French Dressing

Category: Europe, Life & Society Topics: Hijab (Head Cover), Veil (Burqa) Values: Education Views: 17388

"I wanted to go to school, but I wanted to obey my religion, too" says Cennet

Fifteen-year-old Muslim Cennet Doganay beat France's ban on Islamic headscarves in school - by shaving her head.

When I look in the mirror before I go to school, I hardly recognize myself. Some mornings I even say, "Wait-who is that bald girl?" It's a a very strange sensation.

Truthfully? It's brutal. My family and I are French Muslims. There are about five million Muslims here in France, a little less than ten percent of the population, and Islam is the second largest religion in the country. My parents are originally from Turkey, but they both moved to France when they were almost fifteen, my age now. My five brothers and I were all born in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, where we still live. At home, it's a mix of French, Muslim, and Turkish culture: I speak French to my parents, I pray in the mosque with my mother, we go to Turkey for summer vacation. We are a religious family; we believe in Allah.

Islamic tradition states that a woman's hair should never be visible in public. The hair is a symbol of sex and sensuality, and in our religion it's considered improper to reveal or flaunt it before men. My mother and I wear headscarves, called hijabs, when we go out. The only time we remove them is when we are at home with our closest family. But on September 1 of last year, things changed for many Muslims in France. The government put a law into effect forbidding all religious signs inside public schools including the wearing of headscarves.

France is what you call a secular country. Since 1905, French law has required a complete separation between church and state, which for the most part is a good idea, as it prohibits any preaching in school and helps ease religious tensions. The new ban is designed to uphold this idea of separation, but I feel the government has gone way too far. We're not allowed to show any religious affiliation at all, and for some of us, our religion is a huge part of who we are. We're not trying to convert anyone or imply that our religion is better than any other; we're just trying to be ourselves.

Cennet at home in Strasbourg, France

This new law broke my heart: I was asked to choose between my religion and my studies, between being myself and having a future. Why would the government do that?

The first day back at school after the ban went into effect was a horrible day. It took me an hour to get dressed. I knew I couldn't wear a headscarf, so I chose to wear a large beret, sort of like a reggae singer's hat. I felt like I was dishonoring my religion, but it seemed to be a good compromise. The principal didn't think so. She forbade me to attend classes while wearing my beret, "because of the new law," she said. So I was sent to a separate room, without anything to do.

The same thing happened the next day, and the next. I Was in quarantine, as if my piety were contagious. Some of my Muslim classmates complied because they felt they had to, and others left school completely. Every morning, the principal sat me down and told me I was wrong. She threatened me with disciplinary hearings or expulsion if I did not take off the beret. I was an outlaw, she said. I replied that only very obvious religious signs were banned by the law. I was just wearing a hat, after all. But she wouldn't listen.

I wanted to go to school, but I wanted to obey my religion, too. All I knew was that 

I couldn't show my hair in public. The decision was difficult, but my only option. On September 5, I shaved my entire head of long brown hair. I was bald!

Shaving my head was the most powerful thing I've ever done. It was like transforming myself. I felt I grew up more on that day than I had in all the years before. I wanted to do it alone, but I couldn't reach some spots in the back. I wandered into the kitchen with my head half-shaved and asked my mother for help. She burst into surprised tears and couldn't. My dad came to help. I could tell it was painful for him to see what I'd done.

Even after I shaved my head, I wore a hat to school. I was self-conscious, and nervous about making such a big statement. I continued to spend day after day alone in an empty room, until October 1, when I finally worked up the courage to come to school without my hat. For the first time, I displayed my bald head to everyone. The students were very supportive-they actually cheered!-but the teachers were furious. They took it as an act of defiance, rather than seeing it as a girl doing whatever it takes to obey the law without sacrificing her beliefs. The way I see it, I am doing wrong by neither the government nor my religion, and I'm happy about that.

Unfortunately, there's been some backlash. My parents have always supported me-they never forced me to wear a headscarf, and they never would have thought to suggest that I shave off my hair. Every decision was my own. Still, the bosses at the factory where my father had been a truck driver seemed embarrassed by the publicity surrounding me. I think they started looking for any reason to fire him, and they eventually did. He's hurting now because of me, and that's so hard for me to bear.

Some teachers at my school say I have no future wearing a headscarf-that eventually, France is going to ban them everywhere-but I'll show them wrong. My headscarf is my dignity, not just a piece of fabric. It's me. It's the centerpiece of my outfit, the first item I pick out of my closet in the morning. My pants or sweater must match the scarf. I favor plain colors-no flowers or bold patterns of any kind-and right now, I like my purple one best.

I'll be bald until the school year ends. I shave my head once a week, in my parents' bathroom. My youngest brother, Hasan, who's only two years old, doesn't like my bald head. He says, "I want to play with your hair. Yuck, you look ugly." But I just ignore him. I don't mind how I look-though maybe I'll let my hair grow a little over the summer.


As told to Helene Fouquet of TeenVogue

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  174 Comments   Comment

  1. Madiha Fatimah Ahmed from PaKISTAN


    o my my!

    very good decision ,we need ppl like u seriously i appreciate what ever u did.

    this shows how ur sincere to u r Allah!

    one thing more,and that is avoid wearing jeans,tight clothes becz its also forbidden in Islam.Try to find alternative like wearing long shirts,,,,if it's school uniform then i guess do compromise..

    do mail me !back

    take care

    Allah Hafiz

  2. Rayhana from Germany

    MashaAllah sis! I wish u more than that! I wish u the whole truth and beauty that is in islam, and education par excellance, and everything u want be/do after it! I am so proud of u my sis! May Allah bless u and guide u always!

  3. GermanHoney from germany

    Assalamu aleykum dear sis! I advice to u to put ur vail on again , and look for some possibilities to study at home! There are a lot possibilities. Make contact to ur muslim brothers and sisters! I am proud of u anyways, but i wish u everything that Allah is giving us in islam! And that means ur life how u want it and should be, with all beauty of it!!! May Allah bless u my little brave sister, i am so proud of u!!! Wassalamu aleykum and Allah hafiz!

  4. nessma and roba from egypt

    We are both muslim friends and when we read what you wrote. We were very happy to have you as a representative of Islam in a foreign place you make us very proud. by what you have done i am sure that one day your message will get through people, you are a great person and Allah will be with you and support you and keep the bad people away from you. keep on fighting and other muslims all around the world are supporting and praying for you. i hope that you get all you want. although iam fifteen years old but you make me feel so small coz you are the same age and doing something to show Allah that oyu love him while iam doing nothing except praying and telling so I envy you. Iam sure that god loves you alot and no matter how much you are suffering in life you will be happy and better than anyone else in the after life.

  5. maha from egypt

    you really inspired me, be sure that God and prophet muhamed (sas) are really proud of you, n each and every muslim on earth do. be sure that we all support you, and please you have to be now overconfident ,n be sure that you r now prettier that any other time 🙂

  6. Shymaa from Egypt

    How could u be so delicate and sensitive towards ur religion.. i really can't imagine ur hair beauty in heaven:) may allah bless u and ur lovely family now and forever:) would like 2 tell u a little thing, i really really loved u:)

  7. muhammad from Egypt

    you inspired me, thats the best thing ive ever heard about in my life, God belss you, you are for paradise, dont look or give importance for this short life, Allah with you

  8. Mariam from egypt

    Can you imagine Cennet how Allah is so proud of you???? May allah reward you for this courageous outstanding step and keep you on this track for your whole life. You know how many girls and boys are affected by your step and a lot of girls might wear Hijab and you take all this thawab??!! May Allah be with you while you are shaving your head EVERY 2 WEEKS !!! and not just doing it once and give up. I reallly love you in Allah and I wish we can meet each other in the JANNNAH.....:)


  9. Dalia from USA

    What you did was GREAT!!! I hope my daughter grows up to be as strong a person as you are. I hope the French government gets the message!!!!!

  10. Faraz Choudhry from UK

    Desperate state of human rights in France.

  11. Simaan Barday from USA

    MashaALLAH, May Allah S.W.T. reward you and all those who strive in the path of Islam.

    It's a very bold step, which this sister in Islam took. May Allah S.W.T. bless us all with strong Imaan ~ Aameen!

  12. Ahmad Zaki from Pakistan

    Well its a great thing to do to take stand and to sacrifice one of the most important thing in life. I salute you as a person. Its just that hardships will follow your decision its a matter of fact cause when you take a stand things dont become easier. Its a test of your patience and your family. i hope you pass through it properly. keep up Its great it gives us hope. It shows us that no matter where we are no matter how singled out we are if we want to fight for our self we can. Best of luck and all my prayers for you take care regards


  13. Aisha Novakovich from Australia

    This lady is such an inspiration. It broke my heart to think of the hard decision she faced, but it was a true sacrifice and I know she has literally millions of people, Muslim and non-Muslim standing behind her.

  14. Faiza Tajammul from USA

    Any one who agrees with sister Connet, please answer one question that "Where in Islam, we should follow the wrong path in order to achieve the right destination?".

    Please do not confuse scarf with just hiding your hair. It is covering your head. It is a part of female respect & dignity. How can you achieve it with a bald head. I am sorry sister, you made not one but various mistakes.

    1. Shaving your head is not allowed to females.

    2. As being only 15 and dependent on your parents, you are bound to consult them and get their permission before making big decisions that leave a huge impact on their lives too.

