As salaamu alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
I gave a speech in college about wearing niqaab. I was the only niqaabi there, so it seemed appropriate. Here's what I said.
"It's a controvertial issue; all you can see are my eyes. Wearing the face veil is my personal choice. I’m not oppressed; I’m just doing my thing.
Islam mandates that Muslim women cover everything but their hands and faces from non-relative, marriageable men. Here is why some of us choose to cover our faces as well.
I became Muslim over 20 years ago and only decided to cover my face 5 years ago while living here in the United States. In fact, in the 6 years I’ve been living here and my previous time in England I learned that the majority of women who cover their faces are native to the country they live in so most of them here are American and most in England are British.
The three main reasons I, and women like me cover our faces are:
1) To protect ourselves.
a. Wearing the veil not only identifies us as Muslim women, it serves as a barrier between the outside world and us. Without a face to focus on, men don’t usually approach us for friendly social interaction.
b. 1 in 6 women are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime here in the USA. We don’t present anything that might attract or incite those men who cannot control themselves.
c. Serial killers are notorious for targeting certain types of women with specific physical attributes; we don’t allow them that knowledge.
2) To safeguard our family life.
a. We save our beauty, make-up, henna, perfume and little black dresses for our husbands. They are his exclusively, not for the eyes or enjoyment of any other man. We never hear the question, “Who are you getting all dressed up for?” or “Where are you going dressed like that?” because we only dress up for our husbands and ourselves. There is no fear that we are trying to attract other men, which builds a very trusting relationship.
3) To protect and respect the rest of society.
a. We don’t want to attract a man away from his wife, family.
b. We don’t want to present to any other woman’s partner something he might prefer over her.
c. We don’t want to cause any insecurities to other women.
d. We don’t want to entice men who are unmarried and don’t have an outlet for their desires.
Each one of us acts according to what he or she believes is good and right. Hopefully now when you see someone covered as I am, you can understand that we are happily behind the veil. "