic dress as an example of the “subjugation” of women under Islamic law.
Yet, the truth is that 1400 years ago, Islam recognized women’s rights in a way that grants them the utmost protection and respect as well, a combination other systems fail to offer.
Islam granted them freedom of expression, political participation, business and financial rights, and asked the rest of society to hold them in high esteem and offer them due respect as mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters.