The Hijab phenomenon, in the eyes of many Iraqis, can be linked to the influence of neighboring Islamic-ruled countries.
Yanar Mohammed, the head of the Iraqi Womens Group, told ABC News the phenomenon was enforced indirectly by "the militants who represent the ideologies of their countries." She added that members of al Qaeda "actually distributed the full hijab worn in Afghanistan and forced women [in Iraq] to wear it. One woman who refused ... was killed the next day."
After 2003, Iraqis say, militants tried to cast a more religious character on the country's secular society in a number of other ways, such as prohibiting young men from wearing short pants or smoking cigarettes in public.
For a time, hubble-bubble smoking pipes were prohibited in Baghdad coffee shops, and weddings and parties became taboo, after Iraqi state television ran a graphic story about a bride who was slaughtered in the province of Diyala because al Qaeda in Iraq deemed her wedding un-Islamic.
Now beauty, bridal and cosmetics shops flouish in areas that were previously hotbeds of violence. Young Iraqi women now wear short skirts and boots without fearing for their lives. After six years, things are slowly getting back to normal, and Iraqis revel in the new freedom of how to live their lives.