Women in Islam – veils of the mind


by Fe'reeha
7th December, 2005 at 8:22 pm    

One question that I have been asked from everyone about Islam is regarding its message about the role of women.

In fact, it is one question I have often asked myself as a little girl. Coming from a family of three girls which was condoled at male absence by the typical South Asian inquisitors, but raised by a father who never made us feel unequal in any way, I was always dissected by clashing ideas.

I remember being lectured by an Imam how one man witness is equal to two women in the shariah law.

Why? Why? Why? I asked, from every shed of my being.

“Because women have a tendency to exaggerate, because they tell lies, because there will be more women in hell than men…..in fact men will go to hell only because of women.” I indeed got these explanations from some renowned scholars in Pakistan, and some Pakistani Imams in the UK.

Yet, the Quran I pick up and read tells me clearly that no-one is responsible for anyone’s deed. It even denies Christian notion of Eden bringing woe to all mankind. “Every man for his own deed” (and woman for that matter). It states clearly, so where has all this fabrication come in from?

While Imams tainted the message of Islam and used it for their own diverted interests, West carved it’s own picture of Muslim women.

For them, we are one of those sad creatures, whose husbands go and marry four times. Who carries her ugly existence under heavy drapes of veil and lives a life determined by men. The moment the image of veils comes, suddenly western world puts all in question in one pre-determined bracket.

But is it a true picture? But the women I know, even under the veil are not such typecasts.

My sister writes from Saudi Arab: “Have you ever wondered why all the western designers flock to Saudia? I have yet to meet a Saudi woman who does not know how to carry her Gucci or Versaci under her veil.

“An average westerner can hardly afford new designer underwear every day, but the rich Shiekh’s daughters, wives and sisters change them three times a day. Veils can be very misleading.”

In Newsweek magazine, Lorraine Ali talks about this issue in her feature.

Still, Muslim women are feeling like pawns in a political game: jihadists portray them as ignorant lambs who need to be protected from outside forces, while the United States considers them helpless victims of a backward society to be saved through military intervention. “Our empowerment is being exploited by men,” says Palestinian Muslim Rima Barakat. “It’s a policy of hiding behind the skirts of women. It’s dishonorable no matter who’s doing it.”

And these misinterpretations and misrepresentations of women are practiced every day.

What I find excruciating is plain and blatant assumption by everyone and anyone determined by the way someone dresses.

A person who forces a veil on a woman is no less evil than the one who orders her to take it off. The balance is achieved only when you give the woman the choice.

The way a blonde is not always stupid; a woman in veil is also not always an oppressed woman. I have met brilliant, smart and empowering women who do live in these veils, and I have also met some stupid ones. The problem is not in the veil, it’s in the prejudice!

Oppression does not come from what you wear; it comes from social attitudes and norms. Isn’t it time we got out of these centuries old, long obsolete attitudes?


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  1. Global Voices Online

    [...] Questions for women in Islam – and for Islam about women – at Pickled Politics. [...]


  2. DesiPundit » Veils of the mind

    [...] An excellent rant by Fe’reeha over at Pickled Politics on women in Islam. [hat tip: Sakshi] [...]


  3. Les pieds dans le plat » Archive du blog » Trucs de Noël

    [...] Hunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…. ça va faire 2 semaines que j’attends une réponse à une candidature pour un boulot qui ressemble fort à un idéal du moment… Start-up consacrée à “l’information”, dont tous les membres travailleraient où bon leur semble, du moment qu’ils sont connectés, et qu’ils communiquent. Rouuuuuhhhhhhh… je veux ce boulot, je-le-veux-je-le-veux-je-le-veux-je-le-veux… Quand j’ai envoyé une lettre et un cv, j’ai eu une réponse au bout de deux heures, me donnant plus d’information sur le poste, et m’en demandant quelques unes. Puis plus rien. Je reviens délicatement à la charge une semaine plus tard, pour apprendre qu’il y a beaucoup de réponses, et que “le processus de recrutement est toujours en cours”… Mouhouhhh ! Et là encore une semaine, évanouie en un clin d’oeil, toujours rien. Enfin si, l’annonce a été actualisée, cette fois le poste est au pluriel. Dois-je me dupliquer pour mieux les harceler ? Leur écrire un roman ? Passer le niveau 8 ? Faire la tournée des lieux de culte ? Ranger l’appart une bonne fois pour toutes (…) ? Grrrmmblll… Géopotinage – Pickled Politics – De quelle longueur doit être la jupe d’une joueuse de tennis musulmane ? [...]


  4. Robert Sharp

    Never mind driving: how about the vote?

    Saudi women cannot vote. This undermines Islam, demeans women, and offends everyone.


  5. C L O S E R [trackback]

    [...] Saw the item on Gary Bunt’s Virtuallyislamic: Pickled Politics » Women in Islam – veils of the mind Women in Islam – veils of the mind While Imams tainted the message of Islam and used it for their own diverted interests, West carved it’s own picture of Muslim women. [...]


  6. Robert Sharp » Blog Archive » Never mind driving: how about the vote?

    [...] A perpetual debate rages over the role of women in Islam. The extreme Wahhabism practiced in Saudi Arabia is held as an example of the faith’s essential sexism, as evidenced by the state’s insistence that women cover themselves in public. Moderate Muslims argue that proponents of Wahhabism and Sharia law should not be taken to speak for all Islam, which I agree with. They also argue that the veil is not necessarily oppressive, a point on which I am not so sure. [...]




  1. Rohin — on 7th December, 2005 at 8:56 pm  

    Just to get one thing straight – when you say veil do you mean hijab or the face covered as well? If you’re talking about a regular headscarf then I too have met some tremendously motivated and empowered women who wear a headscarf. If you’re talking about the face being covered, tbh I’ve never spoken to a woman who has had her face covered because they don’t interact with non-Muslim, non-female people (in my experience). And they freak me out, sorry. That’s said as an Indian and as a Westerner – they are unusual to my way of life. Just like we would be surprised to see a Burmese neck-stretcher or an African tribeswoman with a plate in her lip. It’s an unusual concept to cover the face.

    have yet to meet a Saudi woman who does not know how to carry her Gucci or Versaci under her veil….Veils can be very misleading.”

    This was the most interesting passage for me. I don’t understand the combination of the two. If the whole ethos is for a woman to dress modestly, why are they designer-shopping? For themselves, for each other, for their husbands – this is what I have heard. But then if they like all these designer goods, why do they have to hide them under their veil, as you put it? Designer clothes bought by the dozen and racey underwear changed 3 times a day…but the women all dress the same. Strange?

    I agree that demanding that someone should not cover up is as tyrannical as demanding that they should:

    “A person who forces a veil on a woman is no less evil than the one who orders her to take it off. The balance is achieved only when you give the woman the choice.”

    So by that token, you have to accept that a proportion of Muslim countries’ governments are evil (strangely an anagram of veil) as they have forced a cover-up on their women.

    If tomorrow all Middle Eastern countries say ‘you can wear whatever you like!’ of course most women will continue to dress as they do now. Simply because that’s what they’re used to. It doesn’t mean oppression was absent just because they make the choice to continue doing what women in the country have been doing for generations.

    Several friends, all female, have converted to Islam during my time at uni. Post conversion they have jilbabified and demanded that I destroy all photos of them without a headscarf on (one sending her boyfriend round to make sure I complied). I couldn’t understand at all how this liberated them. Perhaps I haven’t understood. But this is a subject I find very interesting and it gets forgotten with all the talk of jihad and bombs etc.

  2. Robert — on 7th December, 2005 at 9:21 pm  

    An average westerner can hardly afford new designer underwear every day, but the rich Shiekh’s daughters, wives and sisters change them three times a day. Veils can be very misleading

    As you say, what we westerners perceive as oppression does not necessarily come from judgements about what people wear, but about their role in society. The above quote is the tell-tale one for me. It seems say: “Women are owned by men” and indeed “women are dressed by men, for men.”

    Whereas the motivated women you and Rohin speak of are empowered by the hijab, these women seem to have the worst of both worlds: the nasty, superficial consumerism of the West and the insidious misogyny of Wahhabism. If you wear the veil, are you endorsing this ugliness?

    Tell me a story about women in Saudi who earn their own Gucci shoes. That would be more persuasive.

  3. Fe'reeha — on 7th December, 2005 at 9:31 pm  

    In no way, I am anywhere, saying what goes in Saudi Arab is even human, let alone acceptable.
    If anything, one can realise the extent of opression of these women, by the way they dress underneath.
    This is exactly what I am talking about. the conflicting messages in what you say and what you practice in the Muslim world.
    And yes, not just a proportion, a vast proportion of Muslim governments (which are actuallyb rulers or dictator) are indeed evil.

  4. Robert — on 7th December, 2005 at 9:32 pm  

    I just found an article on the BBC site, about a woman in Wrexham who was stabbed to death by her husband.

    The quote from their son: “She had all the latest designs in clothes yet she was never allowed out”

    A sombre reminder of the fact that every day, two women in the UK are killed by a current or former partner.

  5. Sarvnaz — on 7th December, 2005 at 9:46 pm  

    I think if the middle eastern countries say women can wear what ever they want, A lot of women in the Arab nations and in Iran will definately not continue to dress as they are, just because as you say they are use to it. And this is a different subject from opression of women all together.
    Also theres in nothing non-islamic about buying designer clothes, to you may be these women all do look the same, but their husands, female friends, etc (Mahrams) definitely wouldn’t agree with you! I think the point is, that girls with hijab are not stinky ugly creatures, whether they do all look simmilar to you or not!

    The girls who have converted to Islam, I don’t think destroyin her photos is a matter of liberation, but it is more her or her boyfriends personal choice. Muslims girls cover their hair in all photos incase they are seen my males and I think the girls you are talking about felt she had to go by the same principles.

  6. Jay Singh — on 7th December, 2005 at 10:09 pm  

    I will confess a prejudice. I find the whole idea of veiling women from head to to in a black sheet repellent.

    The idea of obliterating a human being as if there was something wrong with them simpley existing in the world goes against everything I value – from every angle – from my values as a liberal British Indian, as a Sikh, as a man.

    The hijab is something that can be elegant and humbling. I see some Muslim men who also cover their heads with prayer caps or pughri. This is something I can appreciate, even admire in some ways, although some Muslim women I know argue against the hijab, I respect it and have friends who are hijabans.

    But the veil is something I find deeply disturbing, even horrific. I have a great uncle who lives in a part of the midlands with a large Muslim population, and I have seen girls who by their height I can tell are no more than ten years old who are fully veiled – from head to to – face and everything.

    And when I see that kind of thing I feel terrible – it breaks my heart. It seems to me to be an act of cruelty.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone but I cannot lie about my feelings.

  7. El Cid — on 7th December, 2005 at 10:35 pm  

    Could somone remind me of the whole reason why some moslem women cover themselves from head to toe in a veil? Is it a particular strain of Islam?
    I have no problem with headscarfs (or plates in lips for that matter) but why somone should want to reject social interaction in such a blatant way baffles me.
    I too find it repellent — an affront even. And yet part of me — that tolerant, wishy-washy side that we all share as proud citizens of a multicultural democracy — wants to understand.
    What am I missing? Is it more than just a nihilist, political rejection of modern society and in-your-face female subjugation?

  8. El Cid — on 7th December, 2005 at 10:37 pm  

    hold on one doggone minute – you carry adverts now?

  9. Sunny — on 7th December, 2005 at 10:48 pm  

    The perception about women in Islam, to be honest, comes from the fact that most Muslim men, specially in arab countries (and of course most men in South Asia) are deeply chauvinist.

    This is not a problem of religion, this is a problem of women’s rights, and the battle is far from won or even properly started. In India it has been going on for a while.

  10. El Cid — on 7th December, 2005 at 10:52 pm  

    Are sure Sunny? Non-moslem societies can also be pretty chauvinistic

  11. Sunny — on 7th December, 2005 at 11:08 pm  

    I don’t disagree with you. Indian society in general, many latino societies, and even British society until recently was quite chauvinist. Well in fact in many ways British society is still quite sexist.

    The problem is that in most other societies, religion does not underpin that sexist behaviour. Recently, the Golden Temple authorities had to allow women to clean the inner sanctum of the Golden Temple because in Sikhism, men and women are absolutely equal in every way.

    Muslim women in general have to fight not only opression which is traditional and cultural, they also have to push for more liberal interpretations of Islam. Its a double task.

  12. lost — on 8th December, 2005 at 12:56 am  

    Perhaps, we will never know the real reason why muslim women wear the hijab. There are many interpretation of it. But covering oneself head to toe is a concept of Islam, which has been adopted & influenced somewhat into other religion as well ie Hinduism during the Moghul period. I wouldn’t personally say that it is oppression if it is a fashion statement or empowers women but as it is legislated by marauding Mullah’s and Imams who are evil and twisted, I have a problem with it. Women are no less a being than man. It is man’s inferiority complex that makes him a victim of his own conscious. So oppressing the opposite sex makes him superior so he thinks

  13. Rohin — on 8th December, 2005 at 1:34 am  

    No lost, Hinduism didn’t adopt it. Rajasthan and places like that adopted covering the head as a cultural thing when the Moghuls were around, it was never anything to do with Hinduism.

    El Cid PP’s had ads for a while – but I find it funny that almost every time the thread mentions ‘veil’ or ‘hijab’ we get that full length covered mannequin ad, it looks so funny!

    Jay you raise an interesting point about the girls aged about 10 being covered. Now as far as I understood, Muslim girls aren’t required to ‘cover their modesty’ until they actually have something to cover, i.e. puberty. Yet I’ve seen girls aged about six with massively over-sized hijabs in Tooting.

    El Cid:
    “And yet part of me — that tolerant, wishy-washy side that we all share as proud citizens of a multicultural democracy — wants to understand.”

    I have a tolerant wishy-washy side I’m sure, but I really have no desire to understand. There is no explanation one can tell me that would justify covering somone’s face. We were given faces to communicate with each other using the whole thing, not just the bloody eyes.

  14. Bikhair — on 8th December, 2005 at 3:05 am  

    “…have yet to meet a Saudi woman who does not know how to carry her Gucci or Versaci under her veil….Veils can be very misleading.”

    I cover and I just bought a dress by Marc Jacobs. It was just too dam cute.

  15. Natasha Ali — on 8th December, 2005 at 8:04 am  

    Has anyone ever read about “veil of the eye”? As far as I know “hijab” is a way of life.
    A woman is asked to keep herself to herself, she can go out but not only just keeping herself covered but in a modest manner.
    Men are not left aside either. According to Islamic injunction, a man has to cover his body between his belly button and feet, hence shorts are now allowed for moselm men.
    Also men are strictly fobidden to look at a woman outside their “mahram” circle twice.
    Bikhair, I am noone to judge but you do not tell the world in your opinion somewhat teasingly what you are wearing if you have opted for the world of hijab.

  16. Sakshi — on 8th December, 2005 at 9:36 am  

    From what I gather, the author is trying to say that ‘not all Muslim women suffer’ as perceived by many’.

    The best form of freedom we can provide WOMEN (all over the world) is to provide them with options. And above all to allow them to PICK and FOLLOW their choosen option. If they are happy under the veil, so let them be.

    A very well written post.

  17. El Cid — on 8th December, 2005 at 10:07 am  

    There is no explanation one can tell me that would justify covering somone’s face. We were given faces to communicate with each other using the whole thing, not just the bloody eyes.

    Rohin, I am probably only fibbing to myself. I am in a classic liberal bind. Call it Emperor’s New Cloak syndrome: it looks so very wrong and ridiculous, feels so very wrong and ridiculous, it is so very wrong and ridiculous. Is that better?

    Bikhair,
    So you cover huh? Completely? Even the face?
    Are you brave enough to explain why you would want to cut yourself off from the rest of society? (Sure you probably get this kind of question a lot and you might say that your business is your business but there are reasonable people of all faiths on PP., including moslems. C’mon, come into the light.).

  18. SajiniW — on 8th December, 2005 at 10:10 am  

    Fe’reeha – nice article! I don’t see what’s wrong with a Gucci handbag if it’s not hurting anyone ;)

    I’m interested to see what you made of Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown’s effort on the burkha last week. It appeared in the Evening Standard.

  19. sonia — on 8th December, 2005 at 10:51 am  

    the women who cover their face completeley with a veil ( with a bit of eye showing) generally in ( and i dont mean western countries here) asian muslim countries get a wide berth from people. so its pretty obvious that over here and other western countries ppl would think they are ‘strange’ as well! The whole idea seems to be that she ( and/or her husband) want to send out a msg of dont interfere with me, so I guess that’s why most ppl leave well alone. and even I feel funny about dealing with them cos you don’t know what you’ll say wrong or not. Personally they freak me out to. Conformity gone crazy always freaks me out.

  20. David T — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:08 am  

    Several friends, all female, have converted to Islam during my time at uni. Post conversion they have jilbabified and demanded that I destroy all photos of them without a headscarf on (one sending her boyfriend round to make sure I complied). I couldn’t understand at all how this liberated them.

    This isn’t so surprising, and I don’t think its a specifically religious thing. It might not even be cultural.

    I think that there is a partcular type of personality which is drawn to rules and certainties and rituals and so on. We live in a society which, for most, is liberating in the sense that it does offer you a significant amount of personal freedom: more freedom, socially an economically than pretty much any society which has come before it.

    That is great for most people, but absolutely terrifying for others.

    Judaism and Islam are both religions which set down rules for basically every aspect of your life: going to the toilet, eating food, waking up, who you can shake hands with, what you can wear, and so on. They’re Great Plans for Everything. They have enormous attraction to people who really really desire certainty.

    There are men and women who want to be rescued from autonomy, and a lifestyle religion is a good way of achieving that goal.

    I suspect that another attraction of a patriarchal religion is that there are some people who feel happiest when they feel properly owned by men. Real men, that is: not new men. Men who will tell you what to do. Not men who give you weedy back massages and sympathise about period pain.

    I know both women and men for whom this is more than a sexual thing: its their prefered lifestyle. They only want boyfriends who throw fits when they step out of line. For somebody to show that degree of concern about what his partner does – from their perspective – must mean that they’re really loved.

    This isn’t the same thing as wearing a veil: which one might do for all sorts of reasons: spiritual or intellectual attraction to other aspects of a religion, an act of defiance, a comforting reminder of family or community values, and so on.

    But I’d be surprised if there weren’t some people, particularly among converts, who find in the stricter forms of Islam, the very real attraction of being told exactly what to do by somebody else.

  21. David T — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:17 am  

    Alternatively, they get really into macrobiotic food.

  22. Robert — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:22 am  

    El Cid makes a very pertinent point about communicating with the veil and burkah. You cannot do it properly, which I might go so far as to say is an infringement of human rights.

    The talk of how Muslim men must also cover up and crucially not look outside their circle is also telling. The presumption with all these customs is that women are somehow tempting to men, and must be covered as a result. This is an objectification of women, and indeed betrays a total refusal to beleive that men can interact with women without initiating sex! It is this attitude itself which demeans everyone, not the ill-advised solutions.

    So to say “some women are happy under the veil, just let them be” seems incomplete to me. It still seems as though they are endorsing a narrow worldview, for which they should be questioned. Declaring that you, personally are happy with a particular custom is not an argument for its continuation. You still have to engage with the people who say that it harms others.

  23. Robert — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:31 am  

    But I’d be surprised if there weren’t some people, particularly among converts, who find in the stricter forms of Islam, the very real attraction of being told exactly what to do by somebody else.

    Good point. Do we allow other people to deny themselves freedom?

    However, I’m pretty sure the retort would be that it is not another person telling these people what to do, but God. In which case, we come to something of an impasse in the argument.

  24. sonia — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:37 am  

    sure people like what to be told what to do. most people like to have social rules to conform to – the idea of ‘going out’ for example generally applies to a very specific thing which everyone is supposed to do in the same way. if you like to do different things for fun -you get funny questions. same thing all across the world.

    a lot of women who wear a hijab as a cultural item of clothing/norm have it matching with the rest of their designer gear – why not – they’re simply wearing what is ‘normal’ not necessarily trying to prove their ‘extra piety/don’t come near me thing’ which some women use the hijab for ( or the male understanding of hijabi’s appear to be tied up with notion) Now those are the women who often display a superior attitude, which annoys me because it usually doesn[‘t mean these ppl are necessarily more ethical/moral than anyone else just cos they wear a hijab – e.g. one good example is bitching about their friends behind their backs. Besides if someone wants to be a goody-goody thats their business but they ought not to interfere in mine. i guess this sort of feeling also goes some way to understanding why westerners have issues with hijabi’s- ( people are generally annoyed by what can be presumed to be a superior attitude..arent they!) and ..hence the distortion of a hijab into a religious symbol, and the assumption that everyone who’s wearing one is the same and does it for the same reason. its not as monolithic as that..but you can see where there are issues.

    but at the end of the day they’re no different to women who think if they wear miniskirts they’ll fit in with their group – or whatever else it may be – say like men who feel they have to act macho cos they’re men. people conform to the group they feel they are part of – or are told they are part of.

  25. David T — on 8th December, 2005 at 11:58 am  

    Do we allow other people to deny themselves freedom?

    Why not?

    And in any case, what are you going to do? Sure, you can ban people wearing particular items of clothing, but you can’t force people to be free if they don’t want to. It is an impossibility, as well as being improper. You can’t reason people out of it either.

    If somebody wants to live their life in a constrained way, there is just nothing you can do about it. I’ve got relatives with severe eating disorders, that are clearly harming them: but they’re steadfast about what they do with their bodies, and in the end, you have to accept that there are limits to what you can do: at least without causing more harm than good.

    In any case, I think about people who adopt religious dress in much the same way as I think about – say – skinheads.
    Somebody might shave all their hair off because they wanted to show their commitment to a far right political ideology.
    Or they might have done it because they were going bald.
    Or everybody else in their peer group did it, so they did it not to stand out
    Or they were going bald.
    Or they were gay skins
    Or they were into skinhead culture, but not the far right racist parts of it.

    All these things are possible within subcultures. Culture is rarely monolithic.

  26. Siddharth — on 8th December, 2005 at 12:19 pm  

    DavidT

    I agree with you, but then I’d say Skinhead culture (or its slightly more superior derivative RudeBoy Culture ;-) ) or any other social grouping (pop cultural, mainstream, leftfield, military etc) has elements of religious binding, so much so that they could be Displaced Religions rather than the other way round.

  27. David T — on 8th December, 2005 at 12:38 pm  

    What do you mean by “religious binding”: that they are clubby in the way that religions are.

  28. Rohin — on 8th December, 2005 at 1:22 pm  

    That’s a very good point you made David – about wanting to be told what to do. When I think back to these girls converting (they’ve broken off contact with me since) one especially had the personality type that needed to be bossed around. Sure she didn’t think it. But she was a comedy case – when she had a Hindu boyfriend, she was very Hindu (by parentage she’s half Hindu and half Christian) then she had a Christian boyfriend and she joined the Christian Union. And when she started a highly un-Islamic extra-marital dalliance with a Muslim chap, she went the whole hog and cloaked up.

    So she fits bang into the type who is easily influenced and needs to be told what to do. And as you say, religions like Islam do provide instructions for everything.

  29. Fe'reeha — on 8th December, 2005 at 2:27 pm  

    Interesting points Rohin, and I will really like to meet this girl you are talking about, lol!

    Anyway, regarding your earlier comments.

    What I know about almost “all sets of belief” (I have not used the word religion deliberately) in this world is that there are certain parts of them that are based on “blind faith” rather than logic.

    For instance, Ramadan, when you look at it from a logical point of view might not be justifiable as to why would people not eat when they “are” hungry, have food on their tables, and no one is “even looking” from “logical point of view”.
    Sabbath in Judaism: There is a perfectly good job opportunity, interview is on a Friday, there are all the logical reasons in the world to go for it, yet someone would rather sit at home.

    Catholic Priests: You find the match of your life, you have all natural desires of a normal person, yet you will rather be married to the Church.
    Sikhism: You see a vast majority of people having nice short hair-cuts but most Sikhs would not cut their hair (same is true for Kabala faith in Judaism).
    Even Atheism, is there any logic with proof that the world sprang out without anyone behind it? You need o base a lot of atheistic beliefs on blind faith in not believing in god as well.

    WHAT I am saying in my feature is , that if someone gets relief in believing what they do, living their life the way they please without harming anyone, then what’s wrong with it?

    I always think someone who has some belief is always better than the one who has none. Because all beliefs give values and by God there is no life worth living without having your set of values.

  30. Rohin — on 8th December, 2005 at 2:39 pm  

    I think it’s very hard to have NO belief though Fe’reeha. Even me as an atheist has a belief system. Well, I describe myself as an atheist as it’s easier – but since you make the point of atheists having to reconcile the start of the universe I shall briefly explain. Like many scientists, I believe in the Big Bang. When people ask what came before that and they get the answer ‘nothing’, it’s a hard concept to understand – there was no time, no space, nothing. So I believe that whatever ‘force’ set this into motion is God. I don’t believe that God has any say over my life and I think he or it has been completely impotent since the B of the Big Bang. I don’t believe in any conventional sense of God.

    I think with this sentence you summed it up well:

    “if someone gets relief in believing what they do, living their life the way they please without harming anyone, then what’s wrong with it?”

    Because I’m NOT a missionary, I agree entirely. Take a simple, uneducated villager. If he believes that he will go to hell or that the Sun is pulled by a chariot, who am I to tell him to change his mind? I completely understand the purpose of religion in society – it is there to present guidelines. Religion often is a substitute for education. Of course the over-zealous missionary wants everyone to do things his/her way.

    Yup this girl I talk of is quite an interesting case. In fact I believe that one of the commenters above, Sarvnaz, is a Sarvnaz that I know and she also knows this girl pretty well!

  31. Siddharth — on 8th December, 2005 at 2:42 pm  

    The Salafis have reduced spirituality to a bad paraphrase of a Lennon-ism:
    God is a concept by which we measure our beards.

  32. David T — on 8th December, 2005 at 3:17 pm  

    if someone gets relief in believing what they do, living their life the way they please without harming anyone, then what’s wrong with it?

    Nuffink.

    Religion is generally a neutral-to-good thing to do with (part) of your life. Its no worse than watching television, certainly.

  33. Fe'reeha — on 8th December, 2005 at 3:38 pm  

    I’m interested to see what you made of Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown’s effort on the burkha last week. It appeared in the Evening Standard.

    I skimmed through Yasmin Ali-Bhai Brown’s feature but that was written in the background of Imperial college’s ban.
    In fact I support Imperial’s ban because I think they have made very clear guidelines and I do not think they encroach on anyone’s belief. Quran does not ask hiding the face. It’s the head and hair. Hands, feet and elbows can be shown.
    Anyway, the question once again is not if the veils are right or wrong? It’s the generalisation and typecasting of people who wear them.
    I totally agree with Sonia that people who wear veils sometimes seem to have this “snobbish” attitude which is again against the spirit of Islam. (They cover up as a loud display of Islam and then follow things which are un-Islamic, it is contradictory, isn’t it?)

    One of my journalist friends who had worked in Arab countries said to me. “Life behind the veils is intriguing. If you want to know a bit about the woman underneath, look at the shoes….it’s all in the shoes.”

    If you read statistics, you will find plastic surgery of nose is the most common in Iran. Why? Because face is the only part visible to the people in the country (covering is a must), so people invest a lot on their face. An Iranian friend told me getting nose done is as common as having your hair trimmed.

    Men who think they have forced veils on their women, and they have become pure and safe from the “evil world” are under misconception.

    Through a woman’s organisation, I, at present, know two women personally who are having extra marital affairs right under their husband’s noses, while praying five times a day and hiding behind their veils.
    Come to think of it, veil can come in very handy if one is having an affair and do not want to disclose the identity.
    The point is just one: veils can be misleading!

