PDA

View Full Version : speaking out against the niqab



astralis
08 Oct 06,, 22:31
http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901061016-1543877,00.html

From the Magazine
Nothing To Hide
It's not illiberal for liberal societies to disapprove of the veil

By YASMIN ALIBHAI-BROWN


Sunday, Oct. 08, 2006
For years, I have vehemently opposed the politics of Jack Straw, a leading member of Tony Blair's Cabinet and former British Foreign Secretary. He has backed the disastrous war in Iraq and domestic laws that curtail civil liberties. In his north of England constituency, which has a sizable Muslim population, he panders to local Muslim bosses. But last week, in his local newspaper, Straw came out against the niqab, the full body and face veil worn by some Muslim women. The niqab, Straw wrote, makes him uneasy and hampers communication. He now asks women — respectfully — to consider taking it off when they come to seek his help. I now find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Straw's every word.

Feminists have denounced Straw's approach as unacceptably proscriptive, and reactionary Muslims say it is Islamaphobic. But it is time to speak out against this objectionable garment and face down the obscurantists who endlessly bait and intimidate the state by making demands that violate its fundamental principles. That they have brainwashed young women, born free, to seek self-subjugation breaks my heart. Trained creatures often choose to stay in their cages even when released. I don't call that a choice.

I would not propose that Muslim women should be stopped from wearing what they choose as they walk down the street, although, to be sure, there are practical problems with the niqab. I have seen Muslim women who had been appallingly beaten and forced to wear it to keep their wounds hidden. Veiled women cannot eat in restaurants, swim in the sea or smile at their babies in parks. But the most important reason for opposing the veil is one of principle. So long as it ensures genuinely equal standards for all, a liberal nation has no obligation to extend its liberalism to condone the most illiberal practices. State institutions as well as private companies should have the right to stipulate that a person whose face cannot be seen need not be served. That would not discriminate against Muslims; it would, for example, also affect men whose faces were obscured by motorcycle helmets. The principle expressed, in other words, would not be anti-Muslim, but one in favor of communication.

The example of France is salutary here. In 2004, the government banned the hijab, the headscarf, in public schools. The policy may have been introduced with an air of insufferable Gallic superiority, but it was absolutely right; overtly religious symbols are divisive. Schools and colleges should be places of social integration. Protests against the injunction soon died down and many Muslim French girls were happily released from a heritage that has no place in the modern world. Belgium, Denmark and Singapore have taken similar steps. Britain has been both more relaxed about cultural differences and over-anxious about challenging unacceptable practices. Few Britons have realized that the hijab — now more widespread than ever — is, for Islamicist puritans, the first step on a path leading to the burqa, where even the eyes are gauzed over. I have interviewed young women who say they feel so wanton wearing only a headscarf that they will adopt the niqab. Now even 6-year-olds are put into hijabs.

Western culture — it is true — is wildly sexualized and lacking in restraint. But there are ways to avoid falling into that pit without withdrawing into the darkness of a niqab. The robe is a physical manifestation of the pernicious idea of women as carriers of original sin; it assumes that the sight of a cheek or a lock of hair turns Muslim men into predators. The niqab rejects human commonalities. The women who wear it want to observe fellow citizens, but remain unseen, as if they were cctv cameras.

As a modern Muslim woman, I fast and pray; but I refuse to submit to the hijab or to an opaque, black shroud. On Sept. 10, 2001, I wrote a column in the Independent newspaper condemning the Taliban for using violence to force Afghan women into the burqa. It is happening again. In Iran, educated women who fail some sort of veil test are being imprisoned by their oppressors. Saudi women under their body sheets long to show themselves and share the world equally with men.

Exiles who fled such practices to seek refuge in Europe now find the evil is following them. As a female lawyer from Saudi Arabia once said to me: "The Koran does not ask us to bury ourselves. We must be modest. These fools who are taking niqab will one day suffocate like I did, but they will not be allowed to leave the coffin." Millions of progressive Muslims want to halt this Islamicist project to take us back to the Dark Ages. Straw is right to start a debate about what we wear.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a newspaper columnist living in London
From the Oct. 16, 2006 issue of TIME Europe magazine

starsiege
08 Oct 06,, 23:33
yeah , about time these women stand up for their rights!

PubFather
09 Oct 06,, 19:10
yeah , about time these women stand up for their rights!
I dont like the nijab anymore than the next man. Muslim women,imo, do have the right to wear if they chose. The fact that many only "chose" to wear it because of indoctrination and coersion is a different issue, and one that Jack Straw is perhaps hinting at as well.

What is good and refreshing about this, is that a British politician has been willing to actually say this publicly. Even a few years ago, it would have been almost unthinkable for a relatively mainstream politican to have said this - certainly in the Labour party.

I dont like Straw but I wish a few more UK politicians would be willing to risk a public debate on Islam and other issues as he has done. It might actually do Britain massive favour...

Ray
10 Oct 06,, 05:25
Alibhai Brown regularly features in BBC's "Dateline London" Programme.

She is very frank in her views.

She is absoultely right, as is Straw, that a niqab acts as a barrier in communication.

It is as good as talking to the wall.

Ironduke
10 Oct 06,, 06:15
Minneapolis has a large population of Somalis... they tend not to interact that much with other people. I attend the Univeristy of Minnesota, in classes they all sit by each other.

Now I think it's certainly their right to wear it... I think employers ought to be able to forbid wearing it if they wish, but only as part of a ban on headgear altogether though (e.g. safety reasons).

Ray
10 Oct 06,, 06:20
I have read that people were dismissed from their jobs in the US because they were smokers.

They appealed but it was turned down since the employer is entitled to decide the working conditions with assigning any reasons.

Therefore, if an employer decides no niqabs, then it will have to be agreed or one will not get the job.

PubFather
10 Oct 06,, 19:23
Minneapolis has a large population of Somalis... they tend not to interact that much with other people. I attend the Univeristy of Minnesota, in classes they all sit by each other.

Now I think it's certainly their right to wear it... I think employers ought to be able to forbid wearing it if they wish, but only as part of a ban on headgear altogether though (e.g. safety reasons).
Oh good luck with the Somalis - the ones in the UK are not well adjusted (by and large). They tend to be extremely aggressive and expect that the UK owes them a living... They and the Pakistanis dont get on either... which is something I suppose!

Parihaka
10 Oct 06,, 22:15
They're not so bad here, (Somalis) something like an 80% employment rate though the numbers are small. Most of them were located in subsidised housing in an area near where a friend of mie lives, at night time all the blokes like hanging out on the street talking, a bit daunting if you're not used to it but all it takes is a nod and g'day and they all break out in smiles.

tarek
11 Oct 06,, 11:22
Blame it on veil?
BY MADELEINE BUNTING

11 October 2006




IT’S been quite extraordinary: one man’s emotional response to the niqab — the Muslim veil that covers all but the eyes — has snowballed into a perceived titanic clash of cultures in which commentators pompously pronounce on how Muslims are "rejecting the values of liberal democracy".


Jack Straw feels uncomfortable and within a matter of hours, his discomfort is calibrated on news bulletins and websites in terms of an inquisitorial demand: do Muslims in this country want to integrate? How does Straw’s "I feel ..." spin so rapidly into such grandstanding?

The confusions and sleights of hand are legion, and it’s hard to know where to start to unpick this holy mess. Let’s begin with its holiness, because this is an element which has been absent from the furore. There are two distinct patterns of niqab-wearing in this country. One group wears the niqab by cultural tradition. Often they are relatively recent migrants, from Somalia or Yemen for example, and for the record it is not a "symbol of oppression" but a symbol of status.

The second group comprises the small but slightly increasing number of younger women who wear it as a sign of their intense piety. This latter prompted the memory of being taken as a child by my mother to visit the Poor Clares’ convent in York. We gave alms to these impoverished women who had chosen complete segregation from the world as part of their strict spiritual discipline; we talked to the gentle, warm mother superior through the bars of a grille that symbolised their retreat from the world. No one accused these nuns of "rejecting the values of liberal democracy" — yet they were co-religionists of the IRA terrorists of their time.

The point is that within all religious traditions there are trends emphasising the corrupting influences of the world and how one must keep them at a distance. Catholicism and the celibate monastic tradition of Buddhism interpret this in one way. Salafi Islam interprets it in modes of dress and behaviour in public places. Since when has secular Britain become so intolerant that it can’t accommodate (no one is asking them to like) these small minorities of puritanical piety?

But the bigger part of the muddle is why Straw felt entitled to privilege his emotional response without questioning it more deeply. Does it not occur to men opining on their sense of "rejection" at the niqab that it could be equally prompted by separatist lesbians? Or on another even more obvious tack: how comfortable does the woman wearing the niqab feel coming to visit her MP ensconced in his cultural context, at ease with enormous power and authority?

Comfort is a disastrous new measure for interactions in a diverse society. I’ve got a long list of discomforts. Does that licence me to make demands of others? I find talking to blind people difficult because I rely on eye contact. Similarly, dark glasses are problematic. And, to my shame, I often give up on conversations with people hard of hearing because I over-rely on chat to kindle warmth.

So forget comfort and accept the starting point for any kind of tolerance: that it’s not easy, that it requires imagination, that it makes demands of us. Learn new forms of communication and your world expands.

This debate about the niqab is the flipside of another, parallel debate (led by women) about the over-sexualisation of another subset of women who dress very provocatively (no men complaining here). One of the impulses for women who choose to take the niqab is how highly sexualised public space in this country has become. How do you signal your rejection — even repulsion — at what you regard as near-pornography blazoned over billboards?

A point worth pondering is that a minority of young women are so repulsed by the offer of femininity in Britain — rapidly rising alcohol abuse, soaring sexually transmitted diseases — that they have sought such a drastic option as the niqab.

And here’s the most damaging aspect of Straw’s self-indulgent intervention: the niqab is a drastic option and one that many Muslim women reject. It is the response of a minority who feel that they are living in a hostile climate. Straw’s comments have unleashed a storm of prejudice that only exacerbates the very tendencies which prompt some Muslims to retreat. They undermine efforts within the Muslim community to build more self-confidence, to encourage tightly knit communities to reach out. They have elevated the situation of a tiny minority of women who are often the most fearful anyway into a national problem — even that they form a barrier to successful integration.

This is dangerous and absurd. There are many far more important barriers to successful integration. Two-thirds of children from families of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are growing up in poverty. More than 20 per cent of all Muslim youths between 16 and 24 are unemployed. In many areas, the desire of second generation Muslims to integrate is being stymied by "white flight" from residential areas and white families using parental choice in education to avoid schools with large numbers of Asian pupils. Outgoing, confident ethnic communities are built where they find understanding, opportunity and engagement. We need to ask ourselves whether that is what we have provided.

Straw’s comments on the niqab escalated into an utterly false implication that Muslims don’t really want to integrate. Television reports ran over pictures of monocultural playgrounds. Ted Cantle’s identification of "parallel lives" in his report on the Bradford riots of 2001 has morphed into a problem that is being laid entirely at the door of a small minority that is impoverished and marginalised. This is ugly.

And there is another, equally ugly, agenda here. Many Muslims were surprised at Straw’s comments — including close political Muslim allies — given his long relationship with the community in his constituency. There has been speculation on his political ambitions. But the point that intrigues me is how Straw is elevating this question as one of primary national concern. In an article on Tony Crosland in the New Statesman last month, Straw cited the Labour thinker’s belief that class was the great divide in society, and added that, now, "religion" was the great divide.

Obviously, Straw meant Islam. No one is too worried about a shrinking number of Anglicans or Catholics. It’s a magnificent convenience for New Labour to let the divides of class slip from view as they prove intractable and social mobility grinds to a halt. In its place, a divide is drawn between a Muslim minority and the vast majority of non-Muslims. It resonates — as the public response to Straw testifies — but it is profoundly mistaken.

The job of a political leader at this historical juncture is to prod our complacencies and prejudices, to open our eyes to recognising how much we have in common; how much of Islam we non-Muslims can appreciate and admire. How much Islam can contribute to the far greater problems we all face? We shouldn’t be hounding those nervous or pious women in their niqabs. Their choice of clothing is as irrelevant as that of Goths. Beware, said Freud wisely, of the narcissism of small differences.

Madeleine Bunting is director of the thinktank Demos. This article first appeared in the Guardian. Write to her at madeleine.bunting@hotmail.co.uk

PubFather
11 Oct 06,, 17:10
I'm not going to respond to all of this (parts have merit) but I will take issue with some of it.



[SIZE="2"]IT’S been quite extraordinary: one man’s emotional response to the niqab — the Muslim veil that covers all but the eyes — has snowballed into a perceived titanic clash of cultures in which commentators pompously pronounce on how Muslims are "rejecting the values of liberal democracy".

Jack Straw feels uncomfortable and within a matter of hours, his discomfort is calibrated on news bulletins and websites in terms of an inquisitorial demand: do Muslims in this country want to integrate? How does Straw’s "I feel ..." spin so rapidly into such grandstanding?

I feel this exaggerates and misrepresents the media response. If anything, the media was almost amazed that someone had dared raise such a topic for public debate.


The confusions and sleights of hand are legion, and it’s hard to know where to start to unpick this holy mess. Let’s begin with its holiness, because this is an element which has been absent from the furore. There are two distinct patterns of niqab-wearing in this country. One group wears the niqab by cultural tradition. Often they are relatively recent migrants, from Somalia or Yemen for example, and for the record it is not a "symbol of oppression" but a symbol of status.
Interesting, but I know for a fact that there is huge pressure to on Muslim youths to wear such head attire, and much of it is coersion. Some may well wear it from cultural norms - the cultural norms of a society that is profoundly patriachal.


The second group comprises the small but slightly increasing number of younger women who wear it as a sign of their intense piety. This latter prompted the memory of being taken as a child by my mother to visit the Poor Clares’ convent in York. We gave alms to these impoverished women who had chosen complete segregation from the world as part of their strict spiritual discipline; we talked to the gentle, warm mother superior through the bars of a grille that symbolised their retreat from the world. No one accused these nuns of "rejecting the values of liberal democracy" — yet they were co-religionists of the IRA terrorists of their time.
Not a good comparison at all. Besides, they are entitled to wear what they want. Jack Straw did not (AFAIK) call for the niqab to be banned. He questioned whether wearing it was culturally appropriate in the UK.


The point is that within all religious traditions there are trends emphasising the corrupting influences of the world and how one must keep them at a distance. Catholicism and the celibate monastic tradition of Buddhism interpret this in one way. Salafi Islam interprets it in modes of dress and behaviour in public places. Since when has secular Britain become so intolerant that it can’t accommodate (no one is asking them to like) these small minorities of puritanical piety?
It certainly tolerates them far more than a corresponding Islamic nation would do.


But the bigger part of the muddle is why Straw felt entitled to privilege his emotional response without questioning it more deeply. Does it not occur to men opining on their sense of "rejection" at the niqab that it could be equally prompted by separatist lesbians?
Crypto-feminist hogwash....



Comfort is a disastrous new measure for interactions in a diverse society. I’ve got a long list of discomforts. Does that licence me to make demands of others? I find talking to blind people difficult because I rely on eye contact. Similarly, dark glasses are problematic. And, to my shame, I often give up on conversations with people hard of hearing because I over-rely on chat to kindle warmth.
Perhaps adding unnecessarily to the discomfort is not a wise move. Blind people cannot help being blind and dont chose it. I could add to Muslims discomfort by wearing an amusing "Allah" t-shirt. Why are Muslims the only ones with sensitivities?


So forget comfort and accept the starting point for any kind of tolerance: that it’s not easy, that it requires imagination, that it makes demands of us. Learn new forms of communication and your world expands.
Muslims need to learn communication in the form of tolerance of views they find repellent.


This debate about the niqab is the flipside of another, parallel debate (led by women) about the over-sexualisation of another subset of women who dress very provocatively (no men complaining here). One of the impulses for women who choose to take the niqab is how highly sexualised public space in this country has become. How do you signal your rejection — even repulsion — at what you regard as near-pornography blazoned over billboards?
They can do what they want - not is saying they cant.


A point worth pondering is that a minority of young women are so repulsed by the offer of femininity in Britain — rapidly rising alcohol abuse, soaring sexually transmitted diseases — that they have sought such a drastic option as the niqab.
Yep, protray the rest of society as being corrupt and immoral. Hey, why not have Sharia law here... to clean the place up.



And here’s the most damaging aspect of Straw’s self-indulgent intervention: the niqab is a drastic option and one that many Muslim women reject. It is the response of a minority who feel that they are living in a hostile climate.
Why might they be living in hostile climate? 7/7? 9/11? Neither justifies hostility, but they do explain it.


Straw’s comments have unleashed a storm of prejudice that only exacerbates the very tendencies which prompt some Muslims to retreat.
Rubbish - there has been no storm of prejudice, rather a civilised discussion about an important issue that many Muslims are sympathetic to.


They undermine efforts within the Muslim community to build more self-confidence, to encourage tightly knit communities to reach out. They have elevated the situation of a tiny minority of women who are often the most fearful anyway into a national problem — even that they form a barrier to successful integration.
Why would Muslims that are described in this way want to "reach out" to a morally corrupt, alcoholic, pornographic society?
Why is that minority of women so fearful? Is it because of repression and male dominance at home?


This is dangerous and absurd. There are many far more important barriers to successful integration. Two-thirds of children from families of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are growing up in poverty. More than 20 per cent of all Muslim youths between 16 and 24 are unemployed.
And that is the "whites" fault, I suppose? Funny that Hindu and Chinese children do far better at school than Pakistani Muslims. Its odd that the worst achieving group in British schools is now Pakistani boys. I wonder if that helps the employment rate?


In many areas, the desire of second generation Muslims to integrate is being stymied by "white flight" from residential areas and white families using parental choice in education to avoid schools with large numbers of Asian pupils.
The desire to integrate from middle class Muslims that also want to set up state funded Islamic schools? Parents using their ability (based on socio-economics) to move from economically deprived areas where the schools are worse? Muslim parents prefering to send their children to schools with a higher Asian (read Islamic) percentage.



Outgoing, confident ethnic communities are built where they find understanding, opportunity and engagement. We need to ask ourselves whether that is what we have provided.
Yes, we have. The Hindus have managed it, why not the Muslims?


[I]Straw’s comments on the niqab escalated into an utterly false implication that Muslims don’t really want to integrate. Television reports ran over pictures of monocultural playgrounds. Ted Cantle’s identification of "parallel lives" in his report on the Bradford riots of 2001 has morphed into a problem that is being laid entirely at the door of a small minority that is impoverished and marginalised. This is ugly.
Whose fault is it that they both improverished and marginalised? No one forces Muslims to live in the same area of a city - they chose to.


The job of a political leader at this historical juncture is to prod our complacencies and prejudices, to open our eyes to recognising how much we have in common; how much of Islam we non-Muslims can appreciate and admire. How much Islam can contribute to the far greater problems we all face? We shouldn’t be hounding those nervous or pious women in their niqabs. Their choice of clothing is as irrelevant as that of Goths. Beware, said Freud wisely, of the narcissism of small differences.
There is so much of Islam to admire... much more to condemn. Only, white people arent usually allowed to. Jack Straw has opened a debate. Long may it run.


Madeleine Bunting is director of the thinktank Demos. This article first appeared in the Guardian. Write to her at madeleine.bunting@hotmail.co.uk

joey2
11 Oct 06,, 17:56
There might be a easy solution to this....
just like Islamic Republic of pakistan
make britain Christian Republic of Britain lol. well it'll be democratic but religion cannot enter in anycase where it collids with law.
like u cannot see the facial expression which is very important.

this might be a stupid idea just sayin.

Ray
11 Oct 06,, 18:45
I still feel uncomfortable talking to a wall or a shroud!

Straw is not correct. The Moslem has integrated with the world. The others cannot see this great smooth, slick effort!

Let a million of niqabs and a couple of terrorist act not put you all off.

Variety is the spice of life!

PubFather
11 Oct 06,, 19:06
I still feel uncomfortable talking to a wall or a shroud!

Straw is not correct. The Moslem has integrated with the world. The others cannot see this great smooth, slick effort!

Let a million of niqabs and a couple of terrorist act not put you all off.

Variety is the spice of life!
Me too, it just looks scary!

joey2
11 Oct 06,, 19:54
nothing bad.. but dont the islam ladys wearing niqabs wanna get seen or stuff like tht?
geez its a female human psycology according to genes that the more fertile she is more she wants to get dressed and stuffs.
no wonder why they takes one hour infront of mirror while we 5 mins.

bandwagon
12 Oct 06,, 00:08
I think this issue does represent a clash of cultures. In the UK men and women expect to communicate as equals, including visual cues. To do otherwise is disrespectful. Wearing sunglasses when addressing someone is rude and discomfiting for the other party. Wearing a niqab is much worse; it lends anonymity as well as an advantage through masking visual cues.

Were this to become widespread it would have a negative impact on our culture and should not be tolerated. Jack Straw was right and, if anything, did not express it strongly enough.

I feel we have a right to identify features of an indigenous culture which we wish to protect. We can ask guest cultures to respect these features as a priority over their own traditions, almost as much as we ask them to respect our laws.

Furthermore, they have a much greater chance to be treated as equals if they act as equals.

Ray
12 Oct 06,, 07:21
It is essential to understand the significance of the niqab, hijab and such like restriction or dress codes for women in Islam.

Islam is one of the new religions of the world and hence to increase its followers, it had to undertake operations to increase its jurisdiction around the world. The easiest way to do so was by waging wars, which it did and is now history. Likewise, Islam had cranked in ways and means to "encourage" the vanquished to embrace Islam.

When the menfolk are waging wars and are not there to protect womenfolk, it became essential to ensure that they are NOT open to the lust of those remaining behind. Hence, one of the ways was to ensure that the women are kept away from society at large or they do not appear provocative to attract the lust of the men left behind is the niqab.

Thus, all means to make their women unattractive was taken and hence the drab, black shroud called burkha or wearing niqab.

Yet, if women had to go out, then they had to be accompanied by their menfolk for protection.

Therefore, in those times, it was possibly a sensible thing to have been done.

Women, in those times, were cared for by their menfolk or by their families and hence they did not have the requirement to interact with any other not in the family.

In these times of modernity where men and women have to interact for professional or social reasons or for purchase of goods etc, the requirement of the niqab become redundant and superflous, except to hallmark a special indentity.

Hence, there appears to be no requirement for a niqab socially or as a general purpose dress.

It indeed proves a barrier for communication and interaction.

It is like holding a bedsheet or a counterpane between two persons interacting for a legitimate purpose.

One can observe the puritan attitude necessary for Islam in the link below. Whether it is relevant in modern times is a moot question.

http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/sex/sex-basic-fiqh.html


It is best to avoid looking at each other’s private parts, though some Companions held that it is fine because it increases desire. (Durar)

joey2
12 Oct 06,, 07:22
speaking i havent seen any of the muslim chicks back in my school wearing niqabs..
it seems things r worst in britain than here..
i wudnt even bothered talking with someone with face covered .. definitely rude.

tarek
12 Oct 06,, 10:56
Some excellent points Pubfather. But some that won't hold water, for instance the bit about UK society "certainly tolerates them far more than a corresponding Islamic nation would do" -- "Would do"? you know of future eventualities?

You say Hindus have managed, why are Pakistanis Muslims not managing it, why are they under achievers in school?? Lovely questions, what is the relationship between attitude and achievement??

Personally, I think the language of Multiculturalism as known in UK and the 'deprived sectors" of society bit, just plain silly -- Why had previous immigrants from Pakistan been successful but not this lot, by and large??

And if the only benefit of living in the West is economic, why not go back and build an economy that has the same kind of basis, then you may free to live as you want and be well off, no need to put up with anybody's insults, especially the State's.

Ray
12 Oct 06,, 17:49
Manchester Provides Homes with Loos for Muslims
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2006-07-28 20:38

Until recently I did not know that Muslims are not allowed to face Mecca (nor turn their back to it) when sitting on the loo. I heard about it last April when the British press reported that Brixton Prison near London is rebuilding toilets so Muslim inmates can defecate in the right direction. First I thought it was a joke. This week, however, the BBC website has a story on a housing estate in North England. The homes, with wind turbines and solar panels on the roofs, have up to seven bedrooms, kitchens that comply with halal cuisine and “bathrooms that face away from Mecca.”

The estate, developed by Manchester Methodist Housing Association, has been built exclusively for Muslims because, as one of the residents says, “We’re all Muslims here so yes, it is important [to live exclusively among Muslims]. For myself I’m not really too bothered but to a lot of the Muslim people, yes it is important to them and yes it is a very good idea.”

Try to imagine what would happen if a housing company in contemporary Europe were to develop a project exclusively for non-Muslims. Undoubtedly there would be an outcry, while anyone in contemporary Britain who would dare to state (even in a private conversation) that “to a lot of non-Muslims people, yes it is important not to live among Muslims and yes it is a very good idea” might find themselves convicted in court for racism.

Meanwhile, one wonders how easily a non-Muslim British family would find an affordable seven-bedroom home. Perhaps there is no demand for such homes since there hardly are any large non-Muslims families left. Many indigenous Brits no longer procreate. It is sometimes said that the birth rate in Muslim families will drop, too, when immigrant families become affluent and secularized. Manchester Methodist Housing Association, however, clearly does not think this will happen soon, otherwise it would not be building state-of-the-art houses for large families with bathrooms for Islamists.

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1225


Pubfather,

I find this a little skewed.

It is the govt/ housing groups which is interested in protecting the religious requirement of a certain minority segment and then the country complaining through artciles such as these.

Surely, this community cannot be blamed for action taken by the govt.

PubFather
12 Oct 06,, 20:40
Some excellent points Pubfather. But some that won't hold water, for instance the bit about UK society "certainly tolerates them far more than a corresponding Islamic nation would do" -- "Would do"? you know of future eventualities?
No, merely basing this on my perception of how Islamic countries work at the moment and in the immediate future. I may well be wrong, I'd like to be wrong.


You say Hindus have managed, why are Pakistanis Muslims not managing it, why are they under achievers in school?? Lovely questions, what is the relationship between attitude and achievement??
Simple. Some do not value education. Some are unable to accept discipline. I dont know a definitive reason for this but I could suggest a few.
1) Discipline in schools is less severe than it is at the Mosque, school is a retreat from the regimented, controlled life of a strict Muslim household.
2) Secular education is perhaps perceived as being less important than a religious one.
3) Parents who often cannot speak the language well and are therefore unable to help/support.

There are many more possibilities.



Why had previous immigrants from Pakistan been successful but not this lot, by and large??
An interesting question. The original Pakistanis (for eg) that moved to the UK faced open racism and discrimination and many succeeded inspite of this. Many of the factory jobs done by the original immigrants have vanished. This would disportionately affect certain Islamic communities such as in Bradford and Blackburn. I suspect some have simply stagnated - the father openned a shop or restaurant but there has been no growth beyond that. There is neither enough work, nor enough motivation in that work, to sustain the entire Muslim community. As certain Muslim groups become increasingly ghetto bound, this problem become worse. A vicious circle, if you like.



And if the only benefit of living in the West is economic, why not go back and build an economy that has the same kind of basis, then you may free to live as you want and be well off, no need to put up with anybody's insults, especially the State's.
Indeed. The easier path to economic success has always been seen to be migration. Pakistani youths have been known to say proudly that they are Pakistani. When asked if they want to go and live there.. "No chance, its a f*cking dump"....

PubFather
12 Oct 06,, 20:47
Pubfather,

I find this a little skewed.

It is the govt/ housing groups which is interested in protecting the religious requirement of a certain minority segment and then the country complaining through artciles such as these.

Surely, this community cannot be blamed for action taken by the govt.

This is part of the problem. Certain politically correct morons in local councils etc make decisions like these, born from some exaggerated sense of guilt. Decisions like this make ordinary non-Muslim Brits really p*ssed off. And then ordinary Brits get even more p*ssed off when Muslims moan about discrimination and economic hardship.

Theres a parallel between the minority of parasitical Muslim (living off the state) and parasitical Whites doing the same. The Muslims blame racism for their condition, the whites blame immigrants and aslyum seekers. Many of them are just lazy sods who dont want to work.

As for blaming Muslims for the decisions, you can't really. They take what they are offered. In the case above, they will then simply be living in an even less integrated environment. :rolleyes: and so the problems will continue

Parihaka
12 Oct 06,, 21:29
It all comes down to how appropriate it is. If for instance I'm wandering around the beach wearing nothing but my budgie-smuggler, everything is fine. If, however I move out of sight of the beach and into say a bank, then it translates to me wearing nothing but a pair of undies, and becomes innapropriate. Western men do not leap on women and rape them simply because they show their face, and the Niqab is insulting in that it suggests they would. So the Niqab on the street, fine, in one on one conversation, insulting.

Ray
13 Oct 06,, 09:32
It all comes down to how appropriate it is. If for instance I'm wandering around the beach wearing nothing but my budgie-smuggler, everything is fine. If, however I move out of sight of the beach and into say a bank, then it translates to me wearing nothing but a pair of undies, and becomes innapropriate. Western men do not leap on women and rape them simply because they show their face, and the Niqab is insulting in that it suggests they would. So the Niqab on the street, fine, in one on one conversation, insulting.

But one could also be brainwashed to believe that western folks are the 'jumping types'!

With such a brainwashed attitude, anything will be believed except that it is fun living in such western countries and it improve the social status for the family back home as also bring home the bacon to live well in the western countries as also send a largess home to help the family left behind!

What I dislike immensely is this ' have your cake and eat it too' amongst many immigrants.

While I do not state that they should forsake their customs and traditions, but they must try to blend themselves with the local customs and also not be provocative in their ways.

Like if I were to go to Saudi Arabia, I sure would not start drinking in a public place or criticise their ways of life.

And anyway what about their Moral Police? Can I say that it should not be there and that it is archaic and silly?

What is the answer of the Moslems to this?

And yet they abuse the freedom of thought and speech when out of their cloistered Islamic countries.

These chaps, even on this forum, rubbish and chastise India for its caste system, which anyway has become a dino. They shout from the rooftops that Islam is without these silly social divisions and vehemently deny that it is prevalent in Islam too and that anything said in this regard is a vile Indian Israeli western propaganda to do down Islam.

I wonder what they would like to say if I told them that none other than the shining star of Islam, General President Musharraf in his book, 'In the Line of Fire" on Page 154 writes, 'The population is divided into vertical compartments of provinces, tribes, clan, caste, and sub caste'.

These blokes constantly live in a state of denial.

Unless they open up their eyes to reality, they will be a retrograded section of humanity and to their own peril.

If they want to remain moribund, it is OK. But they are like crabs. They want to pull others down too and create a whole lot of hassles that are not worth the consideration since they are antediluvian.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 10:05
It is essential to understand the significance of the niqab, hijab and such like restriction or dress codes for women in Islam.

Islam is one of the new religions of the world and hence to increase its followers, it had to undertake operations to increase its jurisdiction around the world. The easiest way to do so was by waging wars, which it did and is now history. Likewise, Islam had cranked in ways and means to "encourage" the vanquished to embrace Islam.

When the menfolk are waging wars and are not there to protect womenfolk, it became essential to ensure that they are NOT open to the lust of those remaining behind. Hence, one of the ways was to ensure that the women are kept away from society at large or they do not appear provocative to attract the lust of the men left behind is the niqab.

Thus, all means to make their women unattractive was taken and hence the drab, black shroud called burkha or wearing niqab.

Yet, if women had to go out, then they had to be accompanied by their menfolk for protection.

Therefore, in those times, it was possibly a sensible thing to have been done.

Women, in those times, were cared for by their menfolk or by their families and hence they did not have the requirement to interact with any other not in the family.

In these times of modernity where men and women have to interact for professional or social reasons or for purchase of goods etc, the requirement of the niqab become redundant and superflous, except to hallmark a special indentity.

Hence, there appears to be no requirement for a niqab socially or as a general purpose dress.

It indeed proves a barrier for communication and interaction.

It is like holding a bedsheet or a counterpane between two persons interacting for a legitimate purpose.

One can observe the puritan attitude necessary for Islam in the link below. Whether it is relevant in modern times is a moot question.

http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/sex/sex-basic-fiqh.html



So Islamic men have no self contol and to help curb lustful rapes they force women to wear this veil. I suppose if that article about Sweden and the rise in rapes is true I guess Islamic men really do have no self control or are inherently violent nut jobs.

Edit/ disclaimer


Obviously not all are like this, I’ve just got a roll on paintbrush today and the trends I see are scary.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 10:29
It all comes down to how appropriate it is. If for instance I'm wandering around the beach wearing nothing but my budgie-smuggler, everything is fine. If, however I move out of sight of the beach and into say a bank, then it translates to me wearing nothing but a pair of undies, and becomes innapropriate. Western men do not leap on women and rape them simply because they show their face, and the Niqab is insulting in that it suggests they would. So the Niqab on the street, fine, in one on one conversation, insulting.

Couldn't have said it better my man.

bandwagon
13 Oct 06,, 14:07
It all comes down to how appropriate it is. If for instance I'm wandering around the beach wearing nothing but my budgie-smuggler, everything is fine. If, however I move out of sight of the beach and into say a bank, then it translates to me wearing nothing but a pair of undies, and becomes innapropriate. Western men do not leap on women and rape them simply because they show their face, and the Niqab is insulting in that it suggests they would. So the Niqab on the street, fine, in one on one conversation, insulting. It's more than that: it is a measure of their willingness to respect the sensibilities of the host culture.

tarek
13 Oct 06,, 14:16
"Host culture" -- We are talking of "citizens"? -- Do "citizens" no longer have rights of citizenship?? Uniforms for all??

The lunatic fringe of English society wants to wear niqabs - why does anybody care?? I really don't get it.

Want to wear it, go ahead, don't want to wear it, go ahead -- it isn't extremist muslim britishers dismantling the ethical state, it morons who disguise their bigotry under the cloak of "host culture" and sensibilities of the majority -- have minority groups now to conform to majority fears about them? in a democracy??

So it was Ok that jews had to wear labels or hindu and sikhs - after all, the majority and their sensibilities have to accomodated?? You know,to fit in and all that.


:eek:

Ray
13 Oct 06,, 14:34
"Host culture" -- We are talking of "citizens"? -- Do "citizens" no longer have rights of citizenship?? Uniforms for all??

The lunatic fringe of English society wants to wear niqabs - why does anybody care?? I really don't get it.

Want to wear it, go ahead, don't want to wear it, go ahead -- it isn't extremist muslim britishers dismantling the ethical state, it morons who disguise their bigotry under the cloak of "host culture" and sensibilities of the majority -- have minority groups now to conform to majority fears about them? in a democracy??

So it was Ok that jews had to wear labels or hindu and sikhs - after all, the majority and their sensibilities have to accomodated?? You know,to fit in and all that.


:eek:

Wearing of niqabs or going nude did not bother any Britishers, excepting the skinheads, prior to the born again Islamist surge of the Ummah and its devastating signature all over the world.

It is just the fear of the unknown, which is a normal human reaction, gets re-ignited when one does not know what is behind the niqab. It is intriguing that people are fear crazed to be recognised. That appears an irrational fear to the logical mind!

The Jews, the Hindus, the Sikhs or even the Catholics go about their business without provoking the native sensibilities nor are they militant in their attitude nor do they permeate fear in the population at large by calling for holy or unholy wars against the very country where they are the citizens; nor flock in hordes to listen to such scurrilous and seditious sermons by priests (there being none in their religious denominations, but is common amongst the Moslems) to show differentiation from the civil society at large.

This is what differentiate the various non Christian communities in Great Britain less the Moslems, who are obtusely provocative in their stance.

Of course, there are Moslems in UK who are sick to the gills at these silly other Moslems who bring them a bad name and ostracising.

It maybe interesting to note that an Indian Christian family had "Kill Moslems" sprayed on the wall of their home scaring the living hell out of them (this news came out in the Telegraph Kolkata). Imagine it, because of the Moslems and because they were not whites and so mistaken as Moslem Asians, they got targeted because of the wild and dangerous behaviour of these wild Moslems (segment), who reaping the benefits of the country as citizens and at the same time are being utterly disloyal and treacherous by wanting to create dangerous situation for 'their' country!

I ask, with equal concern, why should Indians of any religious denomination, who are law abiding, suffer because of the Moslem shenanigans and murderous and treacherous behaviour?

Why?

tarek
13 Oct 06,, 15:22
Ray

We have to be clear, are we talking about british muslims or muslims around the world?? You say "born again Islamist surge of the Ummah and its devastating signature all over the world."

It's a cheap shot, but hey, you're entitled - so again, we are talking about UK muslims right or around the world? it is a political and social problem at present in the UK, right? -- so are these people citizens or not?? if they are, what's the beef?

Hindus and jews did not offend the sensibilities of "host" majority cultures?? what planet was this on?? Did taliban require Hindus to ID themselves, a yellow star of david, because it was a fashion statment??

Seditious sermons? Papists, are they?

Hey, Sikhs were killed in the US because they had turbans and so did Osama, those poor Sikhs just did not realize that they can't go about offending the sensibilities of the majority, citizen or not - Alas:eek:

Why should Indians suffer ? A question best posed to their persecutors not their fellow victims of ignorance - Don't you think, sorry, don't you FEEL?

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 15:58
"Host culture" -- We are talking of "citizens"? -- Do "citizens" no longer have rights of citizenship?? Uniforms for all??

The lunatic fringe of English society wants to wear niqabs - why does anybody care?? I really don't get it.

Want to wear it, go ahead, don't want to wear it, go ahead -- it isn't extremist muslim britishers dismantling the ethical state, it morons who disguise their bigotry under the cloak of "host culture" and sensibilities of the majority -- have minority groups now to conform to majority fears about them? in a democracy??

So it was Ok that jews had to wear labels or hindu and sikhs - after all, the majority and their sensibilities have to accomodated?? You know,to fit in and all that.


:eek:


No, hiding your face is disrespectful and I can't read your emotions. I would have to remove a face mask if I walked into a bank for example for obvious reasons and so should they. Also the whole reason there is a debate is that the veil makes people uncomfortable and they don't give a rats a$$ which makes it the more deplorable.

Thanks for letting me in your country, oh you don't like what I'm doing? Well, go fuk yourself then.

We wonder why people are pissed, I wouldn't get smashed in the streets of Saudi and my girlfriend would be expected to wear a head scarf, why do we not get the same rights to tell them to take it off as that **** don't fly here?

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 16:02
I ask, with equal concern, why should Indians of any religious denomination, who are law abiding, suffer because of the Moslem shenanigans and murderous and treacherous behaviour?

Why?

You said it already, people are dumb and scared witless.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 16:09
Hindus and jews did not offend the sensibilities of "host" majority cultures?? what planet was this on?? Did taliban require Hindus to ID themselves, a yellow star of david, because it was a fashion statment??

Seditious sermons? Papists, are they?

Hey, Sikhs were killed in the US because they had turbans and so did Osama, those poor Sikhs just did not realize that they can't go about offending the sensibilities of the majority, citizen or not - Alas:eek:

Why should Indians suffer ? A question best posed to their persecutors not their fellow victims of ignorance - Don't you think, sorry, don't you FEEL?


Oh Sikhs have been **** stirring in Canada, I have no idea why they pushed to be allowed to carry a Kripan to school. Knives have no place in school period, as the host culture that pissed me off. When I wore a kilt to my graduation I had to wear a plastic Skein Duh and that is MY cultural heritage well one of them anyway, I'm a Canuck and therefore Heinz 57 mongrel mix. Anyway, point being is that new cultures come in and at times go against the grain and wehn the people who where there first (read white boy) we get branded racist and it's really starting to piss us off.

Hell, I'm not even allowed to be proud to be white. Can you imagine me screaming white power? Now replace white with black and it seems okay. We're getting annoyed and now scared on top of that and it's a volitile situation and something has got to give.

Ray
13 Oct 06,, 16:49
Ray

We have to be clear, are we talking about british muslims or muslims around the world?? You say "born again Islamist surge of the Ummah and its devastating signature all over the world."

It's a cheap shot, but hey, you're entitled - so again, we are talking about UK muslims right or around the world? it is a political and social problem at present in the UK, right? -- so are these people citizens or not?? if they are, what's the beef?

You are being unduly sensitive.

These British Moslem boys were absolutely as British in their behaviour, likes and dislikes as any Tom, Dick or Harry white Britisher, before being indoctrinated by the mullahs. Am I right in that surmise? Or were they different and were terrorists from the day they were born? I believe that they were not even madrassa educated!

I personally don't know any of them nor have I broken bread with them. I am merely going by the news reports wherein the British Moslem neighbours have opined so, and so has the uncle of one of the bombers. The friends have said that they had of late become religious! Note: "of late". Therefore, I will take it that they were "good lads"!

How did they turn terrorists?

Obviously, the mullah would have influenced him into grand dreams of the Caliphate and the Ummah. Or could you give any other reasons how they suddenly became terrorists from being ideal boys?

Therefore, the equation which you call "cheap shot" is prompted by your defensive state of mind which fails to comprehend the logic behind my statement, and is actually a illlogical conclusion by you, loaded with the baggage of subconscious guilt that reqjuires no elaboration, lest it offends your sensibilities. I give way to PC.

One is a citizen so long as they are not treacherous to the country of their birth or domicile. That is the beef. It is not a political or a social problem. It is a clear cut case of treachery! It is an act against the nation.

You have a different view?


Hindus and jews did not offend the sensibilities of "host" majority cultures?? what planet was this on??

Did the Hindus, Jews or Jains or Buddhists offend the sensibilties of the "host" culture? Do educate.

The planet is Earth. Plant your feet frimly and you will realise it so.


Did taliban require Hindus to ID themselves, a yellow star of david, because it was a fashion statment??

I guess you understand English better than I.

Do read the stuff below!

Speaks for itself.

Or was it done to make it a "fashion statement"?

Now, if the Taliban can do it i.e. enforce their dress code on non Moslems and the Islamic world does not protest, then why howl when they politely tell that it is just "not done"?

You speak of fairness and justice. Where is fairness and justice being perpetuated by the Taliban? Where is all this fairness and justice that the Islamic nations demand of the West and other countries, not so West? How come not a cheep from them on this discrimination on CITIZENS?

How is it that a fair man like you also seem to have taken an ostrich view or adopted a Nelson's eye?




Taliban to mark Afghan Hindus

While leaders say action protects Hindus, others calls it blatant discrimination

May 22, 2001
Web posted at: 5:18 PM EDT (2118 GMT)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia announced plans on Tuesday to force Hindus to wear identity labels, sparking a backlash in India and elsewhere.

A Taliban spokesman said the order was issued to safeguard the rights of Hindus so that they are not accosted by the religious police who ensure that Afghans adhere to Muslim rules.

The edict also requires Hindu women to wear veils, as Muslim women do.

The move is the latest in a series of Taliban measures to crack down, or to segregate, un-Islamic and idolatrous segments of its society.

"Religious minorities living in an Islamic state must be identified," said the Taliban's religious police minister Mohammed Wali.
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/fyi/news/05/22/taleban.hindus/index.html


And this is what the most friendly country of Pakistan i.e.lChina has to say. You can not now call it western propaganda.



Taliban: Hindus Must Wear Identity Labels

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia said Tuesday it will require Hindus to wear labels on their clothing to distinguish them from Muslims, a proposal sharply denounced by the United States and India.

The Taliban said the measure, which also would require Hindu women to be veiled, was aimed at keeping non-Muslims from being harassed by religious police enforcing Islamic law.

The order, reminiscent of Nazi Germany's rule forcing Jews to wear a Star of David, brought more criticism upon the group which is already isolated for its harsh brand of Islam and treatment of women.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/english/200105/23/eng20010523_70812.html



Seditious sermons? Papists, are they?


Familiar with the name Abu Hamza as a starter? He was, of course, wanting to spread universal love for humanity, right? He wanted all to identify with the Queen, right?! ;) What did he and his like stand for? Peace and harmony? Love your country?


Hey, Sikhs were killed in the US because they had turbans and so did Osama, those poor Sikhs just did not realize that they can't go about offending the sensibilities of the majority, citizen or not - Alas:eek:

Yes one Sikh was killed. All thanks to the Moslem demagogues who has stupidly wrecked the stability of the world in the pursuit of their Holy Grail - the Ummah and the Caliphate!


Why should Indians suffer ? A question best posed to their persecutors not their fellow victims of ignorance - Don't you think, sorry, don't you FEEL?

Ignorance is universal. If one is intelligent and wise as you wish to claim the Moslems are, they should have realised that they would agitate the "ignorant" who would take out their anger on people not connected to the crime and yet having one part of their attire that is akin to the criminals (of a different religion)!

I "feel" nothing at these repeated stupidity and murderous acts and wanton butchery perpetuated some of the Islamic faith in the name of Islam.

They have numbed me into disbelief that such vile acts, which are actually abject cowardice, could be carried out in the name of a religion (that boasts of warriors like Sallauddin); and their coreligionist prefer to remain silent about it and then return to wail on feigned discrimination and delude themselves that it is a social and political question when, in actuality, it is treason and unmitigated criminal acts.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 18:44
Bravo!!!!!

Parihaka
13 Oct 06,, 22:36
Now, if the Taliban can do it i.e. enforce their dress code on non Moslems and the Islamic world does not protest, then why howl when they politely tell that it is just "not done"?

I'm beginning to suspect that it is the wests very tolerance of difference that is an insult, and that must be pushed and challenged to see if it will break.
When an oppressive society is shown an open one, the oppressive society seeks to use what it sees as weakness to destroy that open society: this is why Islam is challenging the conventions of tolerance and openess in the west by demanding greater and greater freedoms whilst not even suggesting it in their traditional societies.
Whatever it may be, the claim of persecution and victimhood is the greatest of hypocrisy

PubFather
13 Oct 06,, 23:06
A Muslim woman has been suspended by a school in West Yorkshire after she insisted on wearing a veil in lessons.

Bilingual support worker Aishah Azmi, 24, was asked to remove the veil after pupils found it hard to understand her during English language lessons.

Headfield Church of England Junior School, in Dewsbury, said she could wear the veil outside the classroom.

Ms Azmi refused and was suspended pending the outcome of an employment tribunal, Kirklees Council said.

The tribunal heard the case in September and is due to announce its decision within the next two weeks.

There is no religious obligation whatsoever for Muslim women to cover themselves up in front of primary school children
Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury

Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik backed the school's decision, saying: "In schools the top priority has got to be the education of our children.

"I fully support the decision of the education authority and the school in requesting the classroom assistant remove her veil when teaching primary school children.

"I believe the education authority has bent over backwards to be accommodating and has been extremely reasonable and sensible in the decision it has come to.

"There is no religious obligation whatsoever for Muslim women to cover themselves up in front of primary school children."

'Inadequate standards'

The school, which has 529 pupils aged seven to 11, takes many children from different ethnic backgrounds where English is not the first language.

An Ofsted report carried out in February said: "The first languages spoken by most children are Panjabi, Gujarati and Urdu, and many children are still learning to speak English.

"Significant improvement is required in relation to the inadequate standards of achievement reached by children and their slow progress over time.

"Children's speaking skills are poor and this holds them back in most aspects of their work."

Kirklees Council's children's services spokesman, Jim Dodds, said Ms Azmi's suspension was "nothing to do with religion".

Teachers' concern

"We are simply trying to ensure that our children get the best possible education," he said.

"Both pupils and teachers raised concerns because they were finding it difficult to make out what she was saying during lessons.

"We have a lot of pupils who do not speak English as a first language and you have to be able to see people's lips move when you are being taught.

"We asked this young lady to remove her veil when she was teaching English language, but she refused."

Mr Dodds said that even if Ms Azmi won her case the council would not change its position.

"Our only concern is that the children are taught properly," he said.

Last week, Commons leader Jack Straw angered some Muslims when he said wearing the veil made community relations more difficult.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/bradford/6046992.stm

First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous legion of Islam (lol)
The point behind this whole debate is that Jack Straw went on record as saying that he asked Muslim women to remove the nijab in private conversation with him. The same as is cuturally expected that someone inside romove their sunglasses, or a a hat/baseball cap. The woman in the above article was assisting the teaching of infants, to which the wearing of the nijab would have utterly terrifying.

It puts into perfect context the real debate. Should Muslim compromise when living within a different culture (the way that other cultures compromise when living under even moderate Islamic rule). Yes they should. If they want to integate. Compromise is a two-way street. Yet the the traffic has been one-way for too long.

Muslims insist on being a special case when it suits them, and on being the same when it doesnt.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Oct 06,, 23:20
I'm so glad you posted this, there is no reason on Earth why this lady should hide from children. I almost see this as some attention grap like when I purposefully antagonize my boss just to see how far I can push the fat bastard.

PubFather
13 Oct 06,, 23:33
I'm so glad you posted this, there is no reason on Earth why this lady should hide from children. I almost see this as some attention grap like when I purposefully antagonize my boss just to see how far I can push the fat bastard.
There is no reason. Moderate Islamic opinion says the same. It's just nonsense. Anyone can see how ridiculuous the whole nijab malarky is.

Parihaka
14 Oct 06,, 01:17
As I said, I believe it's deliberate testing of the boundaries, designed to insult.

bandwagon
14 Oct 06,, 11:37
And/or an alien culture attempting to impose itself.

There can be no other purpose than the making of a statement or a stand. If a tribunal upholds her stand, that will be another statement and a precedent.

I had previously been lukewarm about the French ban on Muslim dress in schools, but can now see a wisdom in it.


Or maybe she had zits..

Economist
14 Oct 06,, 16:23
There is no reason. Moderate Islamic opinion says the same. It's just nonsense. Anyone can see how ridiculuous the whole nijab malarky is.

She has been exposed live on BBC NEWS 24.

While being inteviewed earlier today she made the biggest gaffe when she initially aksed whether she had to answer the question

"Did she wear a veil during an interview and was there a male present during the interview"


After a minute of hesitating & murmuring she acknowledged that yes she did not wear the veil and yes there was a male present during the interview.

:rolleyes:

Ray
14 Oct 06,, 16:27
This is just my point.

Actually, most of them couldn't care less.

They do it to be obtuse and difficult and to embarrass others into reacting.

Economist
14 Oct 06,, 16:28
This is just my point.

Actually, most of them couldn't care less.

They do it to be obtuse and difficult and to embarrass others into reacting.

I believe that they do it with a specific point in mind which is to make a point everytime they interact with the Brits that they are diff & they will never integrate & live seperate lives.

Ray
14 Oct 06,, 19:28
That could be the issue.

In Pakistan, if one goes by what is known, there are quite a few women, who are very, very modern and sophisticated. You should also see the advertisements in the papers. For instance, see the photographs on 'Sunday'. Now, that is as modern as modern can be.

I used to see a BBC programme, 'Question Time Pakistan". The anchor was a lady and most fancy to look at. The audience was a mixed bag, burkhas as also modern women; some very modern in attire.

Economist
14 Oct 06,, 20:01
That could be the issue.

In Pakistan, if one goes by what is known, there are quite a few women, who are very, very modern and sophisticated. You should also see the advertisements in the papers. For instance, see the photographs on 'Sunday'. Now, that is as modern as modern can be.

I used to see a BBC programme, 'Question Time Pakistan". The anchor was a lady and most fancy to look at. The audience was a mixed bag, burkhas as also modern women; some very modern in attire.

Ever thought why whenever one switches to Sky News, BBC or ITV every news broadcast has 2 do with some muslim centric issue??

You probably wouldn't Ray, as from my understanding you are based in India.

Fact is that nowadays everything comes down to muslims.

Far from media going on a witch hunt it is entirely the other way around.

What beggars belief is that why no other South East Asian community or even Jews ( Anti-Semitism) generally in Europe has seen a gradual rise & even in the UK but we don't find people from these groups complaining.

Somehow it is the muslims who are alwyas victimised, discriminated against.

Fact is that Muslims in Britain are more bothered about their religion than the state.

This would than bring me back 2 my question why don't they than live in a state which affords their religion much more imp than the welfare of its citizens.

This is a clear cut prime example of hypocricy, but than one wonders if these people can even understand what hypocricy actually means.

Ray
14 Oct 06,, 21:45
Actually, it is true that a Moslem puts his religion first and then his country. Or so it appears.

Even on this forum we have seen this.

Yet, I like to believe that it is not universal, even though the majority may feel so.

I find this "religion over country" attitude a little difficult to understand.

Economist
14 Oct 06,, 21:58
Actually, it is true that a Moslem puts his religion first and then his country. Or so it appears.

Even on this forum we have seen this.

Yet, I like to believe that it is not universal, even though the majority may feel so.

I find this "religion over country" attitude a little difficult to understand.

fact is that the proportion of muslims who would fit your view are a minority hence this belief can easily be viewed as universal

tarek
15 Oct 06,, 04:36
An Alternative point of view from those express by most here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


VIEW: Today’s counter-enlightenment —Ralf Dahrendorf

We have to defend those who give unwelcome views whether we like them or not. If anyone does not like them, there are all the instruments of public debate and of critical discourse that an enlightened community has at its disposal

Not long ago, one might have concluded that, at least in Europe, there were no taboos left. A process that had begun with the Enlightenment had now reached the point at which ‘anything goes’. Particularly in the arts, there were no apparent limits to showing what even a generation ago would have been regarded as highly offensive.

Two generations ago, most countries had censors who not only tried to prevent younger people from seeing certain films but who actually banned books. Since the 1960s, such proscriptions have weakened until, in the end, explicit sexuality, violence, blasphemy — while upsetting to some people — were tolerated as a part of the enlightened world.

Or were they? Are there really no limits? Outside Europe, the ‘anything goes’ attitude was never fully accepted. And there were limits in Europe, too. The historian David Irving is still in detention in Austria for the crime of Holocaust denial. This is, to be sure, a special case. The denial of a well-documented truth may lead to new crimes. But is the answer to the old question, “What is truth?” always so clear?

What exactly are we doing if we insist on Turkey’s acknowledgement that the Armenian genocide did take place as a condition of its membership in the European Union? Are we so sure of Darwin’s theories of evolution that we should ban alternative notions of genesis from schools?

Those concerned with freedom of speech have always wondered about its limits. One such limit is the incitement to violence. The man who gets up in a crowded theatre and shouts, “Fire!” when there is none is guilty of what happens in the resulting stampede. But what if there actually is a fire?

This is the context in which we may see the invasion of Islamic taboos into the enlightened, mostly non-Islamic world. From the fatwa on Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses to the killing of a nun in Somalia in response to Pope Benedict’s Regensburg lecture and the Berlin Opera’s cancellation of a performance of Mozart’s Idomeneo, with its severed heads of religious founders, we have seen violence and intimidation used to defend a particular religion’s taboos.

There are questions here that are not easily answered by civilised defenders of the Enlightenment. Toleration and respect for people who have their own beliefs are right and perhaps necessary to preserve an enlightened world. But there is the other side to consider. Violent responses to unwelcome views are never justified and cannot be accepted. Those who argue that suicide bombers express understandable grudges have themselves sold out their freedom. Self-censorship is worse than censorship itself, because it sacrifices freedom voluntarily.

This means that we have to defend those who give unwelcome views whether we like them or not. If anyone does not like them, there are all the instruments of public debate and of critical discourse that an enlightened community has at its disposal. It is also true that we do not have to buy any particular book or listen to an opera. What a poor world it would be if anything that might offend any group could no longer be said! A multicultural society that accepts every taboo of its diverse groups would have little to talk about.

The kind of reaction we have seen recently to expressions of views that are offensive to some does not bode well for the future of liberty. It is as if a new wave of counter-enlightenment is sweeping the world, with the most restrictive views dominating the scene. Against such reactions, enlightened views must be reasserted strongly. Defending the right of all people to say things even if one detests their views is one of the first principles of liberty.

Publishing or presenting such views is a matter of judgment, almost of taste. I might not do it, but I would nevertheless defend the right of someone who decides otherwise. It is debatable whether recent incidents of this kind require a ‘dialogue between religions’. Public debate making clear cases one way or the other seems more appropriate than conciliation. The gains of enlightened discourse are too precious to be turned into negotiable values. Defending those gains is the task that we now face. —DT-PS

Ralf Dahrendorf, author of numerous books and a former European Commissioner from Germany, is a member of the British House of Lords, a former Rector of the London School of Economics, and a former Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006\10\15\story_15-10-2006_pg3_6

astralis
15 Oct 06,, 05:28
ray,



I find this "religion over country" attitude a little difficult to understand.

religion is older than country. nationalism only developed in the 19th century. with the collapse of nationalism (both the regular sort and the pan-arab sort) in the middle east, along with the structures of nationalism- state schooling for example- people are reverting to a more ancient form of organization.

Economist
15 Oct 06,, 11:59
A Muslim teaching assistant suspended for refusing to remove her veil in class should be sacked, a local government minister has said.
Phil Woolas, whose brief includes race relations, told the Sunday Mirror that Aishah Azmi, 23, had "put herself in a position where she can't do her job".

Ms Azmi, who works at a junior school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, said her pupils never complained about the veil.

She said she would remove the garment, but not in front of male colleagues.

Mr Woolas told the newspaper this amounted to sexual discrimination.

He added: "She is denying the right of children to a full education by insisting that she wears the veil."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/6050392.stm

Here is the interview in which the woman was caught out by the BBC presenter.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm

tarek
16 Oct 06,, 07:06
http://www.khaleejtimes.ae/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/editorial/2006/October/editorial_October33.xml&section=editorial&col=
What say you??

Looking beyond veil


16 October 2006



THE unsavoury row over the Muslim veil has deepened in the UK with a senior member of the Tony Blair government calling for the sack of a schoolteacher for wearing the veil. Phil Woolas, the minister for local government and community cohesion, has joined the ongoing heated debate over the veil by insisting that Aishah Azmi, the 24-year old mother of two, "has put herself in a position where she cannot do her job."


Coming on the heels of the controversy sparked by former British foreign secretary Jack Straw’s absurd remarks on the Muslim veil, Aishah Azmi’s case has come to challenge Britain’s famed traditions of religious tolerance and multiculturalism. For ages, persecuted and freedom-loving people from around the world have headed to Britain seeing it as a land of freedom, peace and opportunity. It was rightly celebrated as the most liberal and tolerant country in the whole of Europe.

But the very fact that Britain should be debating whether Muslim women can practise their religion, shows that the country is undergoing an alarming change, with the rest of the West.

The far from liberal remarks made by Woolas and before him by Jack Straw are a clear sign that the freedom once enjoyed by religious and cultural minorities in Britain may not last long. If this is how senior leaders of the left-wing Labour party view the country’s largest minority, it is not hard to imagine the possible reaction of right-wing fringe groups such as UKIP.

It is not as if Straw does not understand the larger issue of Muslim identity and why Muslim women wear hijab or cover their face. After all, there is a large concentration of Muslim community in his Blackburn constituency and until this controversy, the British Muslims saw their member of parliament as being largely sympathetic to them, despite their resentment over the government’s Iraq policy.

Besides, what is secularism, the cornerstone of Western democracy, if not non-interference with individuals’ religious beliefs and cultural practices? If some Muslim women choose to wear the veil, how does it affect their relationship with the state or the society at large? Or for that matter, why should governments, ministers or society get all worked up over an individual’s religious beliefs or cultural practices, unless they affect public peace or order in the country?

How is it anybody’s business, if Aishah Azmi wears veil in her school in the presence of her male colleagues? As she has sensibly pointed out in her defence, her students have never complained about her Muslim veil coming in the way of her communication with them. Why are Blair’s ministers — and with them the rest of Europe — getting so worked up then?

Ironically enough, liberal and secular Europe has no problem with in-your-face nudity on newspaper front pages and in public places — flaunted as individual freedom or art. But eyebrows are raised when a woman exercises her individual right to protect herself and her identity by covering her head or face. And from Jack Straw to Phil Woolas, every politician worth his salt rushes to condemn the ‘sacrilege’! This is nothing but moral and intellectual duplicity. Instead of panning the Muslim veil as decadent or a challenge to its secular ethos, Europe should celebrate its religious and cultural diversity.

Ray
16 Oct 06,, 07:35
Actually, I wonder what is wrong in running naked like the pygmies of yore?

Now, if a pygmy who is a school teacher want to teach in the nude, because it is an ancient pygmy culture and part of his pagan religion, should we object?

Some may feel that this is an extreme example, but it is not.

Now, if a pygmy wants to return to his roots and then teaches in an area where suchlike people exist in the deep jungles, who in the name of Dickens will object?

But should the same pygmy want to do so in, let us say, India or UK, apart from raising eyebrows, he would be hounded out.

Should he do so in Saudi Arabia, he needn't wait to meet his Maker. He will be under the executioner's sword before he can say "Faisal"

In short, in Rome, do as the Romans do.

However, if Azmi wishes to veil herself, nothing wrong in that. But then she should do so not in a domain where interactivity is essential. Imagine an Egyptian mummy all swathed up in bandages suddenly coming to life, moving and talking. Heavens, it will give anyone sane a fright!

tarek
16 Oct 06,, 08:15
"Some may feel that this is an extreme example, but it is not"

But it is argument by assertion

"if Azmi wishes to veil herself, nothing wrong in that. But then she should do so not in a domain where interactivity is essential"

But she has been interacting just fine, after all, note "her students have never complained about her Muslim veil coming in the way of her communication with them. Why are Blair’s ministers — and with them the rest of Europe — getting so worked up then"

Should Europeans be required to shed the clothes they are comfortable in, for clothes others are comfortable with ??

Don't get me wrong, I'm no supporter of niqab or burkha and such and very much an opponent of it, yet I have not found any of the positions forwarded, and there really is just one, namely, "we don't like it", to be persuaded that we ought to intrude into a private matter.

glyn
16 Oct 06,, 09:25
She has been on TV quite enough to see and hear that this particular classroom assistant has an unfortunate mixture of a regional accent and the voice of a immigrant. I know the children in her care are mostly from ethnic backgrounds, but that should mean they be addressed in correct English. This person is trying to stamp her Islamic identity on the kids, and getting herself in line for a large sum of money in compensation should she be dismissed from her post. There is no doubt that her 'community' is behind her claims. There is also no doubt that the average Briton is sick and tired of hearing about it. I know that I am!

tarek
16 Oct 06,, 10:04
Quite possibly this is all a ploy as you suggest, but we can be assured that the realm of "possible" is a vast and for our purposes, unproductive. And ofcourse many share your disgust, however; neither is sufficient cause for her to lose her job or fro a precedent to be set in a "secular" so****ry such as the UK.

As for her accent and voice, once again, if all we have to go on is subjective, will that not be a dangerous road to take in a country of laws?

Parihaka
16 Oct 06,, 10:42
But the very fact that Britain should be debating whether Muslim women can practise their religion, shows that the country is undergoing an alarming change, with the rest of the West. This is true, but not for the reason the author suggests


The far from liberal remarks made by Woolas and before him by Jack Straw are a clear sign that the freedom once enjoyed by religious and cultural minorities in Britain may not last long. If this is how senior leaders of the left-wing Labour party view the country’s largest minority, it is not hard to imagine the possible reaction of right-wing fringe groups such as UKIP. Liberalism is not the same as Anarchy. Liberalism has a code of ethics and behaviours just like any other societal philosophy. The idea that liberalism is one where anything goes is incorrect.



Besides, what is secularism, the cornerstone of Western democracy, if not non-interference with individuals’ religious beliefs and cultural practices? If some Muslim women choose to wear the veil, how does it affect their relationship with the state or the society at large? Or for that matter, why should governments, ministers or society get all worked up over an individual’s religious beliefs or cultural practices, unless they affect public peace or order in the country? Again. liberalism does not equate with a philosophy of 'anything goes'. Liberalism is underpinned by the society in which it is based. While as a philosophy it allows/enforces a wide degree of tolerance in certain areas, it is easily as restrictive as conservatism in many others. Infact you could argue that it is more restrictive to the majority of the population.


How is it anybody’s business, if Aishah Azmi wears veil in her school in the presence of her male colleagues? As she has sensibly pointed out in her defence, her students have never complained about her Muslim veil coming in the way of her communication with them. Why are Blair’s ministers — and with them the rest of Europe — getting so worked up then?Because it offends them. Such offense is as valid as her 'right' to wear the veil


Ironically enough, liberal and secular Europe has no problem with in-your-face nudity on newspaper front pages and in public places — flaunted as individual freedom or art. But eyebrows are raised when a woman exercises her individual right to protect herself and her identity by covering her head or face. And from Jack Straw to Phil Woolas, every politician worth his salt rushes to condemn the ‘sacrilege’! This is nothing but moral and intellectual duplicity. Instead of panning the Muslim veil as decadent or a challenge to its secular ethos, Europe should celebrate its religious and cultural diversity.

Again, liberalism or secularism is not a philosophy of 'anything goes' and is rooted in the morality and views of the society in which it is based.
My dear old Granny summed it best: "consistency my boy, is the hobgoblin of small minds".
In this context: Because society is tolerant of one behaviour, does not mean that it has to be tolerant of all behaviours. It is fun however to see liberals hoist by their own petard:biggrin:

tarek
16 Oct 06,, 11:01
A not so valiant effort parihaka:) - Let me see if I understand you correctly, you think that the GulfNews editorial, suggests that "Anything goes" is what "British" society ought to be about??

And do you also understand from the GulfNews editorial that it equates Liberalism with Anarchy?? If you do think it does, may I trouble you to point to (quote) where in the editorial it does this.


So, if I understand you correctly ,the crux of position is that "well, I'm offended" or "we are offended" - is that right? would you say I have fairly represented your position? If yes, then consider:

Who has died and left to you or others the right to decide what is "British"? Change is not something open societies hope to arrest, nor are agents of change the kinds of elemenst fo rwhich we have sanctions.
What seperates, generally, Western society from the rest is the organic quality of Western society, it comes about from being open about, well, everything. By Open I'm not suggesting that anything goes but that ther are very few "taboos" in Western society - how is it that this issue has become what it has.
Now if as is suggested by the editiorial, "liberal and secular Europe has no problem with in-your-face nudity on newspaper front pages and in public places — flaunted as individual freedom or art " - why is that ms. Aziz is to be denied the same individual freedom?

It is not sufficcient to say we are offended, after all, who cares if we are, we are offended by any number of things we experience everyday, but have any of these become fodder, or the kind of issue about which we feel threatened, for god's sakes man, we are not bothered that more than 600,000 have been killed to secure or attempt to, liberty and are not bothered that we have been duped and are not bothered by the incompetence that led to this calamity, but are "offended" by Ms. Aziz - I suggest to you that our priorties are misplaced.

Parihaka
16 Oct 06,, 11:23
A not so valiant effort parihaka:) - Let me see if I understand you correctly, you think that the GulfNews editorial, suggests that "Anything goes" is what "British" society ought to be about??

And do you also understand from the GulfNews editorial that it equates Liberalism with Anarchy?? If you do think it does, may I trouble you to point to (quote) where in the editorial it does this.


So, if I understand you correctly ,the crux of position is that "well, I'm offended" or "we are offended" - is that right? would you say I have fairly represented your position? If yes, then consider:

Who has died and left to you or others the right to decide what is "British"? Change is not something open societies hope to arrest, nor are agents of change the kinds of elemenst fo rwhich we have sanctions.
What seperates, generally, Western society from the rest is the organic quality of Western society, it comes about from being open about, well, everything. By Open I'm not suggesting that anything goes but that ther are very few "taboos" in Western society - how is it that this issue has become what it has.
Now if as is suggested by the editiorial, "liberal and secular Europe has no problem with in-your-face nudity on newspaper front pages and in public places — flaunted as individual freedom or art " - why is that ms. Aziz is to be denied the same individual freedom?

It is not sufficcient to say we are offended, after all, who cares if we are, we are offended by any number of things we experience everyday, but have any of these become fodder, or the kind of issue about which we feel threatened, for god's sakes man, we are not bothered that more than 600,000 have been killed to secure or attempt to, liberty and are not bothered that we have been duped and are not bothered by the incompetence that led to this calamity, but are "offended" by Ms. Aziz - I suggest to you that our priorties are misplaced.

LOL, the author is suggesting that because liberalism allows some behaviours, it should allow all behaviours, that is his(?) basic tenent. Because nude women can appear on page three, anything else is permissible, lest 'liberal Britain' be declared hypocritical.
What is ignored is the fact that nude women on page three does not equate to nude women walking down the street. Nor does any single set of behaviours automatically mean that any behaviour is permissible.
Only Anarchy allows such tenents, which is to what I am ascribing the authors mistaken views on liberalism.
As to the offence taken by those who are complaining about her behaviour, democracy, liberalism and secularism are all based in the 'rule of the many'. If she is, as it were, 'outvoted' by those around her, it is her responsibility to comply with that vote or leave, or find another way of getting her own way, just like everyone else in society.
As to who has died and therefore has the right to decide, the majority of people have the right to decide, and are doing so.
As to taboos, there are very many in western or British society, just as there are in all the others. On my first visit there I committed the grave offence of talking loudly on a train. On the one hand it seems like a joke, but it is in fact deadly serious. Britain is riddled with taboos, and I rather suspect is developing another one, whether you or I or anyone else likes it or not.

And finally, logic is not a factor in the way societies behave, or we'd all live in a much quieter world. Just because the British public are apparently not getting upset about the deaths in Iraq is not going to stop getting them upset about this. Until Mz Aziz and her advocates understand this, they're not going to get anywhere. Calling them hypocrites only makes them more obstinant.

Edgeplay_cgo
16 Oct 06,, 13:58
But one could also be brainwashed to believe that western folks are the 'jumping types'!

My experience, in the more restrictive muslim states, like Saudi Arabia, is exactly the opposite. A Western woman alone on the street would be acosted and harassed by the flower of Arab manhood, who consider that she must be available to them.

When I was working on a stupid idea for a Saudi National Park (Abulazizland??? :rolleyes: ) near Taif, we were told there coulds be no public toilet blocks. The flower of Arab manhood would hang outside the ladies room to harass the women. This was told to us by our Saudi client.

So, if they project their own perverted values onto us, I can see where they would believe that.


Like if I were to go to Saudi Arabia, I sure would not start drinking in a public place or criticise their ways of life.

I daresay not! The former would get you two years in prison. You do not want to be in a Saudi prison. The latter would get you deported.


And anyway what about their Moral Police? Can I say that it should not be there and that it is archaic and silly?

You don't LIKE the idea of being driven into the mosque with a whip? Or having exposed women's hair spray painted? It's all for your own good!


Unless they open up their eyes to reality, they will be a retrograded section of humanity and to their own peril.

The problem is, that islam CANNOT change. Minor aspects of its interpretation, perhaps, can. Witness the relatively progressive nature of Jordan and Lebanon in the good old days. But islam's intolerance, its perverse repression of sexuality, its aggressive conversion by the sword, and its repression of other faiths, is written into the Koran. It is black letter law. It is immutable.

That is islam's fatal flaw. It is trapped in the Seventh Century.

If they want to live like that over there, I have no problem. They have the right to be barbarians, I suppose. If I go to a muslim country, I observe their mores. When they come to my country, I expect them, to observe ours, particularly in terms of tolerance for our ways, obeying our laws, and not demanding we conform to their barbarity. If they can't do that, they should go back to whatever pesthole they came from.

PubFather
16 Oct 06,, 21:34
Debate about veils is 'healthy'
MPs and Muslim leaders have said the debate surrounding women wearing the veil is "healthy".

They said honest debate helped to break down barriers between Muslims and other sections of British society.

Government ministers were also right to give their views on British Muslims, they said.

Their comments came after the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said recent pronouncements by ministers had "demonised" Muslims.

Muslim human rights campaigner Ahlam Akram said the MCB was being "too sensitive".

"This debate is good and healthy," she said.

"Muslims are feeling very alienated at the moment. We are worried about what is happening in this country. But we, and organisations like the MCB, are getting too sensitive.

"Generally we Muslims are afraid of having debates. Anything out of the Muslim norm and we get afraid.

"We live in a country which guarantees our freedom and freedom of speech and it's about time we used that to have a debate."

'One dimensional'

The government is facing criticism from Islamic groups over the issue of whether Muslim women who insist on wearing veils are hindering integration.

The controversy was sparked two weeks ago by Commons' leader Jack Straw when he admitted asking Muslim women if they would remove their veils when visiting his Blackburn constituency offices.

Over the weekend, the continuing row focused on Muslim teaching assistant, Aishah Azmi, who was suspended for refusing to remove her veil in class.

Government minister Phil Woolas angered some Muslim groups by calling for the 23-year-old to be sacked.

But Ms Azmi's MP Shahid Malik said ministers had been right to give their views and said it had resulted in helpful debate.

"The thing that stigmatised Muslims in this country was the events of July 7, last year.

"This is another example of the one dimensional perspective that organisations like the Muslim Council of Britain have all the time.

"It is unhelpful. The government has a right and responsibility to intervene. The government is here for everyone.

"It is government intervention that can act as a catalyst to get people thinking about different issues.

"If we don't talk about these things they are stored up for the future. It's best sometimes to get them out."

The debate, surrounding the veil and other issues, should take place within the Muslim community but there isn't a neutral platform
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui

Keighley MP Ann Cryer, whose constituency contains a large Muslim community and who came out in support of Jack Straw, said: "Any debate is healthy.

"But the sad part is that there is a very large silent majority of Muslims who do not speak out.

"I have no doubt they agree with Jack Straw and also with what I've been saying about issues such as forced marriages."

Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the lobby group the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, said ministers had provoked a debate which was needed.

"My opinion is that this debate should take place and ministers are right to voice their views," he said.

"The debate, surrounding the veil and other issues, should take place within the Muslim community but there isn't a neutral platform.

"All of them are religious and sectarian. Everything is coloured by the front they take. As a result the only platform left is the wider society. So I welcome the debate."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/6055340.stm

To give the lie that all Muslims are fanatical, over-sensitive nutcases.. they are not. No matter what the reactionary few say - this debate is healthy and largely being conducted sensibly.

PubFather
16 Oct 06,, 21:41
LOL, the author is suggesting that because liberalism allows some behaviours, it should allow all behaviours, that is his(?) basic tenent. Because nude women can appear on page three, anything else is permissible, lest 'liberal Britain' be declared hypocritical.
What is ignored is the fact that nude women on page three does not equate to nude women walking down the street. Nor does any single set of behaviours automatically mean that any behaviour is permissible.
Only Anarchy allows such tenents, which is to what I am ascribing the authors mistaken views on liberalism.
As to the offence taken by those who are complaining about her behaviour, democracy, liberalism and secularism are all based in the 'rule of the many'. If she is, as it were, 'outvoted' by those around her, it is her responsibility to comply with that vote or leave, or find another way of getting her own way, just like everyone else in society.
As to who has died and therefore has the right to decide, the majority of people have the right to decide, and are doing so.
As to taboos, there are very many in western or British society, just as there are in all the others. On my first visit there I committed the grave offence of talking loudly on a train. On the one hand it seems like a joke, but it is in fact deadly serious. Britain is riddled with taboos, and I rather suspect is developing another one, whether you or I or anyone else likes it or not.

And finally, logic is not a factor in the way societies behave, or we'd all live in a much quieter world. Just because the British public are apparently not getting upset about the deaths in Iraq is not going to stop getting them upset about this. Until Mz Aziz and her advocates understand this, they're not going to get anywhere. Calling them hypocrites only makes them more obstinant.

Excellent point (that which I have highlighted)..

I would go so far as to say "upset" just genuinely debating the nijab and its place in our society - especially in private or a place of work, where the wearing may cause alarm, offence, confusion or prevent you doing your job properly.

And shut up on the train mate ;)

tarek
17 Oct 06,, 05:18
Below is an editorial from today's "Daily Times": I thought it ver interesting and think you may enjoy reading it, it is certainly thought provoking - Is over Ought, all choices articulated are between bad and worse. Ira had alluded to what may come and I had responded that Europeans may have learned from their recent past


Daily Times - Site Edition Tuesday, October 17, 2006


EDITORIAL: Muslims must weigh the veil carefully

The British press has quoted Phil Woolas, the Race and Faith minister, as demanding that Aishah Azmi, a Muslim Teaching Assistant, be fired for refusing to remove her veil at work and “in the presence of fellow men workers”. This remark is bound to pour more oil on the fire of the debate over the rights of Muslim women to wear face-veils in Britain. The opposition Conservatives have also joined the Labour minister, with one of the party’s top officials accusing Muslim leaders of encouraging a “voluntary apartheid” that could help spawn “home-grown terrorism”.

Most Muslim organisations in the UK are outraged. They believe that the powers-that-be are exploiting Muslim support for the rights of a lone woman to wear the veil as pretext for conducting intrusive inquiries into Muslim lifestyles. Normally, it wouldn’t have much mattered if a Muslim woman had been asked to change the way she looked at a school, but in today’s charged political environment the question has become extremely sensitive. It no longer matters if Muslim women walk in the streets in England wearing their hijab while a whole lot of other Muslim women don’t; what apparently matters is the right of a Muslim woman to freely practise her religion and choose to dress according to her perception of what her religion ordains.

As if this isn’t a big enough crisis for British Muslims, the news from Tunisia, a Muslim country, is that the Tunisian government is actually taking action against women walking around wearing the veil in public. What Tunisia is trying to do is what the British are not thinking of doing, although if the present alienation of the expatriate Muslim community continues in Europe, that day may arrive too. Tunisia is not democratic and doesn’t care for human rights, but the British do. However, it would be a sad day if and when cultural policies in Europe depart from their past tolerant multiculturalism. But there is another side to this “multiculturalism” which warrants attention.

Should the expatriate Muslim community take note of the new tendency among the host countries and adjust itself accordingly, or should it continue in the groove of multiculturalism that has effectively separated and ghettoised them? In Pakistan, those who dislike the treatment meted out to Ms Azmi should take a good look at the edict of hijab before asking the Pakistanis — who form a majority of the Muslims of the United Kingdom — to be aggressive and defy the bipartisan consensus forming in the host country’s parliament about passing new cultural laws in tandem with the rest of the European Union.

We have always had the burqa in Pakistan. It is still around, as if “marking” our movement towards a more liberal and “liberating” society. There is tolerance of the burqa here and of the other forms of hijab that have cropped up in recent years. Indeed, from the shuttlecock to the two-piece burqa, we have all of them without people thinking much about it. But when the ladies of the Jama’at-e Islami appear on TV in their burqa with only the light shining from their eyes we know this doesn’t point to our evolution to a progressive historical stage but to our possible future in the opposite direction. We know that if and when the clerical alliance of the MMA comes to power it will enforce the hijab and deprive our women of the freedom of choice they have today.

Tunisia may be reacting to developments of the recent past in the Islamic world. In 1994, the Islamists of Turkey, after winning the municipal elections in the cities of Ankara and Istanbul, tried to use force on the streets to impose the Islamic veil on Turkish women. Then we saw the Islamic warrior Juma Namangani beating up women in the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan for not wearing the shuttle-**** burqa, and we saw Mulla Umar beating up women in Kabul for walking alone even when wearing a burqa. We also know that Mr Namangani’s Islamist ally, Tahir Yuldashev, is somewhere in Waziristan today, and if he and his friends in Pakistan had their way, Pakistan would also go the way of Afghanistan.

Two developments have taken place in the last two years that are significant. The expatriate Muslim community in the UK and Europe has shunned local culture and gone into its cocoon. Before that for many years it was slowly changing its dress code and taking up religious pieties defensively against the process of multiculturalism leading to ghettoisation which allowed and enabled the expatriates to live separately and do whatever they wanted to do without asking for equal opportunity. Then 9/11 happened, changing perceptions of Islam abroad. This was followed more lethally by October 7, 2005, and the Heathrow plot this year. Meanwhile, the British police have taken action but not always fairly and cleanly, and innocent Muslims have suffered as a result. This has exacerbated the situation

The Muslims of the US were best integrated, followed by those of the UK, but both communities are now under pressure from the new laws. Britain wants to increase its coordination with EU in respect of the culture policy to be followed vis-ŕ-vis the Muslims in the future. France has an anti-veil policy and applies it not only to teachers but pupils as well. Thus while democracies in Europe may embolden the expatriate Muslim to seek remedy under law, the Muslim must remember that new legislation can change all that; and legislation is the result of politics and how the host white majority feels.

Expatriate Muslims in the UK must therefore think of ways of assimilating local culture and being at par with the other non-Muslim religious communities who have integrated well and face fewer problems. The question of the veil is emblematic of what might come. It should not be treated simply as a matter of freedom of choice in a civilised world.

Ray
17 Oct 06,, 06:48
Perfectly valid.

tarek
17 Oct 06,, 07:34
'Even other Muslims turn and look at me'

Muslim journalist Zaiba Malik had never worn the niqab. But with everyone from Jack Straw to Tessa Jowell weighing in with their views on the veil, she decided to put one on for the day. She was shocked by how it made her feel - and how strongly strangers reacted to it

Tuesday October 17, 2006
The Guardian


'Idon't wear the niqab because I don't think it's necessary," says the woman behind the counter in the Islamic dress shop in east London. "We do sell quite a few of them, though." She shows me how to wear the full veil. I would have thought that one size fits all but it turns out I'm a size 54. I pay my Ł39 and leave with three pieces of black cloth folded inside a bag.

The next morning I put these three pieces on as I've been shown. First the black robe, or jilbab, which zips up at the front. Then the long rectangular hijab that wraps around my head and is secured with safety pins. Finally the niqab, which is a square of synthetic material with adjustable straps, a slit of about five inches for my eyes and a tiny heart-shaped bit of netting, which I assume is to let some air in.

