When I wore the hijab there was nothing unusual that happened to me and nothing very different that I experienced while going about my day - most of the time I forgot it was there. I realised that it was more of an experience for myself, rather than an experience to judge the reactions of other people towards me.
I stand in solidarity with the Muslim community because some of the greatest examples of love, hospitality and compassion have been modelled to me by good friends who happen to also be Muslim, but unfortunately this is not the view of Islam or its followers that is championed through our media sources of late.
The main thing I've loved about my Hijab is how people have managed to treat me both differently and the same. I say this mainly in reference to boys, I find that guys still treat me as the same old Aemun that they knew before and yet at the same time they have that bit of respect, to not touch me, to keep a slight bit of distance and sometimes, in extreme cases, to lower their gaze.
In trying to figure out whether the women depicted in the video are cool or whether cool is degrading/objectifying the Muslim female identity, we're clearly in a spin this week.
Instead of talking about or for Muslim women, our research puts the voices of Muslim women front and centre: to give voice to their silent and overlooked stories of discrimination, bigotry and hate, stories that for many are far too real aspects of their everyday lives. More real that is than the newspaper headlines asking whether to ban or not ban the 'burqa'.
I am definitely against the niqab for a variety of reasons: Many people see it as a visual proof of subordination of females. People in the United Kingdom see it as a rejection of British culture and refusal to integrate. One is tempted to ask why they don't choose to live in an Islamic country and enjoy their Hijabs and Niqabs unhindered and unnoticed.
If the accusation is that the banning of the niqab goes against religious freedom, the foremost question must be whether the niqab itself has any kind of theological basis. Until now there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that it has, and this is what appears to have got lost in the debate.