    3. Where is the religion and respect now when your bald pictures are available to everyone on internet.

    4. Your this step is just another attack on Islam. It is a wrong projection. Islam never wants a female to shave her head only because she is not allowed to wear a scarf. Both things are equally wrong. I don't see any difference between you and the French Govt. now.

    5. You have selected a very wrong way of fighting for your rights. Please study some Islam and you will know that how many ways you have been provided to fight for your rights without humiliating yourself.

    May Allah bless us all and help us in understanding and following Islam.

  15. Hebatallah Elsafty from USA

    Dear sister,

    Ma shaa allah I am sooooooo proud of you. Your are an excellent example that we all should always remember to do the right thing regardless of anything else...may allah reward you inshaa allah.

  16. Ahmed Zahran from US

    I am proud of this sister. She is showing an example in how to do everything for her cause.

  17. Fatima from United Kingdom

    We are proud of you and may Allah reward you and other who are faced with same problem.By the way am sure they can't stand how beautiful you are with or without the scaff. lots of love dear sister.

  18. Raed Bakouni from USA

    I am so proud we have young ladies like you and families like yours in our life. Keep up the good work and hold your head up. You are a beautiful young lady inside and out.

  19. nahida hanafi from india

    i wholeheartedly agree with my sister in faith.

    alhamdulillah. shes done a good deed.

  20. Iman from NY

    Although, this bold step that this sister had taken by shaving her head seems too much for some people. I look at it from an angle where shes right "Now shes not breaking any law" and shes choosing not to show her hair. What the government had done to Muslim sisters there is more wrong.. Plus over all because of the attention and media her father lost his job! I think the government is being run by cowards, because only cowards take such low life steps. You can't iliminate Muslims by banning head scarfs but you make them stronger. Because, once we make the decision to serve Allah with our heart and souls we can go the distance, and have no limits.

    Alhumdulilah Im proud of that sister! May ALLAH(swt) reward her for her efforts towards him and Islam. Insha'Allah she will show France what real Courage means. Ameen...

  21. Islam from Canada

    As'salamu alaikum,

    I perfectly understand where the sister comes from for I have seen this happen and is still happening in my country muslim of origin 🙁 to so many girls and women around me where they had to chose between Islam or harassment and even prison for some. However, going out head shaved does not obey ti Islam either as the purpose is not to defy people and make a point to the world about it but rather dress modestly to Allah and our beloved Prophete Muhammad s.a.w. obedience. There are so many other alternatives: e.g. go to a private school and ask for other muslim support to afford it if money is needed, immigrate to a different country or work on gaining support around for the right to wear it until get it. Wal'Allah aalam wa' Allah al mus'taan. Wassalam.

  22. Hafsa from Denmarl

    Asalamu Alaikum.

    I disagree with this muslimah. She failed to understand what the islamic dresscode is all about. It's NOT Just about covering your hair, it's about govering the entire body, some only leaving out the face and hands.

    Going out in publich with shaved hair??? What's the point, u are still not dressed as a muslimah should be dressed.

    May Allah give us strength to be strong in the face of what's happening and guide us onto Him.Amiin

    And I pray that someone teaches this poor muslimah about the islamic dressecode for women.

    Wa salaam and khayr insha allah.

    Make hijrah when ur Relgion is threatened and u can't practise it. The choice must always be ISLAM over anything.

    I personally would rather live a life without education and maybe ending up poor than disobeying my Creator.

    We as muslims should rememeber that:

    The Prophet(saw) Said: "The world is a prison for the believers and paradise for the disbelievers".


    Wa salaam

  23. Saud from Pakistan

    i must she've take a brave step...i'm boy, i think twice before shaving my head, and a girl doing that really amazing....may BLESS ALL OF US..

  24. tijjani ubale gumel from Nigeria

    she was right,though it's forbidden for a woman to shave her hair but god say's that any things you do in the of allah he will reward you,and our prophet mohammad (S.A.W.) INNAMAL AAMALU BIL NIYYAT meaning actions are judge according to the intentions.she did it in the way of allah he will reward her. allah loves such people, god bless you ameen.
















  26. Khalid from Pakistan

    She was right...

    And Allah will bless her for her deed because She thought good....


  27. rama from California

    I think what she did is not the best way she could do to attend school.Why she and her family didnt think about leaving France to other country and practice her religon freely rather than putting her self and herfamily in this stuggle.. I dont think that she is even applying the trye hijab this way...Does she cover her ears and nick properly with a bald head?

  28. Maruf from Canada

    A clear message needs to be sent to Nations and to the world that marginalizing muslim practices and ritual will result in protest.

  29. camee from Pakistan

    woow...way to go girl...

    u are even younger to my younger sisters but u are such a darling...

    this is not only an act of extreme courage and dignity but also of wisdom and piety.

    ALLAH's orders are clear and this life is too uncertain to care for material losses and gains...

    ur father's job is nothing...dont consider it a loss.

    i will be eternally obliged to do anything for u.

    anything...!!!(i know wat im saying!)

    i would have loved to give my detail contacts here but it would be appropriate if u mailed me.

    rest assured that...u are most valued and much respected...i cant say in words wat ur act has done on my heart...

    many many facilitations to ur blessed parents who have given u such morals and such convictions and such character.

    our hands are raised infront of ALLAH's to you and your family...plz plz plz...consider me at ur persoanl service for wat so ever big or small, anything...! is my pleasure!

    lots of respects my beloved sister!

    long live turkey!

  30. Artee Muhammad from butts

    As-Salaam Alaikum:

    My dear sister, Allah will bless you far more than you can imagine. It takes a strong will to stand up for what you truely believe. And that is what Allah looks for in all of us. You are what Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) prayed for when he came to teach Islam to the Muslim. Never fear what man has for you, as long as you are always in the ways of Allah.

    Stay Humble....

  31. Hudd from Canada

    What Cenet did is a form of civic protest. It is a commendable protest but hardly makes the point the government must get. Allow me to present you another scenario. Suppose that not veil was banned but black clour of skin. Then what? African students would have bleached themselves in order to be allowed to study? The governments of this crooked world must understand that that the hijab or Islamic veil is part of the identity of the practicing Muslim as much as the black skin colour is to the African person! Unfortunately the French Muslims did not convey that to the government. Some of the veiled girls removed the veil, others left the public school for Islamic schools and others did what Cenet chose to do. What about not budging a bit? What about refusing to shed the scarf no matter what. Being refused education is not a choice, is a dictatorship and violation of human rights. Wearing a scarf out of religious piety is a humans fundamental right in any free society. A Muslim woman must have the right to her fundamentals as much as a gay has his/her right to exercise a sex preference. I wonder, what would have happened if the veiled Muslims of France would have kept their hijab by all means? Would they have been denied education by the most "liberal" government of the West? Whose shame would have that been? Which party would have brought international criticism on itself? How come that Muslims can fight an Iraqi government in Iraq when the country is under foreign occupation, but they couldn't do it when Saddam was ruling? There is something rotten at the bottom of the Muslim world. A revolution is fuelled by noble ideas, not by profit,influence and power. If you are a Muslim you must fear God alone. People and governments are just ways to test your faith. I wonder whether the French Muslims past that test!

    Peace out!

  32. Kashif from Pakistan

    A so called civilized country like France is must give full liberty to all religions and beliefs. I am a christian even i fully condemn this law by French Govt. Its strange that why Human right activites are quiet till now. If any small thing happen in a 3rd world nation they make a mountain of a mole hole but now in this bruttal n shameful act by French Government i don't know why they are keepin their guns blocked n mouth shut. I appreciate that young girl's stand against that dubous law, and i totally condemn this religious discrimination.

  33. Khalid from India

    Cennet Doganay,InshAllah!you will be rewarded in this world and hereafter too.May your steadfastness be strenghten by Allah-Amin! Summa Amin!

  34. Hasnain ur Rashid from Pakistan


    Siter its an amazing sign of courage and we all muslims support u for this. we can understand the feelings of confusion and self-confidence in you.

    so keep ur Imaan firm as this is the sign of ur self esteem.

  35. Khadijah from Singapore


    DearCennet, I salute you for your bravery but I do pity your situation in your country. Always be patient & remember Allah is with you.

  36. Ar Rizal from Indonesia

    Bonjour, Cennet, what did you do against the government rule just not different than bhiksuni(women priest in Budha), shaved all hair on their head. It's caused the hair is a part of aurah for woman. And how about if the hair get lost, is aurah still have then? Salaam.

  37. Diyanah from Singapore

    Salams Cennet

    You go girl!! Bravo! I admire you for your conviction and courage. Allah knows your true intention and He knows the scarifices you have made for His Sake. I hope your family too will not be discouraged and i pray that He will provide for your family with greater blessings even though others try to force you against your belief and even make your father lose his job. They are cowards and tyrants and they will have their dues accordingly. I had always thought highly of your country but for what they did to the innocents like you and your family, I find they are even more shallow minded than the less developed countries. Remember there is no power or might except by His Will.

  38. Rao Muhammad Aimen from pakistan

    hi Cennet ,

    you such a muslim on for islam to do that is really a hot hot talk on courage. GOD will really ragard you .i really appreiciate you honour you

    my prayer s are always with you.thanks for realizing me that there are such muslims in France.GOD bless YOU

  39. Baldies United from UK

    Marshallah! I think your brave and I give you 110% of my support. It seems that secular states are accomodating to ladies who wish to wear less and less but not to those who wish to have even a small show of dignity by covering their hair! How RIDICULOUS!