I look at myself in my full-length mirror. I'm horrified. I have disappeared and somebody I don't recognise is looking back at me. I cannot tell how old she is, how much she weighs, whether she has a kind or a sad face, whether she has long or short hair, whether she has any distinctive facial features at all. I've seen this person in black on the television and in newspapers, in the mountains of Afghanistan and the cities of Saudi Arabia, but she doesn't look right here, in my bedroom in a terraced house in west London. I do what little I can to personalise my appearance. I put on my oversized man's watch and make sure the bottoms of my jeans are visible. I'm so taken aback by how dissociated I feel from my own reflection that it takes me over an hour to pluck up the courage to leave the house.

I've never worn the niqab, the hijab or the jilbab before. Growing up in a Muslim household in Bradford in the 1970s and 80s, my Islamic dress code consisted of a school uniform worn with trousers underneath. At home I wore the salwar kameez, the long tunic and baggy trousers, and a scarf around my shoulders. My parents only instructed me to cover my hair when I was in the presence of the imam, reading the Qur'an, or during the call to prayer. Today I see Muslim girls 10, 20 years younger than me shrouding themselves in fabric. They talk about identity, self-assurance and faith. Am I missing out on something?

On the street it takes just seconds for me to discover that there are different categories of stare. Elderly people stop dead in their tracks and glare; women tend to wait until you have passed and then turn round when they think you can't see; men just look out of the corners of their eyes. And young children - well, they just stare, point and laugh.

I have coffee with a friend on the high street. She greets my new appearance with laughter and then with honesty. "Even though I can't see your face, I can tell you're nervous. I can hear it in your voice and you keep tugging at the veil."

The reality is, I'm finding it hard to breathe. There is no real inlet for air and I can feel the heat of every breath I exhale, so my face just gets hotter and hotter. The slit for my eyes keeps slipping down to my nose, so I can barely see a thing. Throughout the day I trip up more times than I care to remember. As for peripheral vision, it's as if I'm stuck in a car buried in black snow. I can't fathom a way to drink my cappuccino and when I become aware that everybody in the coffee shop is wondering the same thing, I give up and just gaze at it.

At the supermarket a baby no more than two years old takes one look at me and bursts into tears. I move towards him. "It's OK," I murmur. "I'm not a monster. I'm a real person." I show him the only part of me that is visible - my hands - but it's too late. His mother has whisked him away. I don't blame her. Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrored refrigerators, I scare myself. For a ridiculous few moments I stand there practicing a happy and approachable look using just my eyes. But I'm stuck looking aloof and inhospitable, and am not surprised that my day lacks the civilities I normally receive, the hellos, thank-yous and goodbyes.

After a few hours I get used to the gawping and the s******ing, am unsurprised when passengers on a bus prefer to stand up rather than sit next to me. What does surprise me is what happens when I get off the bus. I've arranged to meet a friend at the National Portrait Gallery. In the 15-minute walk from the bus stop to the gallery, two things happen. A man in his 30s, who I think might be Dutch, stops in front of me and asks: "Can I see your face?"

"Why do you want to see my face?"

"Because I want to see if you are pretty. Are you pretty?"

Before I can reply, he walks away and shouts: "You ****ing tease!"

Then I hear the loud and impatient beeping of a horn. A middle-aged man is leering at me from behind the wheel of a white van. "Watch where you're going, you stupid ****!" he screams. This time I'm a bit faster.

"How do you know I'm Pakistani?" I shout. He responds by driving so close that when he yells, "Terrorist!" I can feel his breath on my veil.

Things don't get much better at the National Portrait Gallery. I suppose I was half expecting the cultured crowd to be too polite to stare. But I might as well be one of the exhibits. As I float from room to room, like some apparition, I ask myself if wearing orthodox garments forces me to adopt more orthodox views. I look at paintings of Queen Anne and Mary II. They are in extravagant ermines and taffetas and their ample bosoms are on display. I look at David Hockney's famous painting of Celia Birtwell, who is modestly dressed from head to toe. And all I can think is that if all women wore the niqab how sad and strange this place would be. I cannot even bear to look at my own shadow. Vain as it may sound, I miss seeing my own face, my own shape. I miss myself. Yet at the same time I feel completely naked.

The women I have met who have taken to wearing the niqab tell me that it gives them confidence. I find that it saps mine. Nobody has forced me to wear it but I feel like I have oppressed and isolated myself.

Maybe I will feel more comfortable among women who dress in a similar fashion, so over 24 hours I visit various parts of London with a large number of Muslims - Edgware Road (known to some Londoners as "Arab Street"), Whitechapel Road (predominantly Bangladeshi) and Southall (Pakistani and Indian). Not one woman is wearing the niqab. I see many with their hair covered, but I can see their faces. Even in these areas I feel a minority within a minority. Even in these areas other Muslims turn and look at me. I head to the Central Mosque in Regent's Park. After three failed attempts to hail a black cab, I decide to walk.

A middle-aged American tourist stops me. "Do you mind if I take a photograph of you?" I think for a second. I suppose in strict terms I should say no but she is about the first person who has smiled at me all day, so I oblige. She fires questions at me. "Could I try it on?" No. "Is it uncomfortable?" Yes. "Do you sleep in it?" No. Then she says: "Oh, you must be very, very religious." I'm not sure how to respond to that, so I just walk away.

At the mosque, hundreds of women sit on the floor surrounded by samosas, onion bhajis, dates and Black Forest gateaux, about to break their fast. I look up and down every line of worshippers. I can't believe it - I am the only person wearing the niqab. I ask a Scottish convert next to me why this is.

"It is seen as something quite extreme. There is no real reason why you should wear it. Allah gave us faces and we should not hide our faces. We should celebrate our beauty."

I'm reassured. I think deep down my anxiety about having to wear the niqab, even for a day, was based on guilt - that I am not a true Muslim unless I cover myself from head to toe. But the Qur'an says: "Allah has given you clothes to cover your shameful parts, and garments pleasing to the eye: but the finest of all these is the robe of piety."

I don't understand the need to wear something as severe as the niqab, but I respect those who bear this endurance test - the staring, the swearing, the discomfort, the loss of identity. I wear my robes to meet a friend in Notting Hill for dinner that night. "It's not you really, is it?" she asks.

No, it's not. I prefer not to wear my religion on my sleeve ... or on my face.

Ray
17 Oct 06,, 08:05
The reality is, I'm finding it hard to breathe. There is no real inlet for air and I can feel the heat of every breath I exhale, so my face just gets hotter and hotter.

I felt the same when I had the NBC (Warfare) suit on.

NBC = Nuclear, Biological and Chemical.

It was so suffocating and alien that I was ready to have been radiated or sick with bio agents or be gassed by chemicals!

glyn
17 Oct 06,, 09:20
I felt the same when I had the NBC (Warfare) suit on.

NBC = Nuclear, Biological and Chemical.

It was so suffocating and alien that I was ready to have been radiated or sick with bio agents or be gassed by chemicals!


Our 'Noddy Suits' were much the same, but flying whilst wearing one and the S6 respirator was something else! However, the Warsaw pact military used to wear those frightful rubber suits. Must have been a terrific ordeal to do so in mid-summer.

Ray
17 Oct 06,, 09:21
Ours must have been a copy of the Warsaw Pact stuff!

I would rather be veiled even though I am a man, but those NBC stuff was horrid.

BenRoethig
17 Oct 06,, 15:08
They have the right to wear the nigab and any public place or government institution has the right to deny them access as a result. It is not the west's responsibility to become an Islamic society for them, it is their responsibility to assimilate. If they want to live under Islamic law and Islamic traditions, it would be best for them to live in an Islamic Country.

Officer of Engineers
17 Oct 06,, 16:01
Ours must have been a copy of the Warsaw Pact stuff!

No, Sir, everybody pretty well had the same condomes on. You put them on and watch everybody's googles slowly filled up with perspiration.

Ray
19 Oct 06,, 08:30
The niquab maybe a better proposition.

PubFather
19 Oct 06,, 19:59
Ms Azmi has lost her case against the council for religious discrimination.

The council are criticised for the way they handled the affair - and have been ordered to pay a small amount for victimisation but essentially, they have won.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/6066726.stm

Parihaka
26 Oct 06,, 03:39
An Australian Muslims view on the hijab


Senior Muslim cleric's sexist comments spark outrage
PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
AM - Thursday, 26 October , 2006 08:16:00
Reporter: Josie Taylor
TONY EASTLEY: One of Australia's most senior Muslim clerics is being accused of saying that some women, by the way they dress and their actions, are attracting sexual assault.

Sheikh Taj El Din Al Hilali made the comments in a sermon to worshippers in Sydney last month.

He's quoted as saying that women who don't wear the hijab or headdress are like uncovered meat.

The Australian newspaper translated a copy of the cleric's sermon.

A spokesman for Sheikh Hilali says the Sheikh was talking about abstinence and fidelity for both sexes and not rape.

Muslim leaders are appalled by the reported comments, but say they don't have the power to make Sheikh Al Hilali stand down.

Josie Taylor reports.

JOSIE TAYLOR: The Australian newspaper claims it translated the address by Sheikh Taj Din Al Hilali and found the Mufti alluded to rape victims being at fault because of the way they dressed.

Keysar Trad is an associate of the nation's most senior cleric. He says he's spoken to the mufti who explained his comments.

KEYSAR TRAD: He wasn't talking about standard norms of dress in Australia or in any country, he wasn't talking about the hijab, he was talking about people who engage in extra-marital sex.

He's always encouraged fidelity and abstinence until people get married and he's talking about those people who prey on others, whether men or women who seek to engage in sexual conduct outside of marriage and do so through alluring types of attire.

JOSIE TAYLOR: He is quoted as saying that women were weapons used by Satan to control men. Did he say that?

KEYSAR TRAD: I haven't canvassed that particular line with him and I know that I've heard some clerics refer about how Satan uses sexuality to entrap people in general, not specifically one gender in preference to the other.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Did he say though, that… referring to women who don't wear a hijab as uncovered meat and saying that they are the problem?

KEYSAR TRAD: From my discussions with him, the issue was not whether they wear a hijab or don't wear a hijab. The issue is that every society has a certain dress code, a normal dress code that people go by.

So if somebody goes beyond that dress code, if men or women get to the stage where they dress in a manner that is provocative, then these people are doing something wrong. But if the dress code in a society is such that it's a short skirt and a tank top, well, that's the dress code, that's the norm.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Is it fair to say that women who go outside the norm in their dress codes are then fair game for rapists?

KEYSAR TRAD: No, well, see the issue is not about rape. The issue is about extra-marital sexual activity. He was not talking about rape.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Shereen Hassan is an executive committee member of the Islamic Council of Victoria.

She's yet to confirm the newspaper's translation of the Mufti's address, but says if it's accurate, she's appalled.

SHEREEN HASSAN: His comments are absolutely repulsive and offensive to me as a woman. I mean, I'm a Muslim woman, I wear a hijab but I certainly don't wear the hijab to avoid sexual harassment. I wear it to show my love and devotion to God, full stop. Not for any other reasons.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Would you be calling for him to stand down?

SHEREEN HASSAN: I will definitely... I will definitely be speaking to him and condemning these comments to his face and we will be… we don't have the power to make him stand down, but we will… I will definitely be having a word to him and pointing out how incredibly offensive these comments are and I will be urging him to retract his statement.

LOL, he doesn't know what he's doing, taking on Aussie sheilas:rolleyes:

Addendum: He's just claimed he was misquoted: what he actually said was that they looked like prostitutes

Expect a good old fashioned lynching to follow:biggrin:

Ray
26 Oct 06,, 08:12
He's quoted as saying that women who don't wear the hijab or headdress are like uncovered meat.

Parihaka,

His comment on 'exposed meat' has made him 'dead meat'?

Parihaka
26 Oct 06,, 08:59
Parihaka,

His comment on 'exposed meat' has made him 'dead meat'?

LOL, yep, that was funny:biggrin:

Ray
26 Oct 06,, 13:21
From a Moslem ady from Bangladesh.


http://www.humanists.net/alisina/hijab.htm

Ambiguity of Dress Code in Islam: Burkha or Hijab (?)



By Khurshed Alam Chowdhury

Maryland, USA.

As we all agree, that there are tremendous controversies in the women dress code in Islam. Even two Islamic scholars do not agree in the same dress code for women. In the same Muslim Country, dresses worn by Muslim women are not the same at all. It varies even in the same family. Therefore, let us discuss this important subject with a view: (a) to determine exactly what type of veil (pardha) should be observed by Muslim women prescribed by Quran & Sunnah, (b) how to implement them and, (c) to determine if this Islamic dress code is, of course, feasible or not, for Twentieth or Twenty first Century’s modern/civilized working/business women ?

Background and brief History of Veils: veiling (pardha) women was an aged old practice among the aristocrats and it was practiced thousands of years before the arrival of Islam. Hindu, Bhudda, Christians, Jews etc were also practicing veiling among their prestigious women. As far I can discover from various references, this method was adopted mainly as a sign to distinguish the FREE WOMEN FROM THE SLAVE WOMEN, so that none should molest her thinking her to be a slave girl (please read Qur’anic Ayat 33:59 below).

Veiling amongst aristocrat women was always to cover her Face & body completely (when goes outside home) and with the advent of Islam veiling was made obligatory for all believing women from the age of nine (9) and not the ambiguous age of 7-15 as some authors consider. Most of all, veiling in Islam (as per Qur’an & Sunnah) was always to COVER ENTIRE BODY EXCEPT FEET AND WRIST,i.e. Burkha was the proper veiling system rigidly obeyed by all Muslim women until early 20th Century. Begum Rokeya’s “ABRODE BASHINI” is a master piece document of the prevailing situation at that time. We all know very well that even outside education for women was prohibited by Islam. I urge our honourable readers to read “ABRODE BASHINI” for themselve. This famous novel will give a true picture of Sub-continent Muslim women until early 20th Century.

