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« We're not going to seethe in silence anymore | Main | Yes, we have no pajamas »

August 27, 2005

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It is the nature of the beast. "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Men, women, cats and dogs; those with power have the natural urge to control those whom they can intimidate.

Natalie will get the last laugh, of course. Canada has not fallen so far. Never heard of Nat. before, but now I want more photos. Hell, and one more on a short list of reasons to pay T.O. another visit.

BTW, when people tell you it's wrong to admire what you are genetically programmed to admire, it's time to throw them in the clink for breaking the bylaw on demeaning men and women. Seriously now, great beauty has always been a very dangerous thing for a women, and a daunting test to carry it well without attracting violent resentment. It can make a great person, or break you. Let's not forget that the resentful feminazis are out to break a woman, Natalie, as they have broken many before.

Maybe Natalie should wear a hijab instead of her tiara. Maybe that will send the "right" message! :)

As a muslimah who willing puts on niqaab, as most of us do, I find it no more constraining than non-muslims would find spanx or a layer of foundation with the perfect mascara and gloss.

To keep myself covered in public, for non-muslims, is a hard thing to grasp.

Even here in Saudi Arabia, Saudi women will wear niqaab or no niqaab, or even *shock*.....NO SCARF!

Truly it is a choice, and should be honored as such.

Isn't that what the west preaches, "Let us do what we want, it's our CHOICE!"

Well, that choice extends to all people, even if it's a different choice than you.

I find it very interesting, actually, how much discussion and controversy can arise out of a small piece of fabric.

Sincerely,

A covered lady

Qur'an: verses 30-31 in Surah 24(An-Nur)

30. Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.

31. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (hands and face) and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

See also verse number 59 in Surah 33, which gives the meaning of:

59 O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them [when they go abroad]. That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

The above verses very clearly show that it is Allah Almighty Himself, Who commands the women to wear hijab, though that word is not used in the above verses. In fact, the term hijab means much more than the covering of the body; it refers to the code of modesty outlined in the verses quoted above.

Look at the expressions used: “Lower their gaze”, “be modest”, “not to display their adornment”, “draw the veils over their bosoms” “not to stamp their feet” etc.

It must be clear to any thinking person what is meant by all the above expressions in the Holy Qur’an. Women in the Prophet’s time used to wear a kind of dress that covered the head, but not the bosom properly. So when they are asked to draw their veils over their bosoms so as not to reveal their beauty, it is clear that the dress must cover the head as well as the body. And hair is considered by people in most cultures of the world - not only in the Arab culture - as an attractive part of a woman’s beauty.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, ladies in the west used to put on some kind of head gear, if not a cover for the whole hair. This is quite in conformity with the Biblical injunction for the women to cover their heads. Even in these degenerate times, people pay more respect to the more modestly dressed ladies, than to the scantily clad ones. Imagine a lady prime minister or a queen wearing a low-cut blouse or a miniskirt in an international conference! Can she command as much respect there as she would get if she were in a more modest attire?

For the above reasons, the scholars of Islam are unanimous that the Qur’anic verses quoted above clearly mean that women must cover the head and the whole body except for the face and the hands.

Does the hijab prevent a woman from performing her day-to-day duties?

For one thing a woman does not normally wear hijab in her own house, so it shouldn’t get in the way when she’s doing housework. If she is working in a factory close to machinery or in a laboratory, for example—she can wear a different style of hijab that doesn’t have dragging ends. Actually loose trousers and a long shirt for instance lets her to bend, lift, or climb steps or ladders more easily, if her work allows that. Such a dress would certainly give her more freedom of movement while protecting her modesty at the same time.

However it is interesting to note that the very same people who find fault with the Islamic dress code for women do not find any thing improper in the dress of nuns. It is evident that the “hijab” of Mother Teresa did not prevent her from social work! And the western world honored her with the Nobel Prize! But the same people would argue that the hijab is a hindrance for a Muslim girl in a school or for a Muslim lady working as a cashier in a super market! This is the kind of hypocrisy or double standards which paradoxically some “sophisticated” people find fashionable!

Is hijab an oppression? It could certainly be so, if someone forces a woman to wear it. But for that matter, semi-nudity also can be an oppression, if someone forces a woman to adopt that style. If women in the west - or east - have the freedom to dress as they please, why not allow the Muslim women to prefer a more modest dress?


Taken from: http://www.readingislam.com

Actually, I love that photograph with hands all over the face. And its not the image of an oppressed woman at all. It is an image of a woman whose freedom is protected by her own choice to respect her culture; and the hands are signs of western imperialism which in Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and many other colonies forced women to disrobe and unveil in the name of "civilization". I am recommending your photograph to be put on every Arabic newspaper to show how it prompts a seductive nature of women - as veiwed by western men - and the west's undying desire to "free" her. Hijab or veil has nothing to do with women's right to equal pay, equal opportunity, equal rights of representation, equal right of law. These are the issues that need to be addressed as they define the true freedom of a person. Europe has been lagging in Women's Rights issues for centuries; nations that have yet to experience industrialization and information age, cannot be expected to live with the same standard views that these two human revolutions brought for the west. It was, after all, the intention of the west during colonialism to not allow the rest of the world to develop to compete at its level. The veil is a symbol of frustration for the west, not the women in the Arabia who wear them. Those who don't want to wear them dont have to when they are not in Arabia, and they don't.

On the other hand, Muslim women who freely choose to wear hijab - not the veil - are being persecuted in by the French, Swiss, Turkish, and many other EU people who have enacted fundamentalist, extrimist, radical secular laws to infringe upon their rights to wear hijab. France even declared it a threat to state security. Really? So, its ok for Catholics to have fish in public schools on Fridays, for the Jewish to have no exams on Saturdays in public institutions but its a matter of state security if Muslim women wear hijab - which the French politically calls veil to scare their society - then its a huge threat? Even if the visibly identifyable Muslim women account for less than half a percent of the entire French population? The Stassi Commission that the French government formed to study the Muslim Women who wear hijabs completed their studies as if these women were infected with diseases; they did not interview girls who are educated and wear the hijab. The stassi report is exclusively based on women who were uneducated and old. Yes, its the older women of whom many reject the hijab. The younger and educated women do not look down on their sisters who wear hijab. It's an individual choice.

European movement against Muslim Women particularly to disrobe and unveil them is deeply rooted with its history of colonial racism, discrimination, and nationalism.

I am more for having a dialogue and welcome all parties to present their arguments. But to simply say that veil is an oppression against freedom is to illustrate the lacking of knowledge in its many meanings. As for the so-called Muslim Femenists, they have a right to define veil is a symbol of oppression. But their rights must not infringe upon the rights of those women who do not see the veil as threat to their freedom. Rather these women wear the veils for many reasons ranging from tradition, modesty, and even as resistance to French ban to wearing hijab.

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