People react to a woman wearing a hijab in many ways, but most often it's negative. She may be seen as an outsider, repressed, out of touch, and some people will even assume she holds extremist views. Much of this prejudice stems from misunderstandings of what a hijab is and what it symbolizes.
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A hijab is different from a niqab or burka. A niqab covers all of the woman, except her eyes. A burka covers her completely but has a mesh area over her eyes. A hijab, while a general term for a veil, usually covers her hair and neck, leaving her face exposed.
Although the Quran doesn't explicitly state that women should wear hijabs, it does emphasize the importance of modesty for both men and women. Some women consider wearing a hijab their religious obligation and, in Iran, the law requires them to wear one. Many women also wear a hijab or other type of covering for reasons unrelated to their religious beliefs, including conforming to cultural norms where they live or because it's the style of dress that makes them feels the most comfortable.
Read more about the meaning of Hijabs:
BBC: What's the difference between a hijab, niqab and burka?
ABC: Explainer: Why do Muslim women wear a burka, niqab or hijab
Elle: What the media consistently gets wrong about Muslim women and the hijab