  40. Malik, Asif from Germany/Pakistan

    Assalam-O-Aleykum Sister, it is really a hard job what U did, I pray Allah tala to give us courage to follow Islam in right way & finght against our Nafis, you are an example for us, sen aslanin, erkek kardesin, Pakistandan.

  41. Tania from Canada

    As-Salamu Alikum..I can't imagine what's coming next, I mean first Hijaab, then probably the ban of mosque...the world is going down the fulsh by the seconds..nobody talks about how they took away the freedom of the muslims..but they like democracy..the definition had changed of definition..

    anyways..all we could do is pray to Allah and be a TRUE muslim..

    Wa Salaam

  42. MUNIR from USA


  43. Ridwan from Sudan

    Asselamu Aleykum sister Cennet,

    May Allah bless you!!! Don't worry much and don't take it as a big problem.Infact Allah loves you!!!

    What I want to suggest with what you decide first ask Ulama (scholars) you will get answers from them based on Hadith.You are required to do PATIENCE! If anyone comes against ur religion and you stand firm on it ALLAH will take you out of the difficulties.Like Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H) said to one "PATIENCE PATIENCE BECAUSE IT IS A HEAVEN"!!! Most important don't give up and DO DUA'S as much as you can to Allah.I am sure you will win your diginity just don't do any decision without knownlodge thanks to our Scholars they will tell us what to do based on Shari'a.I hope I have passed the right word..May Allah show us the straight path!!!May Allah be with you!!!Ameen

  44. Haroon Irshad from Pakistan

    in the name of Allah(swa) most gracious and merciful.

    I am not sure whether erasing here by young girl surves the purpose. Because, to me Islam prohibits female from erasing hairs from head.

    But I must appreciate the girl for her firm belief on her faith and for her courage.

    The girl reaction might not serve the purpose at he moment but will produce long term efeects on policy makers who disregard human rights and faith freedom. It is also a benchmark for other muslim to stay stick on their faith.

    Allah bless the lady for her firm faith.

    Allah hafis

  45. Maidul Islam from UK

    Assalamu Walikum Sister, Allah bless u what u have done. May Allah bestow all of us such strong determination to stay on the path of Allah. MAy Allah save u from all the evils of this world.May Allah make it easy for u to be on the straith path.


  46. Nadir Ali from Pakistan

    I salute you. I dont know what to be said. It definitely took trmendous courage to do what u have done.Even in reading this i had transformed and u have done it. Simply amazing. MashaALLAH

    On the other hand all the so called leaders of islamic world and NGOs must be ashamed off. Thay are simply Malign.

  47. Kashif Riaz from Pakistan

    wow amazing people with amazing commitment...!!!

    i believe u have full right to observe what you want to do...

    France has a bad religeous history so they have trouble accepting you...

  48. Kashif Riaz from Pakistan

    Wow.mashaAllah sister..I have soo much to learn from u.

  49. HAFSA AMIR from Pakistan

    I am certainly 'for' the idea of compromising looks for islam; however Allah has cursed men/women who show up as opposite sexes. it is out of compusion and oppression that she is not wearing head scarf, but it doen't mean she should have shalved her head. she must not do it as per islam.suppose they ask to uncover your thigh, will you chop it of?

  50. Aydan Najafova from Azerbaijan

    Dear Cennet, I am Aydan from Azerbaijan fully supporting you in your way to preserve your religion. The so called "Democratic Countries" and their rulers will never understand Islam and its laws, since they are so much away from the true beloved world of our religion. Islam is life itself and to my mind these people simply don't live, they think they do, but in fact they don't. And this is a common fact and somebody mean and selfish wants the ones around him be the same as him. You should be happy to be a Muslim and to try to keep the best in this life. Seni opuyoruz, kendine iyi bak. Allah yardimchin olsun!

  51. Maryooma from Australian/Sri Lankan

    AA..i totally disagree with what she had done because even though she might think it as a brave thing to reely doz not wear the hijab so that their hair is coverd!! the hijab is not only the head scarf but is a protection for woman and a sign of modesty..

    i can understand the struggles muslims in france are going through...n im totally against it...but my advice is to either leave the country or stay and face the hardships with bravery and not let them over rule you!!

  52. kinza from USA

    i am in USA a free country of religious rights so i may not know what u are going through but i also cover my head outside of family relations and i also face discrimination from my so called friends but if i was faced with a challenge like yours i would have never been able to do what u have done my iman is not strong enough the only thing that i think is that i am only 14 how can i make a difference but u have inspired me with your stable courage to face this challenge and handle it the way u have. at my school someone ripped all my folder and i did not even have the ourage to stand up to it but what u have done is a sign of a true muslim thank u. may allah bless u and give u jannah for what u have done and we will all pray for u and ur familly

  53. ali from pakistan

    i am speechless i dont know what to say after knowing what u hav been through. all i hav to say is you have done what no girl can do. this is the first time i have heard some one having such an experiance the sacrifice you hav made you deserve to be in paradise i wish to marry a girl like you may allah bless you and full fills your every wish and give you more corage ameen. my prayers will always be with you .

  54. Sarah from USA

    Wow.mashaAllah sister..I have soo much to learn from such a young sister. I don't wear hijab and I'm a muslim in the US, but hopefully Allah makes burden on you sisters easy for u u and all the muslimaat in France.

  55. we from Saudia Arabia

    Inshaallah God'll bless u. U did the right thing!. Give them a lesson.

  56. omg from united states

    wow some girl who would actually shave her hair off for islam is omggggg masshaalllaaahhhahahah thats awwll i cud say french govt. is messd up ... ..

  57. Ahmed

    Brave girl. France is behaving worse then the Taliban. As usual "Sameena" and the pair of BJP hindu fanatics(Chander and Kumar) have nothing of any value to add. Apathy and avarice is their responce.

  58. Raheemah from USA

    You did the right thing please stay strong may allah bless you for your effrot and stay strong

  59. Bushra from Kuwait

    Dear Sister,

    I am very sad to hear about the new rule in a secular country named "France". I fully support your views and decisions. You are a very brave girl and Allah will help you, inshallah. May Allah give some good sense to people who made such strange laws.

  60. Zain from Singapore

    Dear sister in Islam,

    Assalaamu'alaikum W.W.B.

    After reading the article, I am but amused yet regrettable to see that such action was taken by a fifteen year old.

    In support of your action though, it is such a sacrifice. But over here in little Singapore, we do not go to such extent. IMO, it is your right to do as you think best, but seek advice from those that know, before and after. Reflect.

    IMHO, the community is as important as the personal action. There must be a balance. Your Imam must have adviced you and if he has not, do go and seek advice. Knowledge is Power.

    What I have learnt is this, (this is my own opinion and not an advice for I am not able), the womenfolk are to cover their hair and heads till it reach the breast. This means they should not have the silouette of their body shown. One should not make oneself ugly as God loves beauty. And seek knowledge (secular or spiritual). Then there is the essence of Hijrah.

    So my opinion is my right to express but in doing so I must take responsibility that it does not, in any way cause harm (physically, emotionally, environmentally or spiritually). Please forgive me if it makes others uncomfortable and to the editor, please remove it when it does. Thank you.


  61. asad from india

    sister definitely your parents & you are brave enough to take this decision.inshallah for this act u will be in jannat.v all r always wth u.

  62. Daniel from USA


    The support many readers are giving is fine with me. However, someone wrote: "For a Muslim girl not using a scarf as per her book ,means severe punishment on the day of judgment" (Javed). I don't agree at all.

    Let's rememeber that using the hijab is not fundamental part of our religion, it is a cultural practice instead. It is more part of the arabic culture. There is no a single word in the Holy Qur'an that says it has to be this way. Modesty in clothing, yes. Why to immitate the arabic style?

    So, beyond the fact that this young lady in France has done something valuable (subjective, according to her understanding of religion, I wont judge that at all), I might say that there is no reason to put the head scarf in the highest position some Muslim br. and sis do. It is an exageration of islamic practices, and has no substantial base. A Muslim sister has the choice to wear it, yes, but is stylish to arabs. There are other cutures in Islam...

    Why making a big fight for this? Eventually, the hijab has become a "flag" that is used, more or less conciously, to protest to abuses from secular western countries, with an islamic form...

    And of course, we agree that France has exagerated this bannig to this extreme. Probably under the right wing that opposes to imigration, particularly Muslim.

    So, yes, what this girl has done is brave (cutting her hair is to me way axagerated...), it is a way of protesting, it is a way to express many Muslim's frustrations. Has a religious "tone", but again, do not go to the other extreme and say hijab is fundamental part of our religion...

    At the end of the article, I still have the doubt if someone explained to this family the origin and reason of wearing the hijab. Teenagers are usually a bit exagerated and tend to put in absolute position some less important things. And other Muslims abuse of this ignorance to appeal to public as strict and loyal to Islam...