After all where lies the actual beauty of a person? I consider it is the very “face” or “Chaahara” which identifies whether a person is beautiful or ugly. Why then we are arguing with “Hijab” and “khimar”? How one protect her beauty only by covering her hairs? What happens, if she shaved her hairs, does she still needs to wear Hijab? To me face (beautiful wide eyes, nose, lips) is the center of her beauty and I don’t need to see her hair. Then , who has invented this “Hijab”? What is the DRESS CODE for Afganistani women under those pure Muslim Talibani Mullahs? Surely black-colored Burkhas with only two small holes for two eyes. The great Mauolana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi calls them windows of the body. What was the true dress code for Prophet Mohammad ‘s (pbuh) wives?

Main problems of this subject are: (a) should women wear burkha to cover their head and face altogether or, (b) should women cover only their hairs by Hijab? Let us examine what Holy Quran says about veil:

In Holy Quran, Allah has decreed system of veiling men & women only in two Suras ( Al- nur and Ahzab). Let me cite here two Ayats relating to veils from famous Quranic translation of Mauolana A. Yusuf Ali for our discussion:

Quran-(24:31)—“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof ; that they should draw their veils over their bosom and not display their beauty except to their mahrem men (relationship does not allow legal marriage)”. Here, let us try to understand, as to, what exactly is the meaning of “beauty & ornaments” that Allah is pointing to? My understanding here is: Beauty is obviously women’s face, and ornaments (her decorative elements: gold, silver etc) which can only add to her natural beauty. In his Sha,ne nazul, Mauolana Yousuf Ali said, “the Arabic word ‘Zinat’ means both natural beauty (face), and artificial ornaments. I think both are implied here to cover, but chiefly the former (face).” Then, where in the Ayats God said to cover her hairs??? And how by covering hair she

can hide her God’s given beauty?

Quran-(33:59)---“ O Prophet ! Tell Thy wives and daughters. And the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (face) when abroad, that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is oft-Forgiving, most merciful.” ‘That they should be known as such, and not molested’-- exactly coincide what I have said in my brief history of veils. Here in this Ayat, there are two important things to note: (1) Arabic word “Jilbab” which means Outer garments over their persons (appearance, face)—a long gown covering the whole neck, head, and bossom.; (2) and that they should be known ,as such, and not molested—so that aristocrat women are not molested like a slave girls. . No where in any Quranic Ayats or any Shahi Hadiths says, COVER THEIR HAIRS ONLY.

Opinions of various Islamic Scholars:

In his Shane-Nazul, Mauolana Yousuf Ali quoted: “ The object was not to restrict the liberty of women, but to protect them from harm and molestation under the conditions then existed in Medina. In the East and in the West a distinctive public dress of some sort or another has always been a badge of honour or distinction, both among men and women in order to separate Aristocrats from that of slaves . This can be traced back to the earliest civilizations. Assyrian Law in its palmiest days (7th Century B.C.), enjoyed the veiling of married women and forbade the veiling of slaves and women of ill fame (page-1126)”.

In the Sha’nenazul by Mauolana Mirza Golam ( Bengali translation of Holy Qura’n, page- 730,731) said, “ the Arabic word ‘Zalabib’ means outer garments which should be pulled /hanged from head up to chest, so that it covers entire body. As per the Ayat 33:59, it is clearly evident that, (a) if women goes out of the house, she must cover with Zilbab (Burkha) ; (b) and if women stays inside the house with her relatives, then she must only wears Khimar (head covering) which is like ‘Ghumtah’. It should be clear now that, in the purpose-(a): dress must cover head, face (appearance), and bosom area; and in the purpose-(b): she will cover her head and bosom area but not the face (appearance)”.

As per (ibid. 2:155 and ibid. 2:156) , the face is part of the natural Zina (charm) which is the main source of temptation and seduction. As to the acquired Zina (ornaments) it is the clothes, the beautification, and the dyes that the women puts on herself to improve her appearance. They hold that it is not permissible to look at the face of a woman for fear of temptation, since temptation caused by the face is much greater than that caused by the feet, the hair, or legs. Therefore, it is more appropriate not to look at the face, as it is the origin of beauty, the source of temptation and the place where danger hides.

Let me cite one scenario to make it more clear : Say, you went to New York to select a bride for your oldest son. Could you determine whether the bride is beautiful or ugly by not seeing her face? You could have seen her hairs from behind, as hairs are more visible from behind, but how in the world you could determine her beauty by seeing only her hairs?

According to Mauolana Mohiuddin in his Bengali translation of Holy Qu’ran (Ayat- 33:33) stated: “ needless to say that, women should wear veils (Burkha) so that it covers her entire face (mukha-mondal) because it is the center of her beauty. Actually, Allah will not like to see women outside her home, because, she was created to stay home for the purpose of house-hold jobs. Therefore, it is not only forbidden to get out of the house, but it is also HARAM to go out of her house”.

Some Sahi Hadiths regarding veils:

Sahihi Hadiths (Bukhari Sharif): Abu Huraira narrated, “ in the battle Khaibar, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recived Safiyya Bint Huyay Ibn al- Akhtab as BOOTY ( ganimatter Maa’l) one of His ‘Sahaba’ asked , O Messenger of God, what will be the status of Safiyya ? Then Messenger of God replied, “tomorrow if you see her covered with veil than she is my wife; if you see her without veil than she is a slave girl (Books of al-Sira).” It can be noted here, Safiyya was the 10th wife of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and was, of course, veiled head to foot to separate from an ordinary Slave girls. Here is another proof what I have mentioned in veil’s history above.

Sahi Bukhari Hadiths (Chapter-27, #108): This is regarding the defaming incident occurred about Hazrat Aysha Siddiqa (R.A.) when she got lost while returning from the Battle field of Muray’ishi. Ibne Shihab narrated: “Hazrat Aysha (R.A.) said, when she was traveling with the messenger of Allah, she (Aysha) was always inside a ‘Haodha’ ( a covering all around by black cloths so that nobody can see her) and in one nightly journey, the Caravan left the place without Aysha being inside ‘Haodha’ by mistake (Aysha was out for natural call). Next morning they found that the Haodha is empty and Aysha (R.A.) was not there. One soldier named Shafoan ibne Muathal was out on that night to search for left out articles of war in the desert. After some times, Muathal saw Bibi Aysha sleeping alone in the open desrt’ sands, and he recognized Bibi Aysha’s by seeing her face. When Aysha awoke up she immediately covered her entire face by her ‘chaddar’. Ibne Muathal took her on the camel’s back and joined the caravan afterwards. When Shafoan ibne Muathal was asked how he was able to recognize that she was the Bibi Aysha , he (Muathal) replied, “ because I saw her face before the veiling system was adopted in Islam.” Now, let me ask my honorable readers—what you have learned about veils from this authentic Hadiths ? It was the very FACE which used to be veiled not just hairs.

Tabrani, Majhari: Hazrat Amar Ibnul Ash (RA) stated, “ Prophet (pbuh) forbade women even to talk/converse with others without her husband’s permission

What I read in Qur’an and Hdiths is: “women do not exhibit their BEAUTY in front of non-mahrem men, period. Now, what is women’s beauty ? Or did Allah ask to cover only the partial beauty leaving main beauty exposed ? My thirteen year old girl ask me repeatedly, “abba, what is wrong with our hairs, why Qur’anic teacher always bothers about our hairs?”

Color Restriction of veil:

There is, of course, a strict color code in Islamic dress. Ministry of Education in Iran, specifies the color code for girls students covered from head to toe for children as young as 6 years of age. Islamic Mullahs sets the rules of women clothing for older women, only black, brown and dark blue colors are allowed. Bright colors, especially red color are strictly prohibited. In Afghanistan, only black and white colors are allowed. In 1998, one young woman was whipped harshly in Kabul ,for wearing red color clothing. There are some sahi Hadiths about forbidden colors in Islam.

Evolution of Veil (Pardha):

Only at the beginning of 20th Century, Aristocrat & affluent Muslim families all over the World, started modification of this veiling system and perhaps promulgated ,without any uniformity, to “Hijab” only to cover hairs & ears, living the face uncovered. BECAUSE, MODERN,CIVILIZED WOMEN REFUSE TO COVER THEIR FACE. SO, TO MAKE IT SOME WHAT ACCEPTABLE TO THE ELITE WOMEN, THIS SYSTEM WAS STARTED. After all, who wants to be seen’ like a creatures from another planet’. However, this system of covering hairs only was not accepted by Katmullahs, lower class believing women and many others who wants to follow Qur’an & Sunnah. Because, if we judge purpose of true veiling as per Qur’anic view, the Hijab covering only hairs exposing her center of beauty FACE is a pure MOCKERY. Even now, in Saudi Arab and other Arab Countries, one can see lower class women wears Burkhas and elite group wears Hijab covering hair only. This picture can be seen equally in all other Muslim Countries including Bangladesh.

Another interesting phenomena of veiling are seen frequently among the Arab elite class who wears hijab or Burkha at the Air port but the moment they are boarded the aircraft, immediately they remove their veils altogether and become a perfectly western-dressed lady in front of other male passengers. Wives of some of Bangladeshi Muslims in USA, usually wears ‘hijab’ in front of Bangladeshi males, but in front of American people they do not wear Hijab. These are of course, a total hypocrisy or‘Munafiqi’ and bears no moral value at all.

Practical perspectives of veil:

Do we need to put women behind the veil to protect their chastity? In other words, can a veil alone protect women from the hands of sick minded men? Answer is universally No!

It is not the veiling women but veiling men’s heart should protect chastity of a woman. We all know that, no country on earth can claim that women are absolutely safe. But I can tell it for sure, in all third World countries (Muslim and non-Muslim) women are more often oppressed by men then western world, even though those countries have more conservative dress system. We all have seen the recent horrible picture of ‘Unruly youths tried to strip a woman of her cloths in Dhaka University campus on the 31st night (Independent photo). UN report says: 47 percent women assaulted by their male partners in Bangladesh. This type of assault on women was only 22 percent in U.S.A., even though, women in USA, wear mini-skirts, walks alone freely during dead of night, and where hundred percent of cases are usually reported. This assault in Bangladesh, doesn’t include rape. Institute of Democratic Rights (IDR) reports that 730 women, children raped across the country (Bangladesh) last year. It is obvious, percentage of rape will be much higher if every case was disclosed/reported by victims in Bangladesh. Will veil alone can protect women ? I don’t think so !

Here in USA , one Muslim wife ( who is fairly beautiful and young) can get out alone with her new car, drive 50 or 70 miles far away , shopping in Malls, eating lunch in a restaurant and, safely return home without any disturbance at all. Could this same Muslim lady do the same at the Dhaka city, or in big city of any Muslim countries? Even Burkha will not be able to save her from molestation or else.

Afghan Talivan Mullahs have imposed strict and true Islamic dress for women, even though, some bigot Muslims think, Talivani Mullah Ghusti doing wrong or some muslims do not like to discuss this issue very much. Because, they know very well, that Afghan Talivan mullahs are highly educated from the best Madrasha/Moktab of Pakistan. Question is-who knows better Islam than this Afghani Talivan ? Can any Mullah tells us that he knows more than those great Talivan ? I fervently CAUTION all women to be care full about Islamic utopia, as I can assure them, if Talivani Mullahs can grab power in Bangladesh—Mullahs will never be satisfied with ‘Hair Covering hijab’, rather, they will adopt similar Burkhas like Afghanistan. They did it in Iran and they are doing it in Afghanistan. They will take the Country to the dark ages. So, don’t be so hypnotized by sweet fatwa.

Conclusion: As we have understood positively that, to satisfy total requirements of Islamic veiling fatwa as per Holy Qur’an & Sunnah, women should wear Burkhas to cover her beauty so that, they can be protected from the hands of weak and sick hearts in the Muslim society, as because, in the minds of Mullahs, WOMEN are the source of temptation and evil, while the poor innocent man (?) plays the role of the victim. But problems are: Modern civilized women unlike 7th Century’s women do not like to sit idle at home, they needs to compete men in their struggle of survival. Modern women needs to work outside, drive cars, pilots Airplane, pilot rockets to the Moon or even Mars. Only Almighty Creator knows, keeping women’s “GAZE DOWN” how in the World, women could drive a car or pilot a Airplane. She would be a dangerous driver of course. Maybe, Almighty God did not want women to be the driver or pilot of an Airplane. For valid reason this Middle-aged cumbersome, ridiculous, unscientific, senseless, veiling system has, long before, become obsolete.

Actually, veiling women alone will never solve this problem. Men should learn to respect women as human being and to achieve that men should wear veils around their hearts

kchowdhury@surfree.com

The Chap
02 Nov 06,, 05:32
The auther, or should I submit auter, of the article where not a lady in sight even on "Arab St." wears the niqab is full of the worst dissembling. And shite.

All over London -with the perhaps perverse exception of the Edgware Road (just off of which one finds the OS Forces Club) - I see the ruddy mask. I see feweer in bloody Dubai.

"Arab St." is a flipping insult. And my gods I can throw them. The little girl scribbling the article should bugger off to east Ham ( of all ironies ) and walk about after dark as a white woman. Good luck hun.

The Arabs, Jordanians uns. the populate the Edgware road are utterly charming and the silly little tart who clearly knows London not will find the warmest welcomes in one part of town and the harsheshest (dilib.) spittle in others from what internet crib she used to assume a unified and uniform "islamic London".

**** off back to the counties, wench. You have no place in the metropolitan.

Ranoush Joush is still going if anyone cares for some of the best 'babs metses and (no joke; really good here) lambs brains in town. :)

It's on "Arab St." Apparently.:mad: