Is she oppressed?
No she is not oppressed. A woman who dresses modestly and covers herself for herself and for her Creator is far from oppressed.
Why dress modestly?- Dressing modestly is for the woman, her husband, and God. Imagine if a woman goes out to do shopping and running errands and she is wearing a very tight shirt and short skirt. These tight and revealing clothes shows the figure of her chest and her butt. When she walks by men, naturally the men will look at her, who knows what he could be thinking! He is having impure and lustful thoughts about another man’s wife! Dressing modestly is out of respect that the woman has for herself and her husband. Why should she need to seek the attention of another man when she is married? It is best to stay covered. If a woman is not married, then she does not need to show off her body to any man, her body should be saved for her husband’s eyes only. She is not eye candy for every man! God also commands believing woman to practice modesty. It is stated in the Quran 24:31 that believing women should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. They should not display their beauty to any male except to their husband and their immediate family. Modesty is also talked about in the previous verse, Quran 24:30 that believing men should also lower their gaze and guard their modesty. Men should lower their gaze when in the presence of a women because he could be staring/fantasizing about another man’s wife! How awful.
Are women in the hijab oppressed?– No, our Muslim sisters are not oppressed! Hijab empowers women, and when I wear it I personally feel more self confident. Women choose whether or not they wear the hijab. Yes it is commanded by God in the Quran that women cover themselves, but if the woman chooses not to then that is her decision between her and God. Nowadays with today’s societies and how the media displays Muslims, some women are discouraged to wear the hijab for fear of being targeted by racists. It is very sad that a simple scarf covering one’s hair somehow correlates to being a radical terrorist… Are women forced to wear head coverings and dress modestly? Not in Islam! Some cultures might force women to dress a certain way but that is culture, not Islam.