  63. aaq from india

    This is a shame on Muslims all over the world Especially to those so called ISLAMIC leaders who are puppets to our enemies. Remember you will be Questioned about this by ALLAH (swt)by simply sitting and watching injustice against Muslims and other people. Help muslims and other innocent people who are been torched by every way by racist this is your duty and bring KHILAFAH. Stand for Truth

  64. zakari nasir from nigeria

    it is totally unacceptable to us muslims. Allah will surely help is and muslims

  65. maram elsaeid from egypt

    iam sooo much sorry for what is happening there in france and in the same time i feel so much inspired by the muslim 15 years old girl who sacrificed her beauty, her reputation , her treatment at school, even after her father lost his job for her own beliefs, her ouw religion which is representing her dignity and her everything, may god bless her all her life coz we all will never forget her bravery nor her stand towards this very tough situation against the new tough rules in france and may god bless our islam and all muslims everywhere

    god is above all

    peace be with you


  66. naved from USA

    Assalam Alaikum, I respect you and your courage and May Allah Bless you and give you patience to move forward in this difficult times. Allah will give you better hair in the next world if they have been sacrificed for HIM in this world.

    I admire your courage and ask all Muslims to follow your couragious move

  67. Vivian from U.S.

    Ms. Doganay, your courage and strength brings me to tears. Your maturity and wisdom at fifteen years is admirable. Do not lose hope or fall into despair because what you are thinking is not only groundbreaking and powerful but also beautiful. You are beautiful and you have moved the world for Muslims and non-Muslims, including myself, alike. Thank you.

  68. saima from canada

    sister you are a very brave girl and to care so intensely for islam at the age of 15 is superb masha-Allah...When I read your article my eyes were full of tears but heart full of awe and respect for you...People this is Islam, we dont' sacrifice our beliefs for anyone

  69. aaq from india

    Peace and Mercy be upon you o Young Girl, you have done a thing which will make Allah Happy inshallah. Dont worry Sister be patience Islam is on the rise and soon will be a time when Islam will change the so called democracy LAWS, and bring Islamic law which will be anti racist Inshallah. Believe in Allah

  70. tima from US

    Assalaamu 'Alaykum. Her dignity and her decision has truly touched me. I am full of tears and empty in words. May Allah be with her and her family. Insha'Allah this will be a start of freedom of appearance in all the western countries, and forever she'll be the symbol for it. May Allah be with you Cennet. Be patient, stay strong :), Muslim sisters are right beside u :).

    Wa 'Alaykum Salaam

  71. Ahmed from Nigeria

    This is comletely bad of a democratic govt.what is the religious implication of a headscarf? if not mere suppression of the moslems.all i know is that Allahu subhanohu watalah would take care of everything.

  72. Bruce from US

    H.A., .., or whoever you are, you would be a better spokesperson for Islam if you kept quiet. You have made a lot of assumptions about Sameena that cloud your reasoning and obscure your point. Do you think she will be more inclined toward Muslim men after reading your diatribe? If you are really clueless about what she is saying, I suggest you reread your post. A true Yathribian would have taken the opportunity to understand the source of her anger, show that you care for her as a sister and do your best to explain your point of view.

  73. Faridah from Malaysia

    Alot of the western countries talk of democracy, freedom of speech/expression but it's all just rhetoric. The suffocated secularism in them just cannot accept one's right to practice what one believes. I suggest Cennet consider seriously migrating(hijrah) in the name of Allah. It may be difficult but when we do it under the name of Allah (tawakkal), I'm sure He will be with you.

    Your endurance and hardship will be repaid, InsyaAllah, if not now, in the hereafter.

    God Bless.

  74. Tarek Hegazi from Egypt

    God bless that girl. what she did is inspiring to Muslims. If someone can reach her, tell her i pray for her. Her sacrifice will not go unrewarded..its this faith that we want..

    God bless you so much sister,

    Tarek Hegazi

  75. Fatima from USA

    asalamo 3lkum

    She made me cry...i'm speecheless, verry brave girl baraka llaho fiki and baraka llaho fi your parents they're the one who raised and they did good masha2allah .

    el7amdoulilah islam is still strong out there very proud.

    asalamo 3lakum

  76. Urooj from Pakistan

    May Allah bless every muslim are courageous MashaALLAH ..may ALLAH lead you the best of the paths INSHALLAH

  77. Tahmid Munaz from Bangladesh

    Masha-Allah! She got the courage to honour her Government and even her Religion. She must have the Heaven. Insha-Allah.

  78. Mariam from New Zealand

    It brings me to tears too Sister, but never forget Allah will reward the steadfast.

  79. javed from india

    She is very brave girl.She has shown the true spirit of Islam which is non-violent and assetive.She has shown the to us Muslims as to how to protect your faith and yourself without being violent.She has ,in the process,exposed the hyppocratc face of 'secular' western society which trying to ban basic relogious pracices of Islam in the name of Secularism.For a Muslim girl not using a scarf as per her book ,means severe punishment on the day of judgment.For other faiths the items banned are only symbols but for a muslim lady it is part of her basic faith.I wonder why they talk about liberalism when they are so un-just.

    In any case this brave girl has found a most emphatec and fitting solution to a very tricky problem without getting provoked .Let the entire Muslim world follow taqwa and find such peacful solutions to the problems faced by the Islamic world in an unprovoked way in the true traditions of the Quran and the prophet(PBUH).Let the mighty and the un-just fail in their endevour to provoke and punish the innocent on some flimsy ground or the other.

    Let them follow the Cennet's solution.

  80. Hadijah from Uganda

    this young girl was so determined to uphold her religious thinking!

    she made me realise that some of us dont appreciate the freedom of religious association in our Countries...

    i think it was unfair to terminate her dad's employment...

    are there any human rights activists in France???

    this is the time to prove yourselves!!!

  81. Ahmed from USA

    OK all you supporters of this article. Listen up. Moral support is great, but $$$ is better. Let's see how TRUE your support is by seeing how much you are willing sacrafice to help her family financially.

  82. Bruce from US

    I admire her imagination and strength to solve a moral dilemma that no 15 year old should have to face. The French in this instance must think that separation of church and state means banning religious expression. The banning of religious expression is in fact a violation of the separation of church and state.

    As for the hajab, if it is a meaningful expression of faith, anyone should have the freedom to wear it. It has the potential, however, of becoming just another trapping of religion used by some to project false modesty and by others as a tool to subjugate.

  83. Bonita Johnson from USA

    If more people were willing to stand up for their religion, like this brave and courageous young sister, then there would be fewer laws against it. For a fifteen year-old, this sister really has the tenacity and courage to challenge unjust and unfair laws made by man. She fully recognizes and understands that it is the Will of Allah (s.w.t) that reigns supreme.

  84. hanifa from Ondonesia


    I can understand what she has done, but I'd better move to other country where wearing hijab is allowed like in Indonesia. I am also wearing veil because it's my dignity that diferentiate me and other girls. and I'd better stay here and not going anywhere else where wearing veil is not allowed. world is only the place for "waiting"

  85. najjar from Morocco

    Assalamou Alaikoum,

    I am still searching for website to financially contribute in helping, so her family may obtain their basic needs. Please post any trusted web site link here if you know it. InshaAllah if I find it first I will post it. If her family receives only one Euro (or one Dollar) once a month from each of the thousands of people, it will be of a big help to them and at the same validate our moral support. Jazzakoum Allahou Khair.

    My thanks to Islamicity/iviews for posting this article.

  86. Asia from United States

    You did the right thing. If something prevents you from pleasing Allah swt ALONE~ it is something to fight and overcome in whichever manner that seems more suitable to you. Even if it is painful, if it is preventing you from committing sin or even a CHANCE THAT IT MIGHT BE SIN in Allah's eyes, it is allll worth it!!! May the Muslims of today work harder and harder to preserve and practice Allah swt's religion, Amin.

  87. azardeen from Srilanka

    Assalamu Alikum.

    Allah will care you sister.There should be thousand like you.Thaks a lot.You are a example for all of us.There wiil be difficulties for you in this world but,you will be rewarded by allah.Wassalam Dear Bros and Sisters

  88. sujana from indonesia

    i salut for u, i'm sure Allah will always with every one who realy believe in Allah rules, just be a good moslem every second my dear sister

  89. Daniel from USA


    Even though I dislike the idea of a Country banning headscarfs because its connection with religion (it is exagerated, I think), I disagree with the whole idea of putting headscarf in an absolute position.

    As a man, a feel more attracted to a woman wearing headscarf... it all depends of culture.

    But the main reason is understanding absolute requirements. Our religion of Islam is suppose to free our minds and souls, giving peace and submitting to the Merciful God, not to enslave ourselves with cultural practices.

    Among other Arab costumes, covering the hair is one of them. As other readers stated, is not an ismalic requirement, and not necesary to keep personal beliefs untouched. Several Muslim comunities in the world do not wear it, and only is absolutized due to the preaching of some long bearded scholars and fanatics.

    But, of course, I understand the right to wear it, and the free choice of a woman to do it.


    If the law in France banns it, girl, you should whether wait until you are free of duty in the school, or decide with your parents another educational placement. But the whole idea of fighting for this does not seem reasonable to my humble understanding. It "smells" too strict and a bit exagerated.

  90. harismubarakmanzil from india

    assalamu alaikum warahmathullahi wabarakathuhu

    thanks goodness nashkurallah congragulation for this site. now all over the sunni muslim celebrating Prophit Muhammed (s a s)birth day i am also partisipated."kulluna fidaka yaaa rasoolallah, kulluna arvahana yaa rasulallah, antha ummun am abun mara aina feehima misla husnika kathuya sayyidee khairannabi"

  91. Lightlcd from usa

    I can innerstand her postion as far as education is concerned and her determination to stay in school. However, she like myself are running from the real lesson of islam and what Allah requires from us and not what others made say even the prohet muhammad himself was ordain to listen to Allah. Allah tells us through the Quran that people like those so-called secular religionist franatic will try and make us deviate from Islam...the Sunnah of allah..and we around the globe are running from all types of so-called persecution manifested not by us but by them in the mask of muslim people. Sweetheart, I am not knocking her bravery and Courage but the true factors is why? Is not her freedom, justice and equality attacked? What makes those so-called people feel they are superior to us and us to that not the work of Satan?