  34. Col. Mustafa — on 8th December, 2005 at 3:44 pm  

    The future holds many divisions in an uprising of muslim womens rights groups.

    When there eventually is a change in mentality however it might happen in the middle east specifically and most do actually realise that they shouldn’t be telling women what to wear, and just shutup instead. Its so obvious whats gonna happen.
    Your gonna get certain women that won’t wanna change thier way of life or clothes.
    Then alot of women probably mostly the younger ones that want to wear the latest gear and show some skin; they live in a pretty hot country after all.

    In this country ive seen many muslim women change into ninja outfits too, through the course of time.
    I know alot of them and some of there reasons are just to be different.
    They did the whole clubbing thing, got pissed blah blah, the usual, but then after a while found it very boring and fake.
    One of my friends just talks about how this culture of being told what to wear, how to look, how to dance, being told you must get drunk and do drugs is more in her face than islamists telling her to cover up.
    I kind of agree with her to an extent as i see the kind of tripe thats on every channel these days.
    Whether its the reality shows just promoting nothing really, if you wanna achieve anything dont watch our shows basically.
    She also talks about the whole process of going out clubbing, getting dressed up taking a few hours out of the day to look good for men, then go there get blind drunk, dance around for abit, forget where you are for a while and then end up waking up in the morning with not much memory.
    She found it pointless after a while.
    Many human beings are like that, they just want to be different and not be with the norm.
    For alot of the british muslim women that are changing one of the reasons is identity.
    Many others out of environment, or peer pressure, or forced.
    I remember in Bangladesh about 10 yrs back it was rare to see a girl wearing jeans.
    People would stare at girls wearing jeans thinking all sorts of things.
    But for the girl wearing jeans in a country where its rare, and im figuring she knows its rare is obviously her showing that shes different.
    Its pretty much a norm now in Bdesh in Dhaka that is, but that process took a while.
    Its wierd over there as some want to be different but dont feel comfortable.

    Look at the way fashion is always changing, humans are never satisfied.
    Oh no thats so last year.
    All you did was change the sleeve and its now this year.

    I feel sorry for women in general, cos even though were in a democratic society with equal rights for women i see women dressing like how they are just because some fashion designer, pop artist, programme is telling them too.
    Makeup is another thing, jeeeez, how much makeup does someone need?
    You actually are a different person in the morning, i dont recognise you and im pretty sure it wasn’t just the alcohol.
    I swear some women probably just wanna cover up cos they can’t be arsed with looking like a fool becuase of the lack of the gr8 hair, or nails, or makeup, or clothes, or shoes, or bags, among the many other requirements.
    But then theres always the rockers and grunge heads that these muslim women could join, but even that identity has been ceased by MTV and theres standards for being a fuckup now as well.

  35. Col. Mustafa — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:06 pm  

    Obviously in places like Saudi women should be atleast be given the choice to wear/do whatever they want before men find other ways of exploiting women through the democratic stance.

    Theres so many good women role models outhere that not only can educate women but also men.

  36. Rohin — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:11 pm  

    Is Alibhai-Brown’s piece online? What did she say? I can’t STAND that woman.

    Fe’reeha you seem to have all the cool contacts. Or maybe scandalous is a better word! The nose jobs thing made me giggle as 50% of all the Iranian girls I know are rhinoplasticfantastic.

    The contradictory side of things is in all religions – but it’s more visible in Islam as my best friend (who has swung from pious Mosque-goer to boozing sleaze) explained. He said “Islam is just the toughest religion, it’s so much harder to be a good Muslim than a good Christian or Hindu for example. I mean, being a good person is one thing – but if you follow everything you’re supposed to, you can’t mourn for more than a certain time, you have to pray five times a day (etc)…”

    Hence you often find Muslim men who drink and gamble, but religiously (literally) avoid pork, which also makes me smirk. Either do it all or none at all. Then again you this syndrome in all religions, as I said. It’s the era of pick-n-choose religion, just follow the stuff that you want to. Or more realistically, the stuff that’s easy.

  37. sonia — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:12 pm  

    i like Siddarth’s comment up above.

  38. sonia — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:16 pm  

    rohin – are you and sunny going to this Global voices summit thing then? ( sorry to go off topic) i really did want to go but they sure didnt make it easy, and now i hear the conference room is full.

  39. Jai Singh — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:38 pm  

    =>”Either do it all or none at all.”

    Hmm, no. A better course of action (also relevant to the examples Rohin’s given above in post. no. 36) would be “Do as much as you can, but if you can’t do it ‘all’, don’t hypocritically pretend you’re an extremely pious saint and – simultaneously – don’t become egotistical about the stuff you ARE able to do.”

  40. Siddharth — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:40 pm  

    I am grateful for sonia’s comment up above.

  41. Rohin — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:50 pm  

    Jai we’re doing a lot of disagreeing today!

    Sure it’s best to do whatever you can in terms of the key aspects to a religion. The common goals all religions have – essentially be nice and don’t be a dick.

    But specifics like not eating pork and so forth have become a pick and choose. Why do so many Muslims I know drink but don’t eat pork? It’s not because they’re “doing as much as they can”, it’s because they want to drink. When they are judged by God, he’s not going to say “hey, you’re a drinking gambling whoring bastard, but hey you always ate halal so come on in to heaven!” is he?

  42. Siddharth — on 8th December, 2005 at 4:58 pm  

    I think most Muslims don’t eat pork because of conditioning. Its a Pavlovian reaction analogous to eating a big rat.

    Whereas, Guiness is Guiness. ;-)

  43. Siddharth — on 8th December, 2005 at 5:02 pm  

    …Or even Guinness.

  44. sonia — on 8th December, 2005 at 5:15 pm  

    well maybe cos there’s no reason for them to eat pork?
    They probably feel deep down they’ll get into double trouble .;-) but i see your point Rohin – its very valid that people realize spirituality and hence religion at the end of the day isn’t about following specifics its about the big things/big picture. And that’s it. even people who may think they’re following all the rules aren’t necessarily being spiritual or nice even, a lot of them tend to be the biggest dicks. but that said, choosing a few things to do and not all of them isn’t in itself a bad thing is it. People say to me oh you dont do this you dont do that big deal im not fooling myself im some great follower of religion, i do what i feel like and im plenty realistic about what im not gonna do. I dont eat pork – never did eat any red meat – could only eat chicken – and now im vegetarian!

    besides most of these people who go on about ‘islamic rules generally focus on sex, alcohol and for some reason pork’. they don’t focus on things like – well -bitching behind other people’s backs- which is bad too, in my book much worse.. One could argue everyone’s being selective about what they’re doing and not doing – the goody goodies who say oi you u arent praying – well i just think – yeah and you wouldn’t do anything if it weren’t for the fact someone told you and you feel you had to. and that’s what’s most important to me – a lot of people i find have very SELFISH reasons for the ‘good’ things they do and the ‘ethics’ they apparently have – mainly i want to get ‘some blessings’ and go to Heaven. well i find that rather self-centred, and generally not very useful

  45. Al-Hack — on 8th December, 2005 at 5:33 pm  

    I feel sorry for women in general, cos even though were in a democratic society with equal rights for women i see women dressing like how they are just because some fashion designer, pop artist, programme is telling them too.
    Makeup is another thing, jeeeez, how much makeup does someone need?
    You actually are a different person in the morning, i dont recognise you and im pretty sure it wasn’t just the alcohol.

    Mustafa – You ain’t wrong but I suspect it has a lot to do with the dominance of men in the advertising / mkting industry at the top level. They think women are easy pickings for buying stuff.

  46. Bikhair — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:20 am  

    Natasha Ali,

    “Bikhair, I am noone to judge but you do not tell the world in your opinion somewhat teasingly what you are wearing if you have opted for the world of hijab.”

    You are absolutely right which is why I didnt do it.

  47. Bikhair — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:24 am  

    El Cid,

    “So you cover huh? Completely? Even the face?
    Are you brave enough to explain why you would want to cut yourself off from the rest of society? (Sure you probably get this kind of question a lot and you might say that your business is your business but there are reasonable people of all faiths on PP., including moslems. C’mon, come into the light.).”

    I dont cut myself off from the rest of soceity. I have a very vibrant social and home life. The former with other sisters, and the latter with my husband. When a woman gets married this tends to be the pattern that they follow.

  48. Al-Hack — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:56 am  

    Bikhair – Does the same apply to your husband? Does he only socialise within the family. And if not, how do you explain that?

  49. Bikhair — on 9th December, 2005 at 7:03 am  

    Al Hack,

    “Bikhair – Does the same apply to your husband? Does he only socialise within the family. And if not, how do you explain that?”

    Well my husband has a job so he has to socialize with people while working but he doesnt spend his private time with strange women. He spends his time with other Muslim men or with his family. Al Hack are you retarded? Did you even read what I wrote or was the vomit from your grill too much to contain?

  50. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 9:57 am  

    “vomit from your grill” !!! lol
    After 51 comments, I still don’t understand why some Moslem women choose to cover themselves completely!!
    At most I think there was the suggestion that it was a fashion statement designed to shock — like a punk putting a safety pin through his lips.
    Why, Bikhair? That was my main question. I have a pre-conceived idea but I’d rather begin from a position of ignorance and hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
    As for defining “society” as simply other women within your entourage and your family — that’s an extremely narrow definition. It might have made sense in a nomadic society, as might have been the case in Arabia back in the day, but the invention of agriculture enabled great civilizations to flourish around big towns long before the 10 and 11th centuries.
    At the end of the day, you’re not exactly interacting with the rest of us, are you? So in the wider sense the hijab is actually anti-social — it is an inherantly unfriendly gesture. It screams ‘you’re not worthy of me’ — even if it was adopted voluntarily, which I doubt is universally the case.
    Of course, Bikhair, you ARE chatting to other men and non-moslems via the Web. That in turn begs another question: what would the prophet Mohammed say about it? Tut tut. I guess we will ever know because all that matters is what he saw/was told/surmised/whatever a millenia ago.

  51. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:07 am  

    And if any of you people wanna come over “to the Pork side”, just let me know. I recently imported some superb Jamon Serrano from Teruel — just a little ducking and diving on the side to supplement my day job — and it is absolutely delishhh.

  52. Don — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:56 am  

    Interesting point about the internet, El Cid. If a moslem woman engages in cyber-sex, is she subject to a virtual stoning?

  53. Natasha Ali — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:15 am  

    Well,El Cid, to start with, if you “really” want to understand the concept of covering up, then I think you are at the wrong blog.
    I doubt there are many people who are actually true representatives of the world of the hijab. The best way would be to ask a moslem scholar.
    What I can estimate is that the spirit of Islam is based on “YAQEEN” which is often called “ain-ul-yaqeen” this is the highest form of belief.
    There are somethings that are in front of you that you believe. Something you touch and feel, and then believe. And there are somethings beyond sensory perceptions, and you still believe. In Islamic texture, it is called the highest form of “eeman”.
    It’s something like Oxbridge university’s interview guidelines, where they say be prepared for questions like “is the chair there?” during the interview.
    So once you BELIEVE in one, all-powering, loving and punishing God, you basically do whatever HE has told you to. And if they read in the holy book that moslem women cover up, then they have to cover up.
    Islam came over a period of time, all injunction were not sent in one day.
    So the message of covering up came quite a few years afterwards. In Arab, in the days before Prophet (peace be upon him) it was a custom to go bare-breast. The first message was “cover you chests”. Later on the message came “Oh Prophet, tell your women, to put their covering on their heads, so they can be distinctly marked as moslem women”
    Now some people translate this line as being only for the women in those times, because it was indeed a multicultural society, with Jews, non moslems all living there.
    But Koran also talks about not talking in a flirtateous manner and tells very clearly to keep your voice level headed while talking to me, which emans its not dissallowed to talk to men as long as you keep yourself modest.

  54. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:31 am  

    Thanks Natasha.
    But why cover the face? My mum wears a headscarf — big deal.

  55. Col. Mustafa — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:44 am  

    El Cid.

    Try wearing the fully covered gear for yourself.
    I tried it once, being a man obviously you might find that abit wierd.
    But its surprisingly warm, you feel protected underneath all that clothing, noone can see your face so its kind of fun.
    You get alot of looks from people, which is understandable.
    You are after all hiding yourself from the vision of others.
    But its like wearing a big box with slits in it just to see.
    Really good escapism, also you can freak people out big time.
    I found it particularly funny to go into threshers and buy as much booze as possible, whilst also pretending to be talking about islam on the phone.

    I think it should work both ways, or none.
    Either the men in islam should have to cover up from head to toe as well, only showing eyes, or no covering up for anyone in islam.
    Even when it comes to headscarfs, muslim men should have to cover up as well.
    I personally wouldn’t mind wearing a headscarf, its kinda like bandana and ive realised im too old for bandana’s and head gear in general.
    But this would give me the excuse to wear head gear.

    The muslim women in the muslim world need to push this idea, so men have to cover up the same.
    Hopefully muslim men will say, alright alright, women can wear what they want.
    Or muslim men adopt the style of covering up with open arms.
    Or they just ignore the entire issue as they do all the time.

  56. Jai Singh — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:01 pm  

    Rohin & Sonia,

    My point was basically about sincerity & humility versus egotism & hypocrisy. For example, it’s better to be a good-natured, compassionate individual who may get involved with so-called modern “vices” like drinking and dating etc than to be someone who may ritualistically adhere to some/all of his/her religiously-proscribed taboos (depending on the specific faith) but is simultaneously an arrogant jerk. So to some extent I’m paraphrasing what Sonia said in post no. 45.

    I’d have to start going into the more detailed precepts of Sikhism to really explain this, but I’m assuming you two are familiar enough with the religion to know what I’m talking about. In a nutshell, an individual’s basic character and level of goodwill towards others is by far the most important thing, more than whether they drink, eat pork, date, how they dress, etc etc etc. However, if certain religiously-related practices do genuinely enable a person to be more mentally disciplined, clearer intellectually and emotionally, and certainly more compassionate, then there’s nothing wrong in the person doing those things as well — as long there is a real spiritual benefit to the person as a result. There’s no point in wearing a hijab/etc etc if one is a) arrogant about it and b) treats non-hijabans badly. You get the idea. The same applies to religious practices in all faiths.

    Rohin,

    =>”When they are judged by God, he’s not going to say “hey, you’re a drinking gambling whoring bastard, but hey you always ate halal so come on in to heaven!” is he?”

    Of course not — but it’s the “bastard” aspect which would be the biggest factor by far which would prevent the individual from reaching that “final destination.” Whether the person’s drinking/gambling/halal-eating behaviour assists or hinders the person depends on his motivations for indulging in such practices and the subsequent impact this has on his own psyche and behaviour towards others.

    I am of course basing these views on my own thoughts and they happen to be corroborated by Sikh teachings too — orthodox Islam may have different ideas.

    Anyway, we don’t want to go too far off-topic — but these arguments do apply fully to veiling/hijabs etc too.

  57. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:06 pm  

    Really good escapism, also you can freak people out big time.
    I found it particularly funny to go into threshers and buy as much booze as possible, whilst also pretending to be talking about islam on the phone.

    You know what Colonel, that would make great TV!! I would pay money to see that.

  58. Siddharth — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:14 pm  

    colonel bhai, you make me larf. :-D

  59. Col. Mustafa — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:48 pm  

    “You know what Colonel, that would make great TV!! I would pay money to see that.”

    Good to hear.

    “colonel bhai, you make me larf. ”

    hehe, also good to hear.

  60. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:26 pm  

    Judaism and Islam are both religions which set down rules for basically every aspect of your life: going to the toilet, eating food, waking up, who you can shake hands with, what you can wear, and so on. They’re Great Plans for Everything. They have enormous attraction to people who really really desire certainty.

    superficially, this is true, but actually, within these larger rules there is considerable room for manoeuvre. there are many categories of law within judaism, ranging from de’oraita (written law) to d’rabbanan (oral law) as well as including the many shades of opinion, hashkafa (personal practice), minhag (local or community custom) or degree to which one is makhmir (strict) or makil (lenient) or wishes to go lifnim min’shurat ha-din (beyond the letter of the law). thus, you can have people who will eat any kosher meat stamped by a kashrut authority, as well as people that will only eat glatt (a more strict standard relating to lesions on the lungs) or badat”z (from a really strict authority) – and then there are personal hashkafot such as being veggie, organic or whatever – which are more to do with defining what sort of community you belong to or identify with. naturally we have our own “we are one!” brigade which thinks everyone ought to do it the same way (no prizes for guessing which end of the spectrum they’re from) but this link ought to tell you something about it: http://www.theknish.com/

    in connection with that, this comment is a bit misleading:

    most Sikhs would not cut their hair (same is true for Kabala faith in Judaism)
    kabbalah is not a “faith in judaism” – if you’re talking about madonna’s friends, they are more a new age cult than anything else and bona fide kabbalah has far more in common with, say, sufism. it’s more of an approach that is adopted to the texts and practices that illuminates their inner dimension. the hair thing is a particular custom which says you shouldn’t cut your hair at night (probably because of lilith stealing the bits to make demons with i expect, as she does with nocturnal emissions, fnarr fnarr) or before the Sabbath, not that you can’t cut your hair at all, unless you’re a nazir like samson, which is a voluntary de’oraita time-limited vow.

    now if you’re talking about modest dress, particularly for women, there’s a heck of a lot of debate and range of views. i know a lot of women who cover their hair (required only after marriage), and quite a few who dress modestly (meaning, no trousers, elbows, knees or cleavage) although opinion is obviously divided as to the stringency required. one thing i find bonkers however is the idea that a woman should cover her real hair with a wig or sheitel. i mean, if the idea is to be modest, isn’t that a bit peculiar? anyway, suffice it to say that i know quite a few people who wear sheitels and you’d have to be really quite strict to do so. most modern-orthodox women either wear a hat (or something that more or less qualifies as a hat) and some only do so in public, or at synagogue. about the strictest we get is the ultra-orthodox community in jerusalem (snoods, no hair showing, only hands showing, high necks, “bulletproof” tights and dowdy clothes – although personally i think that’s just because nice clothes are considered frivolous) – but it’s way less strict than even a jilbab if you ask me.

    i think women who want to (and i mean really want to, not pressured into it or conned into it) should be free to wear hijab and jilbab. niqab is one thing but you have a responsibility as well as a right and the responsibility is to be recognisable to colleagues and authorities – expression and interaction are crucial to society; modesty comes from actions and speech, not looks. i also believe that schoolgirls (whether jewish or muslim or whatever) have a responsibility to do PE, too, although i don’t see why single-sex shouldn’t be sufficient. like other people have said, i think a lot of it is to do with cultural stuff in the middle east and south asia rather than the religion itself.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  61. Fe'reeha — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:36 pm  

    Very interesting analysis bananabrain!

    You are right in thinking that I got my knowledge on Kabala by following stories on Madonna. I read in newspapers she did not cut her son’s hair following Kabalah. However, I do relaise Kabala is a very new concept in Judaism and is more cosmetic.
    You make a good parralel with sufism.
    Anyway, just a question. I read in a book on Judaism that Orthodox Jews actually are required to shave their heads at marriage and then wear a wig? Is it true?

  62. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:48 pm  

    Will somebody please tell me WHY some moslem women tend to cover themselves COMPLETELY? (for crying out loud)

  63. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:54 pm  

    hi fe’reeha,

    the not cutting your son’s hair custom is a different one – it’s a chasidic custom; the first haircut happens on the third birthday. many of the ultra-orthodox have the custom of going to the grave of rabbi shimon bar yohai on mount meron (the traditional author of the zohar) to do do on the festival of lag-be-’omer.

    the kabbalah of the so-called “kabbalah centre” is indeed new, but proper kabbalah is as old as judaism itself. if you are interested in learning a little bit more about that, this is a good place to start: http://www.jewfaq.org/kabbalah.htm – in fact, it’s a good place to start for almost all FAQs about judaism.

    as for the shaving thing – it is a custom followed by women in some chasidic sects, but that is probably the most extreme this issue gets. i’ve certainly never met anyone who does this, although i know quite a few chasidim.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  64. Fe'reeha — on 9th December, 2005 at 1:59 pm  

    Thanks bananabrain.
    Just a few more questions:
    1. Is kosher meat “exactly” halal meat?
    2. Is it true that people cannot “convert” to Judaism and they have to be a “born” Jew?
    3. Also, why do you call yourself bananabrain, you come across as a person with a very clever brain actually
    Regards,

  65. Sunny — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:00 pm  

    I would say its a cultural thing El Cid, because I’ve never heard anyone say that covering up completely is required in Islam.

    Why they do it? I guess the reasons may differ from person to person. I’m assuming its a person taking their notions of piety to an extreme.

  66. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:10 pm  

    hi fe’reeha,

    1. kosher meat is (so i’ve been told) acceptable as halal because it is a more stringent version of the same process. so muslims can eat kosher, but precisely because kashrut is more strict, halal is not sufficient for observant jews. with that said, i can certainly cite anecdotal evidence of jewish people that would rather eat halal meat than completely non-religiously-slaughtered meat. it’s not a bona fide religious position but when i was living in france, before i kept kosher, i would always rather get something halal because i knew at any rate i could be sure i wasn’t eating pork – and i know i’m not the only one who has done this, even though i wouldn’t do it nowadays.

    2. a jew is “any person whose mother was a jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to judaism.” (http://www.jewfaq.org/whoisjew.htm) – “judaism does not seek out converts, and actively discourages converts (because a person does not need to be a jew to be righteous in G!D’s eyes), but conversion to judaism is possible. ” (http://www.jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm#Conversion)
    3. hehehe. i watch a lot of blackadder.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  67. Fe'reeha — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:11 pm  

    You know very strange realisation.

    I have never met anyone in my life who does it….EVER!
    I am talking about the head to toe covering.
    I have seen a few here, but not actually spoken to someone who did it.
    On TV, I have seen women wearing this long shuttle cock burka, but the reason was traditional.
    There are also two-piece burkas. Where you have a coat, a head covering with optional gauze.
    That one definitely is culture.
    In Saudi Arab, I have seen women completely cover up. Indeed it was quite interesting, because most of the men had these big GMC’s (talking about very early days, 80′s) and each one had four wives. The wives were all covered up and the children would be at the back. I often wondered how could kiddies tell which one was their mum?
    My mm was forced to wear an “abaya” in Saudia much against her will.
    Often, her head covering used to fall down because she was not used to it. And the mutawwa (the policeman) would come and hit her not very lightly with a stick on her head and tell her to cover up, lol!
    These are my childhood memories. I guess I get this rebel nature in me from my mother.

  68. Fe'reeha — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:18 pm  

    I also remember my mum and her friends used to happiy pack their “abayas” in their bags at the Saudi airport rejoicing in the fct they did not have to wear them in Pakistan or the UK.
    When my faher’s official tenure finished in Saudia, my mum happily gave her “abayas” to a poor woman who used to wear covering in Pakistan, however, one of my mum’s friend threw it forcefully in the bin and had a party that day in her house.

  69. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 3:22 pm  

    Thank you Sunny!
    So it’s not required by the Koran. So it’s not the so-called word of God. So it’s good old fashioned female suppression or, dare I say it, plain daftness dressed up as pious adherence to a faith (a bit like those guys in the Phillipines who literally crucify themselves every Easter in order to share Jesus’s pain).
    And yet the common perception is that it is inextricably linked with a strict interpretation of the Koran. What would a wahhabist extremist say to defend it? Hmmm.

    Mind you, I can easily tolerate the burka, hijab, whatever the full one is called. If someone wants to look like a Dalek, that’s their concern. It’s a free country.
    It doesn’t annoy me as much as watching a wife forced to walk a few paces behind her man, like a second-class citizen, which I assume isn’t in any major religious text either.

    Funny enough I’ve never spoken to anyone who wears the Full Monty burka either Fe’reeha!

  70. NorahJones — on 9th December, 2005 at 8:02 pm  

    I ate pork out of rebellion.

    I stopped when I found it was genetically very similar to human DNA.

    I’d heard all the excuses, “it’s a dirty animal, its shags like a rabbit.” I argued we could eat rabbit.

    When I found out about the DNA thingy though, eurgh.

    I’ve been, ahem, clean for three years.

  71. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 9:30 pm  

    Humans differ from pigs by 18 of 32 amino acids, but by only 15 of 32 amino acids from the salmon. Are we therefore more closely related to fish than to other mammals like the pig?
    Thought for the day

  72. Bikhair — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:07 pm  

    Fe’reeha,

    If you and they are Muslims, it sounds as though you are related to some very evil and corrupt people.

  73. j0nz — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:45 pm  

    ‘Pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’.

  74. j0nz — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:46 pm  

    Sorry haven’t read any posts at all, just felt like a blanket statment about our summer of love girl.

  75. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 12:16 am  

    I’m thinking about going vegan..

  76. Fe'reeha — on 10th December, 2005 at 1:11 am  

    Bikhair, I did not realise you thought you were God. How amusing that you can just pass on injunction on me and my mother without knowing anything whatsoever about us.

    If I had time to post idle messages like you do, I would have definately answered you.
    But at this moment, all I can say is, if by “YOUR” definition, I am related to evil, then I am cool! Really does not alarm me!!!!

    May God bless you with better wisdom and judgement, ameen sum ameen!

  77. Sunny — on 10th December, 2005 at 2:56 am  

    I’m sure we’ve already established that Bikhair has a direct connection to Allah (even though its not possible in Islam) who lets her secretly know who is righteous (her ofcourse) and who isn’t (anyone she doesn’t agree with.).

    Woman, you’re perfect material for the Hizb ut Tahrir rudeboys, they love people like you – not too bright but fantastic and condemning others.

  78. Adriane — on 10th December, 2005 at 4:19 am  

    Kindly and considerate Moslems in Bangladesh have told women, even Christian and Hindi women, to cover or be killed.

  79. Jay Singh — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:09 am  

    Rohin

    I hope that when your convert friend sent her ‘boyfriend’ around to get you to destroy all the photos with her in them sans veil you told him to get out of your flat? That is well psychopathic.

  80. El Cid — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:57 am  

    Don’t do it Nora — anything but vegan.
    Bikhair — your silence on the the big “why?” speaks volumes. I’m not asking you to justify yourself, I’m asking for an explanation — who knows, if you’re persuasive enough maybe I’ll cover too just like the Colonel suggests.

  81. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 3:36 pm  

    I’ve read a lot of Bikhair’s comments over a long time andnever said anything before but can I just point out that when I turned against my religion and everything I’d been taught, it was because of attitudes like hers.

    For some reason, I didn’t want to believe in a God for whom nothing was ever going to be good enough and if I was going to burn, hell, I might as well have a wicked time before I do.

    Bikhair, do you not feel that people like yourself are the ones that give Islam this negative image?

    The preaching? The judging? This false sense of superiority you have?

    El Cid, nah! I love big macs too much!

  82. Bikhair — on 10th December, 2005 at 9:18 pm  

    Fe’reeha,

    Read your comments about about your family and ask if any person known for thier peity would consder them to be good people.

    El Cid,

    When pleasging Allah (azawajal) and obeying his commands becomes important to you than you will understand why Muslim women cover. They cover because they were told to, because they love Allah (azawajal) because the righteous women of the past did it and because our actions according to the Quran and the Sunnah is good for us in this world and the hereafter. Dumbass.

    Norah Jones,

    “The preaching?”

    Its recommend to give dawah when you have knowledge of a particular thing.

    “The judging?”

    Only guilty people have a problem with judgement. What is your issue?

    “This false sense of superiority you have?”

    Allah (azawajal) has a true sense of superiority and if we follow what he has established for us, why shouldnt we feel good about ourselves?

    “…when I turned against my religion and everything I’d been taught, it was because of attitudes like hers.”

    What a weak weak child. Listen sweetheart I am not a Muslim because I meet some really nice sisters and a cute Arab guy. I am a Muslim because Islam is the truth as established by the Quran and the Sunnah. Muslims were warned some 1400 years ago that as we got farther away from those three earliest generations we would become a little strange and distant from Islam. I am not surprised or disappointed at Muslim behavior. I am a Muslim because of Islam.

    “For some reason, I didn’t want to believe in a God for whom nothing was ever going to be good enough and if I was going to burn, hell, I might as well have a wicked time before I do.”

    What a strange thing shaytan would wisper to a person.

  83. Bikhair — on 10th December, 2005 at 9:21 pm  

    Sunny,

    “For some reason, I didn’t want to believe in a God for whom nothing was ever going to be good enough and if I was going to burn, hell, I might as well have a wicked time before I do.”

    You keep saying that Sunny Dont no, but I compare the actions and behaviors of the righteous women of the past and that of Fe’reeha mother or whoever and I run my yapp accordingly.

  84. Fe'reeha — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:13 pm  

    Bikhair, the religion that you try to convince yourself so zelously that you follow, says:
    ,,,,And I shall not worship that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship, To you be your religion, and to me my religion!”
    Part 30, Surah 109

    So please you stay on your path and let others live. And it is precisely because I have read Quran with translation not concentrated on “literal meaning”, I will politely remind you once again to keep your judgement to yourself. (And will not drag your mother, father or father’s mother in an online civilised discussion).

    The same book says:
    So woe onto those performers of Salat (prayers) who do so out of hypocricy, those who do good deeds only to be seen, and (tell otehrs) and in asserting their goodness prevent Al-Mauin (small kindness to mankind, like talking properly). The Palm Fibre, Chapter 10, Surat Al-Masad

    And the book once again says:
    “So glorify Allah’s forgiveness. Verily, He is the One who accepts repentence and Who forgives”
    The Help, Chapter 30

    So I forgive you, and please forgive us and start logging onto websites of fanatics in Iraq who kidnap people in the name of Islam and then put them on internet. You will find more likeminded people there.
    Thanks and wasalaam!!!

  85. Fe'reeha — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:21 pm  

    Also Bikhair, I doubt that you are one person” know for your piety” as you put it with the amount of time you spend on internet and beating people with your own ideals.
    Or are you typing these messages while sitting on a jaanmaaz and reading tasbeeh?
    And by the way what was the reason Satan despite his tasbeeh and ibadat was thrown out like a rag doll outside heaven accrding to Quran…what was it sweetheart? Oh was it pardah? ups no! Was it sharing ideas? No! Ooooooooh, actually it was vanity and false pride! Wasn’t it?
    Oh but why would you bother. Stay in your hidden words and revel in your self proclaimed heaven.
    Are’nt you a Muslim? And are’nt Muslims told very clearly that noone knows whose going into heaven and who is going into hell until the day of judgement. Or shall we ask Allah to consult with you directly as you certainly seem to carry your own register of heaven’s entry.

  86. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:22 pm  

    Yada yada yada.

    Sunny didn’t say that, I did.

    Dear me woman. I’ve sat with “sisters” and left with my head hung low at their arrogance.

    I’ve had “brothers” tell me the true way forward for a young muslim girl is to give up her study and let a good musliman take care of her. I argued he could leave. I was told Allah would provide. Living off the state is Allah providing for me?

    I did that whole killing off the ego, looking to the book, cutting myself off from anything remotely jahil like.

    I can’t even tell you where it led me except it was lonely and totally bizarre. And all the while there were people exactly like you, who told me pain was good, I must embrace it.

    I DON’T SEE THE SENSE IN IT.

  87. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:23 pm  

    “Only guilty people have a problem with judgement. What is your issue?”

    The point, sister, is that its not up to you to judge.

  88. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 10:30 pm  

    “Allah (azawajal) has a true sense of superiority and if we follow what he has established for us, why shouldnt we feel good about ourselves?”

    I thought God had an issue with pride.

    “Its recommend to give dawah when you have knowledge of a particular thing. ”

    To those that want to listen…

  89. Don — on 10th December, 2005 at 11:04 pm  

    The perfect gift for that special someone;

    http://www.cafepress.com/bettybowers.4400409

  90. NorahJones — on 10th December, 2005 at 11:08 pm  

    Ha!

  91. Faiza in Pakistan — on 10th December, 2005 at 11:58 pm  

    I just finished reading your article, very interestin” But some girls like Bikhair or whatever her name is, sound really fundamentalist.
    These are the people who portray such rigid and unwelcoming picture of Islam in front of others.
    I seriously believe now we need Imam Mehdi who can come and clear everybody’s misconceptions.

  92. Jai Singh — on 11th December, 2005 at 3:02 pm  

    I posted the following response to Bikhair on another recent thread, but since she seems to have either ignored it or did not read it at all, I think this is an appropriate place to post it again, as what I said is — disappointingly — still completely relevant. I hope that at least a modicum of this does manage to get through to her.

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/188

    (post no. 32)

    Bikhair,

    An academic knowledge of your religion’s tenets and a smattering of Arabic obviously hasn’t taught you courtesy, respect, maturity, or humility. You should take a look in the mirror and consider whether you are actually a positive ambassador for Islam or, as is obviously the case, in reality your behaviour and treatment of others undermines the very religion you seek to promote.

    You may have a basic grasp of some of Wahabbi Islam’s tenets, and you know how to throw in a couple of Arabic words here and there in order to create the illusion of piety and knowledge…..

    …..but, to paraphrase something a great man said to one of your predecessors 300 years ago, the reality is that genuine spirituality is very far from you indeed.

  93. Muhamad Shaka Zulu Khalifa — on 11th December, 2005 at 5:24 pm  

    Sister Bikhair,

    I have an advice to you . Please don’t pay attention to this site, because these people are stupid and have nothing to talk about. They e does not even know what theyr is saying. they are just combining words together to make some meaningless sentenc s. Anyway, we should not fight him, because what they wrote here proves that we (Muslims) are right and they (Non-Muslims) know for sure that they are wrong but still trying to survive. To that loser, instead of writing this bullshit, look all around you and see how Islam is spreading all over the world, which proves that you and everybody like you are blind to see the truth.

    Wasalaam

  94. El Cid — on 11th December, 2005 at 9:12 pm  

    They e does not even know what theyr is saying. they are just combining words together to make some meaningless sentenc s

    Shame we can’t be as eloquent as you . Wow! What a compelling and well-reasoned argument.
    A recent concert are we? That’s some fancy moniker you have there.

    ..see how Islam is spreading all over the world, which proves that you and everybody like you are blind to see the truth.

    Yeah, so is bird flu (and PP for that matter)

  95. Natasha Ali — on 11th December, 2005 at 9:32 pm  

    Muhamad Shaka Zulu Khalifa
    Is this even a real name?

  96. Don — on 11th December, 2005 at 9:37 pm  

    Guys, don’t you know a comic genius when you see one?

  97. Natasha Ali — on 11th December, 2005 at 9:48 pm  

    Jai Singh
    I agree with every word!

  98. Siddharth — on 11th December, 2005 at 10:00 pm  

    This is a comic genius. Shaka Zulu Khalifa is only unintentionally funny. But oh how we laughed!

  99. Muhamad Shaka Zulu Khalifa — on 12th December, 2005 at 1:44 am  

    Asalam Aleikum

    Whoa, hold up, Don, Siddharth, Natasha and other you sad regreatful Kafirs

    You Question Me, I Answer You. I always notice you guys fling the mud at people make fun of peoples spelling but NEVER! try to debate or deconstruct(like Derida, Foucault) their argumants. For instance I got in a big(huge actually) fight with my brother last week over American foreign policy. Generally the Israeli-Palestinian issue and particullary the Middle East. I asked him “Why Do They Arabs Hate Us? It’s Our Foreign Policy, Stupid.”
    The greatest living president this one time he said “Its the economy stupid.” He was talking about how “that” was the importan thing (the economy). You see, William Jefferson Clinton was not making a insult, he was making it cristal clear. It become a famous “catch frays”. That is where my title come’s from.

    Arab’s been killing so many are brave service menanwomen, now even peace activeists, did you ever axe your self why. You think its for no reason? Well I going to tell you.

    It’s are foreign policy stupid.

    We give Palestine to the Isreal neo cons when there was all ready Palestians living on the land (of the sovereign country of Palestine). And we give Isreal atomic bombs. Of course they Palestians blow up the neo cons with suicide bomb matyrs, they don’t have no atomic bombs. There own children bomb belts its the only weapon they have, they love the land so much, they must use it, to get there land back. Of course. We made them do it with are own foreign policy.

    What if it was you’re land.

    Think about it.

    In regards to Iraq, Yes, Saddam did opress some of his own people, Kurds and Shites. But he held a great Iraquois Nation together. His inimitable strong man style. You got to respect that. Good/bad its not all black and white they is shades of gray.

    Did you see how he tell the judge

    · goto hell
    · you’re court don’t have no legimacy
    · my under pants is dirty

    He is brave you got to give him that. He dont take no crap from no body.

    He did bad things but does that make him a bad person. Remeber they is good and bad in all of us.

    Wasalaam

  100. Natasha Ali — on 12th December, 2005 at 2:31 am  

    ha!ha! ha! You are funny khalifah!
    And now when will you propose Bikhair to be your fourth five?

  101. El Cid — on 12th December, 2005 at 10:00 am  

    Is he a spoof, isn’t he?
    Actually, there were elements of that last post which weren’t unreasonable. But then he writes about Blue clues on another thread!!
    This Mohamed Shaka Hislop guy is certainly funny.

