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Hijab is a term that does not refer to one particular type of clothing, but rather to a set of dress code rules that devout followers of Islam abide by. Male hijab can include such features as untrimmed beards, simple adornment and an avoidance of too much red clothing. These rules, however, vary with individual schools of religious thought.
A feature of religions, such as Christianity, is that many different authorities exist and different people subscribe to varying beliefs. This is also the case in Islam, where disparate religious leaders interpret the Koran and other Islamic material in distinct ways. The form that male hijab takes in these distinct religious groupings can vary considerably.
Common features of male hijab in Islam, however, include the concept of awrah, which refers to parts of the body that the religious authorities state have to be covered. For men, the awrah area runs from the bellybutton to the knees. Devout followers keep this area covered at all times. Trouser length may also be exact, under the dress code, and if they hang past ankle length then the wearer may be breaking the rules of his religion.
Color is also a feature of male hijab clothing. Red is an undesirable color when it is worn often, and for most hijab codes, green and white clothes are more favorable. A tucked-in shirt may also be against the rules, as well as tight-fitting clothes. Western-style clothing is sometimes regarded as an affront to Islamic traditions, and some authorities also forbid their followers to wear clothes with representations of people or animals on them.
Modesty is one of the fundamental components of hijab, whether for men or women. While women's hijab clothing generally covers much of the body, the modesty of male hijab stems from the lack of fashionable adornment, or clothes that change with the styles of the time. Expensive or flashy jewelry or accessories also do not form part of male hijab, as the wearer may be trying to show off in front of others. Adornments that can be seen as feminine, like necklaces, may also be off the approved list of accessories. Silk is another feminine fabric that may be forbidden.
Some Islamic men also do not cut their beards, and do not grow long hair, as this contravenes the dress code rules of their religious leaders. Much of the male hijab tradition stems from the clothes that Islamic people used to wear in their native countries. Often, the clothes had practical uses, such as a loose tunic to keep the man cool under a hot sun, or as identifying features between different groups in a region. Some Islamic people wear hijab to express their support for Islam, but when they live in countries where most people subscribe to a different set of moral rules, this can be a factor in integration problems between the two cultures.
It all comes down to mob mentality and one dubious rule book that is wide open to its interpretation.
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