  92. H.A. from Yathrib

    Here we go again ! Another lady-Earthling, Ms. Sameena, who is being brain-washed by Western Media (i.e.-FOX NEWS and CNN etc) OR IS IT the simulataneous consumption of FREEDOM FRIES and BOOZE that are creating the blurriness as they compete for passing from stomach to duodenum in the name of high-spirit, modernity, and self-expression? or DOES SHE REALLY NEED SOME HELP to resolve some pre-historic emotional issues which may have stemmed from living in Muslim household?

    According to her statement as quoted here:

    "Muslim men need to get over their obsession with controlling their women's sexuality and start solving some real problems for a change."

    Since it is angrily stated, I, H.A, in contrast would like to peacefully/calmly conclude that

    she is allergic to Muslim men. HOWEVER, I,H.A., is/am baffled by WHAT COULD BE CAUSE OF such abhorance towarnd Muslim men.

    Possible scenrios:

    1. Is she an illegal immigrant in the USA, possibly marrying an Non-MUSLIM to get permanent status in the USA?

    2. Was she discplined at an young age by her parents for having high affinity for self-expressive and high-spirit life-style of the WEST?

    3. Does she think that she is too smart? Is she suffering from the same old, same old "Little Knowledge is very dangerous thing syndrome?"

    4. Has she fallen in love with the AMERICAN PIE? Has the materialism of the West finally caught up to her? Has she fallen victim to the high-spirit and "civilized" fluid of the West (..the same fluid that caused American Vice president to shoot his dear best friend in broad day light...)?

    I,H.A., wonder WHY! Why ask why? May be I should go and try some bud dry to energize the "hint-box" safely locked up in the Western quadrant of the cerebral hemisphere of my brain, all in the name of getting some clues regarding why Ms. Sameena can't tolerate Muslim men. THIS IS INDEED A REAL PROBLEM /TASK FOR I,H.A., who is an Yathribian, to solve.


  93. Shaheen from US

    For Sameena and Syed. Syed: I don't think it's fair to judge anyone, it's only for Allah to judge. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion.

    Sameena as for wearing hijab, I can understand why you think women wear it by force and it's oppressive. Maybe most of your experiences w/ muslims, women are being forced and also most Islamic societies force women to wear the scarf. On top of that many women don't have basic human rights. So unfortunately, it's easy to equate wearing the scarf equals to being oppressed. I wear the scarf and it's a CHOICE. I ONLY do it for Allah and for his sake only. It's up to us Muslims who do understand the deen (religion) and educate others.

  94. Fahad Riaz from PAKISTAN

    Aslaam O Alaikum,Bros. n Sisters,we all have to give courege to our muslim sister,who have bravely faced the injustice of her govt. & try to save her islamic idealogy,as much as she can,LAHAM DO LILLAH.I have seen that,sis sameena has written that,shaving head of girls,in islam,is against the idealogy of ISLAM.Well,i dnt know exactly about it,but SAMEENA dnt u think that,this french muslima has condemd the brutal act of injustice n lawless-ness and tried to make the muslims aware about the real face of WEST.The need of the hour,is to spread our sisters message all ove rthe world,oppose this act,on each n every forum,forward this mail to as many people as we can,so our friends will also be able to see the real face of WEST.The strongest medium nowadays is MEDIA and INTERNET.So,bros. sisters,please,make +ve use of this medium,oppose this law,may ALLAH make our voice reach to the rulling personnales.JAZAAK ALLAH AHIRA.Aslaam O Alaikum.

  95. jamilah


    We are in the world full of trials and heartaches. All of us wanted education and knowledge, and job in the future. And we do really want jannah (paradise) in afterlife.

    What we do is judge by Allah alone.

    Allah is most forgiving and most merciful.

  96. Fahad Riaz from PAKISTAN

    Aslaam O Alaikum,my muslim bros. n sisters,we all have to give courege to our sister,who have bravely faced the injustice of her govt. n ALAHAM DO LILLAH she rightly defend her islamic idealogy,n prefer it over her studies.The need of the hour is,to oppose this injustice as much as we can,via media,via internet etc. but in a decent manner,make our voice reach to the ruling personales.And oppose this brutal act,on each n every forum.And,most of all,stand shoulder to shoulder,not to divide,spread n forward this message to as many people as we can,so all of our friends will be able to view the real face of WEST.JAZAAK ALLAH AHIRA.Aslamm O Alaikum.

  97. muhammed umar from usa

    I pray that may Allah [s.w.t]gives us the iman

    to protect our religion.keep on sister ,by the grace of Allah there will be changes.

  98. amin from saudi arbia

    who you will rate first the Al-mighty who gave life, OR the nation you live in ?..........

  99. Yusuf from uk

    I salute the courage of Miss Doganay. The West should learn to practice what they preach ie respect for the inalienable right of an individual to practice his religion. I really pity the situation of all Muslim ladies who live in the west and who are desirous of practicing their religion as prescribed by Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. They should be steadfast in their resolve.


  100. Yasen from United Kingdom

    What a shocking way to interpret the dress code for muslim women from Islam.

    froma teacher's perspective the wearing of hijab is a means for noot being focussed on the learning task and a manipulative use of camouflage.

    I have worked in a Muslim school where the girls wear hijabs, and have come to realise that it is a health and safety risk, especially when the girls are doing practical work e.g woodwork, or chemistry.

    Also they can use the hijab to avoid eye contact with the teacher, and that is, like saying, 'I am blanking you'.

    From the Quran's perspective the wearing of a hijab is not an absolute requirement, it says,

    Cover your body from the neck to the ankles.

    I think the French authorities have acted within the islamic law.

    If a girl wears a hijab because she thinks her hair are a symbol of sexuality then I have to say a female bald head is an even bigger symbol of sexuality. Look at Sinead O'Connor the singer.

    The female form in all it's diversities are a symbol of beauty and sexuality, whether it is covered from head to toe or not, so does that mean that you are going to be house bound?

    This is why the Qur'an tells us that the virtue of chastity and modesty is superior, and why African women did not feel naked with only a necklace and waist band made of thread or beads.

    In their culture, they had developed a mental state of mind which made them feel clothed, just as the rest of Allah's creation do not feel naked going about in their birthday suit (the horses, camels etc) who don't need clothes to hide their sexuality.

    So I am sorry to say that this Muslim French student has made a very bold statement , but it is not her fault.

    It is the Muslim Community and it's leaders.

    Leaders that should promote healthy Muslim values.

    Unfortunately, there are no Muslim leaders who engage with secular pressures, demands and influences.

    The Muslim society is a Headless society, and so our young interpret their cultural identity in the

  101. K Mahmood from India

    Assalamu alaikum,

    I would like ot remind ourselves of a hadith.... the meanig of which would be something like 'everyone gets rewards according to inetention....'

    may Allah accept your honest intensions....and may He deliver us from such fitnah at the same time giving us enough strength to fight these fitnahs....Aameen.

  102. Farah from UK

    However did anyone know that in the Bible Corinthians 1 verse 11 I think it is, that Paul stated that a woman should "wear veil over her head or shave her head in shame........"

  103. Aboobaker Saber from South Africa

    It is a very stupid thing to do for a Muslim Girl. It is worse than going to school with a beret. She should rather drop out and continue with home schoolig. I am sure there would be someone to assist here.

  104. jalees from USA

    What this litle girl has done it shows her love for Islam.May Allah help her.She could do better thing than shaving her head.Islam says if U cannot practice Islam where U live it better to migrate and Allah definitly helps.We pray for the girl andd familyfor their iman.

  105. Oluwasanmi Ajani from Nigeria

    The decision of the French Government is realy Surprising.

    I think they are one of the country that proved to be Civilised, they claim to give every citizen freedom of speach and freedom of Religion.

    I think the french government call itself a Democratic government.

    The Question?

    Is this the FREEDOM they claim?

    is this the CIVLISATION?

    is this the true DEMOCRACY?

    We should have been tought initially that DEMOCRACY COULD BE TURNED TO DICTATORSHIP.



  106. Shariati Ali Muhammad from Canada


    We have to support this religious and God fearing sister for her committment and dedication to her religion. Allaah says: "do you think you will say you believe and you will not be tested" So as we see we all have to go through alot of sacrifices for our deen. May Allaah fill her heart with patience and perseverance.

  107. Donna from USA

    I am so impressed with Cennet.

    I am not of the Muslim religion, but I do read the IslamCity Bulletin (where I found this article). My heart has opened to this young lady. To be so true to her own beliefs, only demonstrates how far she will go in her own life. I am so very proud of her, and fully support her!

    May your path be fully blessed and absolutely abundant Cennet! Keep your spine, your beliefs, and your strong, independent streak going. It WILL take you far!

    Blessings, Blessings, Blessings and much Love to you and your family! Donna

  108. Shefiq from India

    Assalam u aliekum readers

    Cennet Doganay is an inspiration for today's muslims who under one pretext or the other, disobey islamic principles.

    Whether her step is legal or not,she has the courage to sacrifice that which she thought would interfere with her religious obligations despite hair being something a woman would give anything for.

  109. Izawra from USA

    Way to go Cennet Doganay! I think this muslima did the bravest thing! May Allah bring glad tidings and Mercy upon her. She is a great example of the one with dignity and honour whose faith and guidance of Allah keeps her strong as steel! Keep up, someday they will know and understand:) InshaAllah!


    P.S. When you give up something that's so dear to you, you gain something greater that Allah has planned 🙂

  110. Syed from Canada

    Sameena, In Islam men are ordered to lower their gaze while outside, men or women are not allowed to mix, men are not allowed to shake hand with women and vise versa. Men have some freedom outside as he is responsible for providing to his family and women are more free in home. So its not the issue of men controlling women, its about both following the commands of Allah.

    "practice racist customs such as caste stratifications, which is a much bigger issue than what a woman wears."

    Regarding India, that's what I wanted to tell you, that you probably end up with men (father, brother or husband....) who are Muslim by name and Hindu by deeds and the end result is a confused product like yourself, confused between religion and culture.

    Hey, Kumar, yes most probably my ancestors were Hindus, Alhumdulillah, its was the mercy of Allah that he elevate us from a subhuman life as a dalit to my real identity as a noble creation of god (a human).

    You are comparing oranges with apples, Saudis never claim they are democratic and free society, Saudis are not hypocrites unlike French..

    Muslim wont leave their way of life even in west, that is because of their firm believe unlike other religious groups or systems. Muslims know they are here to stay and will change the world Inshallah.

    If in secularism personal freedom of people will be taken away by force of law, what is good about it ?

  111. fareeha from pakistan

    Dear Cennet,

    You did a right thing & we all ar proud of you.

    I personally appreciate your step & loved the way you showed others "how to do right for oneself & for Islam".


    Fareeha Afzal



  112. Sameena from US/india

    Warski, did you not read what she wrote:

    "The hair is a symbol of sex and sensuality, and in our religion it's considered improper to reveal or flaunt it before men." Now, why exactly is a woman supposed to hide her sexuality from men?

    As for Syed, what do you mean by "end up with". Why do people like you always assume that you are only ones who know correct Islam? In India, there are countless Muslims who wear the hijab but practice racist customs such as caste stratifications, which is a much bigger issue than what a woman wears. Muslim men need to get over their obsession with controlling their women's sexuality and start solving some real problems for a change.

  113. Bint Laiq from USA

    I am so moved by this little girl's courage and defiance. Though, I am not sure that what she did is corrrect but obviously she did not have a choice And Sameena I totally diagree with your point of view though their may be cases but I started wearing Hijaab only after what I saw was being done to my religion by western societies. I have lived and studied here for fifteen years And I feel so liberated and so proud of my new Identity that, I am a muslim women and I am proud to be different then others. I am wearing Hijaab because Allah Subhan Taala has ordered us to dress modestly and, has made us more precious. I have seen both sides of the end and I know what is best.

  114. L Alahem from USA

    Asalaam alikum,

    The thing I find most objectionable, whether in Europe or in here in the US, is this idea that I must be "protected" against myself if I choose to align myself with Islam.

    I am a free muslim woman, and my choice to wear the hijab or not is my choice, not my father's or my husband's or the state's.

    There are those who would advocate that Muslim States should impose hijab in retaliation. Do you not realize that 2 wrongs will never make a right. Why would you, who suffer injustice, inflict it on others.

    Strength sister!

    L. Alahem

  115. Amera Qureshi from Canada

    I am very sad to see that still in 'civilized' places in the world this is happening. Women are being forced into taking off their hijabs, which is even worse than forcing women to wear hijabs. It is only the ignorance of other people that do not allow them to see how beneficial the hijab is to us women, and lets them criticize us for something that they do not truly understand. I was appalled at what one woman wrote, a comment against this article, because forcing women one way or the other is wrong, no matter if it is for them to keep the hijab on or take it off. I am not sure if I would have had the courage to shave my whole head in a situation such as this, but then again I live in a country Alhamdulillah where people are not forced to do anything. I most likely just would have stopped going to school, and would have gotten enough people to do so with me that it made a global issue. Im sure that whatever Cennet did was right for her, and it is most importantly the intention that counts. For all of those sufferring women who are forced to take off their hijabs, only Allah knows their true intentions, no matter if they wear their hijab or not, and will reward them accordingly in the afterlife InshAllah. Our life today is only for tomorrow.

  116. warski from usa


    Your comments for support of the French law really shows your lack of understanding of Islam and the purpose for the hijab. It is interesting how ignorance of the hijab still prevails.

  117. shada from uj

    i admire cennet for her strangth and courage. few muslims would have the courage to do what she did. may allah(swt) reward her.

    we need more muslims like her, more people to fight for whats right

  118. Aisha from USA

    Assalam mu'alakom I'm so proud of you little sister.You took a big step out there in this hard and sometimes cold world. I just want you to take this as experience,learn from it and it will Insha Allah make you a better muslim.You left a mark in the world.One that we all should follow to stand firm as muslims.May Allah be pleased with you.Alhamdullilah.

  119. Romesh Chander from USA

    If the issue of headscarf is so important to muslim school-age girls, then why have not all muslim girls in France shaved their heads? I doubt the issue of headscarf is important to any more than 0.1% of muslim girls; otherwise, we would have seen massive resistance by muslim girls to dictates of French government and school authorities. And I have come across only a sporadic and symbolic resistance. In my opinion it is merely a political issue, not a religious one.

    I wonder if these people are in the wrong country; after all, France and just about all of Europe, US and Canada are decadent and every muslim knows it, but they still keep on coming to their shores. Why do they want to come to these decadent countries? Personally, I just ignore decadent parts of these societies and enjoy the rest. After all, societies in India, Pakistan, and other muslim countries are decadent, but in their own ways. So, folks, decadence is the norm, not the exception.

    Is religion only about head-scarves or beards or turbans or is it lot more than that? What is the real religion about and is anybody really practising it? I think the practises are outwardly and superficial.

  120. mahmoud al-halabi from lebanon

    i want to say that what you have done is the bravest thing i have ever seen . shows that in the darkest hour allah will light our path , and in france you cenet are the light . they might try to change our traditions and our religion but with people like you i guess they know the answer .

    dont be shy or anything , walk tall infront of people cause you opposite to every person have principles and the respect of every person.

    It is with people like you our spirit grows and morals rise to the sky , i might not be in france to give you my support , ill just pray to you and say " allah is the great , greater than the whole universe ".

    mahmoud al-halabi

    (mechanical eng.)

  121. maher from USA

    French's history is full of government anti Islamic sentiment/action. From occuption to theft of the mustlim land/treasures, it never relented throught history. the only thing that is new is that now the hate is publicly declared. dear sisters, since the men can not protet your rights you have to do it yourselves.

    the HIJAB is not the issue, it is you, our presence and your dedication wich is the propagation through example that is being feared. France is not afraid of any reprecusion from any muslim Gov. because they indeed know whom they have installed in order to rule and prolonge the occupation. and when all fails, we can alwys see the true face come up with arms, embargo, >>>>.ALLAH has decreed it upon, us the muslims, to regaine our self respect through our affiliation with God and not our country or region. Unity is the solution.

    May Allah bless, support, enrich her Iemaan, for she is an example for us all.

    thank you sister

    thank you.



  123. Kumar from USA

    People have a choice- if they do not like the laws of the country

    they live in, they can always leave. I know many a French

    professional living in USA for good, as they are fed up with 40%

    taxes that go to support liberal social programs back home.

    These programs benefit the new immigrants. In return, it is a

    simple thing to obey the laws of the land. If the Muslims get

    integrated with the French, and study hard and become great

    scientists and engineers, that will bring pride to their adopted

    country as well as to Islam. Shaving off the head is a rather silly

    notion. In Saudi Arabia, even Western non-Muslim women are

    required to hide their hair. Why is that? Because that is the law of

    the land. All the Muslim men who are protesting the French

    Laws, why can't you first change the laws in some of the Islamic

    countries? It is best to get integrated with the country's customs

    and laws. I was in Norway last year, most Norwegians are

    unhappy with the Muslim immigrants in their country- because

    the Muslims are not getting integrated. One can see in Oslo,

    Muslim men running around in flowing robes, not speaking any

    Norwegian at all. Local people look at them with suspicion. Why

    can't one be a god Muslim without scarf on the head? I am proud

    of Sameena- proud to call her a sister from India. On the other

    hand, my fellow Indian, Syed, who lives in a secular country,

    Canada, seems to think Secularism is a disease. I do not

    understand what his comment is meant to convey- 'Muslim on

    the outside, and Hindu on the inside'. Perhaps he has forgotten

    that his ancestors were Hindus at one time. I hope there are

    more people like Sameena among Muslims- will be a definite

    improvement. Then we will all be, despite what religion one

    belongs, truly humans on the inside and out.

  124. K. Yoosufani from USA

    salamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah! You are trying to resist french dressing law and in doing that you have shown remarkable courage. One of the options you and your family have is to migrate to a muslim country. Then you will have no problem wearing hijab & niqab while continuing your studies. In Surah Ahzab, Allah SWT says:

    "WA Qarna Fee Buyootikunna" meaning stay in your homes (check n Tafseer for correct meaning). The verse for niqab is also in Surah Ahzab.

    Have you considered the option of studying to become an Aalima. You will acquire the knowledge left by Prophet Mohammed SAS and teach this knowledge to other women. According to Ahadith, an Aalim/Aalima is like a Full Moon giving light to others whereas worshippers are like stars. The birds in the sky & the fish in the waters seek forgiveness for an Aalim. Also, Ahadith tell us: Whoever walks on a road to seek knowledge ('Ilm), Allah SWT makes him/her walk on the road to Jannah. Being an Aalim is like doing the job of Prophets-the best job because you then become a Musleh. And Muslihoon are very dear to Allah SWT. I love to be an Aalim myself if the circumstances allow me. You will live a very peaceful life MaShaAllah. There is a DarulUloom in Buffalo N.Y. where students go to become Aalim. You get to study UloomulQuran (sciences od the Holy Quran), learn Arabic and study all aspects of our Deen. You never have to shave you head. The DarulUloom will not ask you to pay if you are unable. They also teach basic skils that you learn in school. (in other words they have studies upto high school). Your dad can find a job in USA or another country of his choice. On the day of Judgment, Allah SWT InshaAllah will make you wear a Crown of Honor and you parents will be granted a dress of honor. They will say why we are given a dress of honor? They will be told this is because of your daughter who studied and acted on the Holy Quran. According to Islam, you should leave the country that is oppressive & go elsewhere.

  125. Cheyenne Jumanah from USA

    My heart was so moved with tears by your sincerity and courage. As an Muslim of African decent (ancestor's were slaves) I feel very much your commitment to your humanity, as evidenced by your Faith and your dislike to have your humanity taken away or denied. Our religion is a gift to humanity and young people like you keep that gift fresh, viable, and applicable. May Allah reward you in the paradise with all that you strive for and give you honor in this world and the next. I am pleased to know that you are here. Peace my Sister: Your Sister Cheyenne

  126. halim

    throughout human history the truth was always ridiculed, chided and at odds with others

  127. omar from myanmar

    Why not islamic country ban for those woman who shows their Breast and their under pants??

    they also should ban wearing all the western clothes especially the lady clothes, which uncover all their SEX things

  128. Miranda from BARBADOS

    SubhanAllah, my sister, my heart bleeds for you and all those who must make such hard choices in the cause of Allah, but I am proud of all of you. Remember - Allah does not burden us beyond what we can bear and the wrongdoers will NEVER triumph. Be strong! This is a small thing and it too will pass. Alhamdulillah that we have ISLAM. ALLAH IS SUFFICIENT FOR OUR NEEDS. My sister, do not despair of Allah's Mercy; His promise is true; and His reward is beyond measure. The victory will be ours someday. ALLAHU AKBAR!

  129. Syed from Canada

    Sameena, I am an Indian Muslim and I know your problem, look like you end up with one of those who are Muslim from outside and hindu from Inside. I feel sorry for you that you never had the opportunity to know Islam.

    Secularism in itself is become a religion and by forcing others to follow secular ideas the French government is contradicting what it's trying to preach.

    So much for the sake of freedom and democracy the west is killing thousands of innocent people only to let few teachers in schools to take away individuals freedom. Stop the hypocrisy west we will never accept you as civilized.

    Mashallah, blessed is this sister cennete and her parents.

    Inshallah French will be humiliated for their actions.

  130. Karin Christa James from U.S.A.

    What a sad story! I would have never expected France do pass a law like that! It is a tragedy that some students are not going to school now! I wonder if the teachers feel they have failed their students! I think that law should be brought before a higher court - perhaps Inshalla it will be changed again allowing Muslim girls to wear their covering.

  131. Um Sarah from USA

    May Allah Subhanawata'alah give you courage and patience to bear the unjustices of this new oppressive French law. How can a secular country like France put a ban on someone's right to dress their way? I think they are afraid the French women will be influenced by the decency and modesty of the Islamic code of dress and the respect the women get and they might embrace Islam in great numbers which is happening already in many parts of the Western world. Consequentially, the more they force the Muslim women to change her dress code the more she will appreciate and respect the modesty that Islam showers upon a Muslim women. I for one appreciate and love the beauty of being dressed with all the requirements of Islamic dress code for the women.

  132. halim

    What Muslim can learn from this episode is, why so hesitate to implement Islamic laws in all Islamic countries. We can make non-muslims bow to our laws under the pretext of laws of the land just as the French and the British government did..

  133. Hagar from USA

    I pray for all of the Muslims of France. It pains me to know that individual freedoms are being trampled upon in a so called democratic nation. It is wrong to deny people education and their rights because of their religious beliefs. As an American I cherish the ability to participate in all activities and be a practicing Muslima. This law is wrong and must be amended.

  134. Aman from USA

    Wow! May Allah reward you for your efforts and the courage He has obviously bestowed on you. Masha-Allah! Really your courage and strength puts most of us to shame. I just want to applaud you and hope you manage to stay strong till this stupid law is overturned which it will have to be at some point. After all the Muslim population in France is large & I can't understand why you have not come together to make it a defining election issue, or even put out a candidate who can make it far enough in the election to at least debate it on TV preferably a hijab wearing Muslim candidate. In fact I would advise the Muslim sisters in France to start an annual march in the streets of France or rather an annual "Fashion Show" of women wearing hijabs from different parts of the world both modern and ancient designs,european and non-european, Muslims, Christian nun etc etc & see if you can get famous french designers to come up with new designs of the hijab all on the anniversary of the passage of this stupid law till it is overturned. In anycase may Allah reward you for your efforts, and know that your Muslim brothers and sisters in the USA and arround the world support you.

  135. paagle from USA

    I'm an unbeliever who has numerous philosphical problems with Islam (mainly boiling down to what I see as a legalistic and highly self-righteous nature that tends to create and exacerbate friction with non-believers), but I have enormous respect for this woman. The French law is ridiculous. While I strongly disagree with attempts by Muslims in non-Muslim countries to have government sanctioned laws seperate from those of the unbelievers, the French law is a clear infringement on personal freedoms and is furthermore clearly disciminatorily aimed at the Muslim population. This woman should be able to practice all those aspects of her religion that do not infringe upon the rights of others. Non-muslims cannot assume that all muslim women wearing hijab are doing so unwillingly. Therefore we should not attempt to prevent any of them from covering their heads if they truly believe God commanded it. Ms Doganay's actions are a bold stand for personal freedoms.

    I doubt you muslims would like my views on Islam, but I certainly stand with all muslims on their right to practice all aspects of their religion that do not infringe upon non-believers (including those that used to be muslim!).

  136. naasira from usa

    May Allah reward you and your family.We need more sisters like you.To stand up for the rights to cover our hair and practice our religion. What you are doing is a great. Tell your Dad ,Allah will give him a better job,make duwa. And remember that you have best helper on your side ----Allah .

  137. Sameena from US/India

    I wonder how many women who were forced, either overtly or in subtle ways, to wear hijab by their families and husbands have been freed by the French law. Hijab is really about fear of a woman's sexuality, fear of her identity. Why is it our job to guard the morality of our men, we dont have to hide our bodies, if men can manage to have their hands on the nuclear button without atomic bombs being dropped all over the place, I am sure they can manage to keep their u-no-what in their pants. The girl is fifteen years old, she is a child, she doesnt know men, especially Muslim men. When she begans to understand men, when she begans to interact with them as a wife (and hopefully a fearless wife), then she will have second thoughts about this whole hijab business. I am for the French law because I care more about those women who are freed from forcibly wearing hijabs than I do about Quran thumping goody two shoes women who love getting 'atta boy's from their families and in-laws.

  138. abdul algamal from canada

    May Allah give you the best of your intention and as you know in the Hadeeth that if you leave some thing for Allah he will replace it with better than what you need.

    sister i am with you and may allah replace each one of your hair with a house in heaven.

  139. Sideeque from USA

    This is a very courageous act of faith. It is amazing that the French Government will make a law to prevent God loving and God fearing people from dressing with modesty and decency, while they allow the filth of their society to walk around their cities almost naked with mini skirts, shorts bikinis,etc, etc., almost showing their private parts in public. Every muslim man and women should take note of this blessed courageous act this young muslima has taken against French Satanic laws, which appear to want to disrobe muslim women in public. I pray that Allah will continue to shower this young siter with many blessings, and strength her iman. Allah-u-Akbar.

  140. Amilcar Bermudez from United States

    I think that sister Helene acted as she believe, being a muslim myself I support her and all sisters like her who strive to preserve our way of life, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon her, she will be rewared greatly in the hereafter.

  141. meriam bakker from england

    My dear sister,

    Assalamoulikoum i admire your courageous decision.It isn't fair of the French government to ban the headscarf in the first place.Where is the freedom of expression in that?

    I really sad to hear that your father lost your job as a result.But don't worry Allah will open a way for your father which will be better for him and you,Incha Allah.You've shown that you've a stong character and sincere people will only admire you for it don't worry about the rest Allah is the best of planners.May Allah bless you and your family and all the muslims to be sincere in our actions and deeds,amin.

    Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fi amanillah.

    Yours sincerely,

    Meriam Bakker.

  142. zaman from uk

    the sister is a mujahid other french sisters who have been forced to unviel at schools should follow this dear sisters example

  143. nafisa chalchal from canada

    I am against the idea of her head being shaved.

    As a muslim I cover my head as well,but if we are not allowed to practice our relegion we dont have to shave our head. This is never done before and doing so would be an exaggeration in the relegion.

