After the liberation of several women, held captive by the Islamic State, by the U.S.-led coalition of Kurdish militia and Arab allies, the region is experiencing a renewed sense of purpose and hope. These Muslim women, who, for years have been wearing the burqa, a traditional dress that covers the complete body of a female, are now burning them in a symbolic manner.

In a defying and symbolic gesture, the Muslim women, who were held captive by the ISIS, and later freed in large numbers by the advancing coalition forces, have been seen celebrating their freedom by denouncing their burkas and setting them ablaze. Surprisingly, instead of drawing criticism and condemnation for their acts, these women are being joined in their celebration by locals and have won the admiration of religious leaders in Syria.

Is burqa truly a tradition in Islam?

Despite Muslim clerics and even majority of the women defending the burqa, Islamic experts have a completely different opinion. Interpretations of Quran, the holy book of Islam, reportedly find no mention of the word or its compulsion for women. In other words, Islam doesn’t appear to mandate women to wear burkas and neither does it justify disciplining those who refuse to wear the attire. In essence “Burqa” has nothing to do with Islam, claim a large number of Muslim scholars.

ISIS steadily losing control over Syria and the women

The U.S. led coalition forces have managed to reclaim close to 70 percent of the region which was under the ISIS control.

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In June, 19-year-old Souad Hamidi drew international attention and highlighted the women’s liberation from the radical Islamist regime, by tearing off her burqa and setting it on fire as a symbol of open defiance.

Hamidi narrates a sordid tale of torture and abuse by the Islamic State terrorists. She shared that the militants forced women to cover their faces with the Islamic veil and threatened to kill anyone who disobeyed. The group has been oppressing the moderate Sunni-majority nation, but the tyranny is being diminished steadily by the advancing coalition forces.