  102. Natasha Ali — on 12th December, 2005 at 11:32 am  

    There is an actual Imam who has labelled a fatwa against Blue’s clues. Goodle it and you will get the details.

  103. bananabrain — on 12th December, 2005 at 2:07 pm  

    although i am assuming that MSZK above is supposed to be taking the piss, i would nonetheless like to address some of the things that get flung around as if they were established fact, rather than the standard old-chestnuts of the antizionist brigade.

    I always notice you guys fling the mud at people make fun of peoples spelling but NEVER! try to [...] deconstruct(like Derida, Foucault) their argumants.

    perhaps this is because that wouldn’t actually help us to understand them. those guys could make an emergency exit sign incomprehensible. and, OK, fair enough, we shouldn’t be rude about spelling, but i personally would avoid bringing up derrida in this context and then spelling his name wrong while you’re at it. unless this too is a “joke”, of course.

    Arab’s been killing so many are brave service menanwomen, now even peace activeists, did you ever axe your self why.
    actually, it’s fairly obvious. what isn’t quite so obvious is why 90% of the people the charmingly named “insurgents” kill in iraq are, in fact, muslims. the “wrong sort”, i dare say, but not “zionist crusaders” at any rate.

    We give Palestine to the Isreal neo cons when there was all ready Palestinians living on the land (of the sovereign country of Palestine).
    “we” being who? the UN? or are you perhaps referring to the first zionist conference in basel in 1870? *rolls eyes* as you ought to know, the 1948 resolution recognising israel (the only state whose existence was explicitly ratified by the international community) divided the territory into a jewish state and an arab state. except, of course, that the arab state was jordan, not palestine. in fact – and i do hate to bring it up – there has never been a sovereign country of palestine (i do think there should be one, of course, so don’t get me wrong) but the territory divided was the “british mandate in palestine” – an area under british sovereignty comprising modern day israel, jordan and the west bank (though not gaza or the golan heights). before 1915, palestine was a distinctly non-sovereign province of the ottoman empire. and before that, it was a part of various empires and kingdoms during the crusades and early islamic empires and, before that, part of the byzantine and roman empires and, before that, a sovereign jewish state. i’m not saying there were no such people as palestinians or anything stupid like that; i’m just saying that the name is older than the group of people who want to be a sovereign nation of palestine.

    secondly, “neo-cons” are, unless i have completely misunderstood the term, of recent provenance. you seem to be implying that the rumsfelds, wolfovitzes and other bush cronies were a recognised group in 1948 – which, as they were mostly in short trousers then, or not even born, is probably not correct.

    And we give Isreal atomic bombs.
    er… actually, the US gives conventional weapons as military aid. the israelis obviously pursue this policy of “nuclear ambiguity” (otherwise known as “you want to find out if we’re bluffing?”) but i understand that before they had their own reactor (not that they do, according to them *rolls eyes*) they had to nick a bunch of uranium from someone – nobody was going to sell it to them in the early 70s. apparently the story of how they got their hands on it has passed into legend in the world of covert operations, although ken follett once wrote a terribly bad novel about it called “triple”. the actual weaponisation and so on the israelis did for themselves. either way, it’s a deterrent, not something to threaten other countries with (which is, according to my sources, why the scuds that landed on tel aviv in 1990 didn’t contain chemical or biological warheads, not because saddam didn’t have any WMDs). or, perhaps you meant to say “the french gave saddam a nuclear reactor and the russians are in the process of giving high-grade uranium to iran although they’re sitting on vast reserves of oil and natural gas”.

    Of course they Palestians blow up the neo cons with suicide bomb matyrs, they don’t have no atomic bombs.
    nobody’s used atomic bombs on the palestinians! and, in the absence of neocons to avenge themselves on, of course, it therefore follows that these ‘martyrs’ go into pizza restaurants and onto buses and blow up women and children. sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    Yes, Saddam did opress some of his own people, Kurds and Shites.
    yes he did. but what’s a meatgrinder here, a chemical attack there, or a rape-room elsewhere?

    He did bad things but does that make him a bad person. Remember they is good and bad in all of us.
    i wonder – what *does* make someone a bad person other than their actions?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  104. Rohin — on 12th December, 2005 at 2:16 pm  

    Bananabrain, really – don’t waste your breath (fingers) on this guy. If he’s for real or if he’s fake, he’s a joker either way.

  105. bananabrain — on 12th December, 2005 at 2:27 pm  

    fair enough rohin and thanks – it’s just that some of the things he’s said are often said seriously and they ought to be rebutted. i wouldn’t want anybody to think i didn’t care about standing up for either the palestinians or the israelis or both in this thorniest of debates. i mean, i am jewish and i love israel, even though i don’t agree with some of the things that are done in its name, but i think it’s important to have a nuanced, reasonable view.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  106. Kiran — on 14th December, 2005 at 9:35 pm  

    All I have to say is read this novel “PRINCESS” A true story about a Saudi Arabian princess – god the the muslim women have no say in anything. . . I will post the author name later cant find the novel on my shelf. . . But once I get it will surely post it up. . .

  107. Rohin — on 14th December, 2005 at 9:45 pm  
  108. Kiran — on 16th December, 2005 at 12:18 pm  

    Thats the one. . . Cheers mate

  109. Tanvir — on 18th December, 2005 at 11:17 am  

    Actually Saudi very recently have given women the vote… but its not just Saudi who stopped women from voting… Kuwait also has been very undemocratic, although you dont see our governments making any noises against these people, since they have the oil taps running well and are pretty obedient.

  110. MedicF — on 18th December, 2005 at 7:48 pm  

    It’s interesting to see men and women arguing about the question of hijab, which then extends to Israel-Palestine conflict and the like. Some people talk about things they do know and understand, while some just doesn’t. The postings are self-explanatory.
    I’m a Muslim from Malaysia. A country where I believe Muslim women are given equal chances in education, career, and societal contribution while still adhering to the laws of the faith. No problem there.
    What should be understood is that there are some conflicting views in Islam. Some scholars have opinions that differ from other scholars, hence some believe in the full covering while some don’t. Either way it’s ok, since it depends on which style one believes is the best. I believe in not covering the face and hands, but I respect those who believe in covering. Fe’reeha’s story on women who threw away the abayas do portray some kind of disrespect, however it is not right to call her associated with evil and corruption.
    I knew muhajabah (women who don hijab) who live actively – going in forest expeditions, camping, give public talks, work as specialist doctors, act, etc. – and I personally has been living a very free and active life despite abiding to the rules of hijab. Relationship with men is existant – in healthy and respectful manners.
    HIjab is not restricting, oppressing or whatsoever. Just as a knife is not murderous by nature. It’s the way it is used that mar the positive traits.
    ~Use hikmah in da’wah…. da’wah is about allowing people to gently see the way and accepting the way… not kicking them off when they find the way blurry~
    –not perfect–

  111. Sunny — on 19th December, 2005 at 12:34 am  

    Thanks for that perspective MedicF, I believe that is exactly what Fe’reeha was also trying to say – it really depends on the intentions and what the woman herself is thinking or wants.

  112. MuslimQueen — on 7th February, 2006 at 3:58 am  

    I’m covered head to toe… dare to say a think to me!

    i’m not oppressed…. i’m not stupid…. i choice my life….

  113. Bea — on 14th February, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    Really late entry on this discussion but couldn’t stop myself. bananabrains mentions somewhere up above:

    modesty comes from actions and speech, not looks.

    I agree, in my college generally ( of course not all) the girls who covered from head to toe, were up to something mischevious- dating boys undercover, skipping college…. who would tell their parents when they didn’t even see their faces.

  114. zishan khan — on 15th February, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

    Should i shed some light in this matter were u ppl look gravely confused on. The concept of vile or hijab for women came around in approx 1350 years back. The reason hijab is very simple. According to islam a woman should cover every thing of her body that would get any indecent thought in opposite sex.

    To come to logic.

    I would say u can ask true Muslim the reason she wears hijab or vile is that to protect her self. Since u dressed in such a way were the other person will not have indecent thoughts abt u, Keeping her self safe from all the possible situation were she can be abused. That is one reason. And one more is if any female who doesn’t were hijab or proper dress that doesn’t cover the parts which incite indecent thought she is entitle for the mistake opposite sex do, Because in Islam what ever u do u r responsible as it is u should make sure what information u r passing though if u give wrong information then u will be punishable.

    If a person can see the beauty of a woman walking alone on a road. The first thought that will run across his mind is to take advantage of her. if a women were a hijab then u cut the evil from the root it self. As it is said “prevention is better then cure”. Can any girl say she doesn’t wana be safe i don’t think so. why do u ppl give chance for other ppl to take advantage cut the evil from root.

    And coming to u fareeha about the Saudi women they can were any thing under vile or hijab. they can be naked in front of there husband that is allowed since it is husband property and husband is his wife property. But according to u. You want woman to be public property. And coming to islamic imam who told u woman will be entitled of more sins then man. He is right but he dint complete the full sentence. Let me rephrase the sentence for u. Woman are entitle to more sins and good deeds then men because a woman can 6 ppl in there family to hell or heaven. 1) mother 2) father 3) brother 4) sister 5) husband 6) children either she can guide them to right path and gain more good deeds. why women in the sense, It is said in Quran a man is physically strong but emotionally week but woman is physically week but emotionally strong and patient. hope this answer u r question.

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