  144. Amber from United States

    I was moved by your boldness. I think it takes a lot of courage and strength for a girl/women to become bold. It takes an even greater person to look past the beauty. I applause you for for your sabr. May Allah give you the reward in this life and in the hear after. I think it takes a big person to make a statement and you have clearly shown yourself to be one.

  145. abdus-Saboor Shakirullah from USA

    May Allah continue to give you his protection from the French Dressing Law. Sisters in France, we who live in the U.S.A.are very proud of you for standing up for your religion.This is a act of great courage and conviction.May Allah shower you with his mercy and bless you with his paradise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As-Salaamu Alaikum

  146. C. Martel

    If she thinks she "beat France's ban on Islamic headscarves in school - by shaving her head" she is truly dillusional.

  147. Abu Sadiki from America


    This article is touching because it is a testiment to the will of Allah. No matter what laws man create these laws should not supercede the laws of the Quran, or islamic customs. This is a paramount flaw that exist within the Christian world their religion revolves around their lifestyle. We as Muslims are taught that our world, life and mere being revolves around Islam. There is a place for man's laws as long as they do not outright contradict or attempt to supercede Allah's laws as he has set forth for us as Muslims.


    Bro. Abu Sadiki

  148. umyusuf

    Mr Billy

    This whole world is open to Muslim, it all belongs to one God. Who knows what is store for this girl if she goes to a muslim country? Turkey and I believe Tunisia there is some kind of ban on hijab. In malaysia you can't wear niqab (with only eyes exposed). Unfortunately there is no true justice in muslim countries either.

  149. 3omar from UK

    Big cheer to her, France's laws make a mockery of their supposed liberty they so cherish. You have the liberty to dress how they want you to dress.

    Anyway, French Muslims should fight this using the European law. The clothes a Muslim wears (man or woman) are NOT religious symbols. We dress according to a commandment. It 's the same reason we don't eat pig. So this French law could also be used to force French Muslim students to eat pig at school, in their warped logic, not eating pig could be construed as a religious symbol. Stupid isn't it! The law goes against any definition of the freedom that's supposed to be around in Europe.

  150. zahed from canada

    May Allah reward her in this life and here-after Ameen.

  151. robina from canada

    A 15 year old has shown us what the French government and most in the society cannot do, which is stand up for her belief without hurting anyone. By choosing Allah over social norms she has definitely inspired people beyond words. May Allah reward her in this world and hereafter, Ameen.

  152. mauroof from Canada

    dear daughter.for surely ALLAH is with you. You have shown great courage.the reward will be great .i m surprised why they allow or rather respect their nuns in headscarfs.poor people are distracted from their religon who will be responsible .as it is said in QURAN SURAH 3, AYAT 64 ."O PEOPLE OF THE BOOK!COME TO COMMON TERMS BETWEEN US AND YOU THAT WE WORSHIP NONE BUT ALLAH , THAT WE ASSOCITE NO PARTNER WITH HIM .THAT WE ERECT NOT FROM AMONG OURSELVES,LORDS AND PATRONS OTHER THAN ALLAH."

  153. hindatu from nigeria

    i was reall in tears can not even finish readin her article. irealy feeld 4 her and i admire her courage may ALLAH rewards her and ease her suffering amin.

  154. Saba Ahmed from USA

    Subhanallah! May Allah bless you for this struggle. You gave up your crowning glory for the sake of Allah. Allah will surely reward you with the best crown in both this world and in the akhirah. You are certainly an example for others to follow.Inshallah.

  155. bello muhammad from NIGERIAN

    where is freedom? where is justice? may Allah see you thru your ordeals my beloved sis.

  156. Barakath Neesa from Singapore

    Sister Cennet has amazing courage and would be inspirational to many.

    Being someone who adorns the hijab, I can relate to how she felt when the new law was imposed.I already feel an emotional attachment to her, even though I have not met her.

  157. Tarek from Egypt

    Brave sister. Her story should make the French reconsider the injustice.

  158. Aisha Arsenault from USA

    This article saddens me greatly. The idea that a young girl would have to shave her head to go to school is repulsive. In the past girls were sent home from school for showing too much; now they are sent home for showing too little?

    I understand the importance of separation of church and state. It's worked well for us here in the U.S., but this is not the seperation of relgion from politics. On the contrary it is the seperation of Muslims from their traditions. If it were not so directly aimed at Muslims it could be considered fair, but not as it is.

    I applaud this young girls' efforts. May Allah bring her a happy future that include long, luxurious hair!

  159. M. from USA

    The following ayah from Surah Al-Buruj says much:

    ?? ????? ????? ???????? ? ???????? ?? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ? ??? ???? ??????

    Those who persecute (or draw into temptation) the Believers,

    men and women, and do not turn in repentance, will have the

    Penalty of Hell: They will have the Penalty of the Burning Fire.

    May Allah make it easy for all muslims around the world who are

    being persecuted for their adherence to the deen. Ameen.

  160. khan from US

    Wearing hijab, scarfs, having beards, and loose dresses are very good and possibly Islamic signs but if these are banned by the Governments of France and other countries it is a difficult. These westrern governments started this and they may continue and say all people should be same in color, built etc.

    The Islamic countries should ban the westerners wearing western dresses (suits & ties), shaving beard and impose decent or muslim culture things in response to French action.

    They call STATE & RELIGION. It is ridiculous & we see state & religion are not seperate.All politicians go & take advice of their preists, and many times they are puppets of one religion section(Evangelists).

    The western countries are scared to see Islam growing and they are doing their best to wipe the Islam, institutions and its values by wars, media, invasions, holocast/genocide of muslims, spreading chistianity and so on. Some hypocrite muslim leaders are going with them.

  161. Hannahzarah Avarraschild from U.S.A.

    I think any country that forbids a member of a religion from wearing symbols of that religion can not call itself a free country. Using fear as an excuse is nonsense. That is like the days when females were not allowed to go to school because the authorities claimed that their presence distrubed the boys studies. It is not requiring the 'fearful' ones to grow up and accept responsibility for their own reactions. I think Cennet is a very couragous person. She does not appear to be attention seeking nor does she seem to be defiant for defiance sake. It is a shame that people listen to their prejudices rather than accepting that others have different ways of doing things.

  162. halim

    Life is not a free life in a christian democratic countries. They impose all kind of hardships and force muslim women to bow to the laws of the land.Can they accept all muslim democratic countries to impose non-muslim women to ware hijab... to bow to the laws of the land!

  163. Norman Valdez(ihlyas abdul-kareem) from U.S.

    may allah make it easier for her and her family inshallah.ameen

  164. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    Poor Cennet.

    What u did was to succeed in committing three bad things instead of one. All in an effort to do the right thing? Do u know that u can even denounce ur belief under compulsion and later revert back again? Or u can eat haram meat in the absence of halal and still be ok? Why go to the extent of seeing ur father out of work? Or worse changing ur physical appearance to appear like man, something which Islam prohibits?

    No Cennet, u are wrong. You should have consult ur parents or the ulamah before taken this decision, and 'm sure will have advised u wisely on what to do. At ur age and considering the fact that u are a woman ur parents have a large say in what u do (after due investigation). After all they are much wiser than u.

    So my advise for u is to grow ur hair, go back to school and may be when the time comes u may be able to change the obnocious law or at least be part of the vanguard to do so. No hurry. The law of Allah shall be the ultimate no matter how long it takes. It could be now, or the time of our great grand children or beyond. Who knows? The knowledge and power is with Allah, the supreme, the wise.

  165. Ngwa Neba Tonji from Cameroon

    When I read this article, I felt ashame for myself not having the courage that my younger sister in France has (all muslims are brothers and sister). She is a model and Heroes.

    I shaved my beards when I was going to the west, but I will never do that again, even if a band is put on growing beards.

    May Allah grant cennet the life of this world and the life of the hereafter in abundance.

  166. Fathima Ali from Canada

    Reading this article brought tears to my eyes. To rip off the freedom and liberty of so many millions of muslim women in France is indeed a shameful act, for a country that stands for liberty and freedom.Unfortunately freedom, liberty and democracy in the West work only one sided.

    BRAVO!!Cennet Doganay! for her bravery and courage!!Being only 15 years old and making a choice like this for the love of God is indeed very great.

  167. billy from Malaysia

    Come to malaysia or any muslim country where u can wear yr hijab....why stay in a place that does not suit yr culture......don't let the economic benefits of staying in the first world counntry stop u from coming to live in a developing world.....

    yr skills and expertise can help undeveloped muslim countries develop....why stay in france...get out, u are not welcome there...come and live in a place where u are welomed.

  168. christopher from usa

    after reading this article, i was so inspired by this young girls actions. if we all demonstrated this type of courage and love for Allah we would live in a better world. Even at such a young age, she knows that Allah should be the most important aspect of our lives and his happiness comes before anything else, inshAllah, she will be rewarded greatly for her actions and also for setting such a tremendous example for millions of muslims across the globe

  169. Charles Jacks from USA

    The principles actions and the teachers' reaction indicate this isn't about separation of church and state but about imposing their will upon Muslim children. Conform or be punished. The states action was more about intolerance to Muslim visibility.

    Firing this girls father demonstrates a country unable to handle it's own embarrassment over what it forced a young woman to do.

    Her courage should inspire others, muslim and not, to stand up for a woman's rights.