HIJAB - ECONOMY - RAPES
For connecting articles, please go to the previous postings
Each opinion is a valid statement from the writer and I urge every one to consider their opinion as one of the many towards developing an understanding of the situation. This is one of the finest group of people and no one digs in their heels, every one is, thanks God, is open to sharing and explaining their point of view. My salute to each one of you.
Members share their opinions, opinions are your own. All comments are on the same subject - Hijab.
- Marylou Ghyst
- Narendra Singh
- BA syed
- Javed Jamil
- Zeba Salim
- Syed Shah Warsi
- Samuel Cole - Donning the Hijab
- Burqa to No Burqa
- Burn the Burqa
A few guidelines. It is traditional to address a woman as Miss. or Mrs indicating her married status, where as no such distinction is made for Men and I would like to go gender-less in our forum. The discussion is issue, it should not make any difference if it is a male or a female advancing the point. A few salutations were addressed as Mrs. where as I knew the person to be a Miss. If you must, please use Ms. It is same as Mr. without identifying one's married status which is not a factor.
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Mike Ghouse, Moderator
From: Marylou Ghyst
Date: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 am
Subject: Re: MuslimAgenda :: Re: to Zeba's criticism of my article on Hijab
"In South Africa, attempts to rape have been made on every second woman, in the US on every fourth."
Dr. Jamil, would you be kind enough to quote your source of the statistics you mention above. My information from the Women's Shelter that gets their info from the FBI indicates the rate is point 28% ( .28%) which is just slightly higher than 1/4 of 1%. If we consider those cases that go unreported, it is still under 1%. Thank you. Marylou
Date: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:45 am
Subject: javed-farzana debate
Your responses are nothing but unjustified attempts at trying to negate what everybody can see. Dr Javed Jamil is one of the most refreshing thinkers of the present time. He has been challenging the modern economic theory in a manner which is unparalleled. His tyle is both creative and investigative. I had the opportunity to read "The Killer Sex" by Dr Jamil. I gave it to some students in JNU and then to some of my doctor friends. JNU students had a sort of race to read it as soon as possible and there was quite a hetaed debate. And if a work can initiate a big debate, it signals a big success for the author. My doctor friend who is a prolific reader described it as the best book he has read, as it has successfully unveiled the designs of the corportae world to commercialise human susceptibilities. Everybody knows the powerful influnce of the big business but the way Dr Jamil has commented on it is just amazing. His theory of economic fundamentalism is thoroughly fascinating and convincing. You should better study the impact of the current sexual trends in your own way and then decide if they are healthy or unhealthy.
Frankly speaking Mr. Jamil; I have lived here for nearly 40 years and I am fascinated as to how much nudity you seem to think there is going on here on a daily basis!! You seem to be frequenting areas or past of the west that I have hardly seen. "
Helllooo! I live in the west too. And you even dont have to live in the west to realize how much nudity there is on daily basis, just watch 5 minutes of American TV ads.
You are right. I have lived in the west for 30 years. and anyone who doesn't think that western women are naked is either islamically not grounded very well or simply walking with their eyes closed. ISLAM defines what is nudity. we do not. do a google search on clothed yet naked. "Sister" Zeba's criticism is simply not valid in the light of quran and sunnat. That is not to say that women who don't wear hijab bother me, because I really could care less. However to say that American women are not naked compared to REAL muslim women (in general) is simply not reality.
This wild fire is spreading in India and through their TV shows in Pakistan as well. The younger generation thinks that to be modern they have to imitate the West. And ths is what they want our folks to imitate like mindless monkeys calling it "Modernism." TV and Internet is having a negative impact on our peoples.
B. A. Syed
From Dr. Javed Jamil
I expected a much better response from what you gave. Your response has shown that you are totally overwhelmed by the arguments advanced now and then by the supporters of nudity, prostitution, pornography and abortion, which are nothing but a malicious attempt to silence the opponents. The proponents of legalizing the sex trade have been shouting, “This is the oldest trade”; the proponents of abortion are supporting it in the name of freedom of women and the defenders of free sex try to give hundreds of reasons behind the rape instead of pointing the real ones.
1. You seem to be bent on converting the debate into a West versus Muslim one. An evil is an evil whenever and wherever it exists and whoever is involved in it. Even if the whole of Saudi Arabia starts watching pornography, it would not become a virtue. Even if the whole of Pakistan becomes drunkard, this would not make alcohol a drink worthy drink. I always avoid blaming the people for their evils. I do not think people, whether belonging to West or East, are inherently bad. It is the system in force (not the one not in force) that shapes and regulates their tastes and inclinations. My whole approach is to speak not against the people but against the evils, the system that promote them, the forces that control the system and the beneficiaries of the system. People watch pornography because it is being made available to them by those who benefit from supplying it. If it is not available to them, they will simply not watch it. The corporate world and the think-tank of economic fundamentalists have espoused freedom of choice for their own benefits. Otherwise how a civilized society can give dangerous choices to the people?
2. You are right in saying that my book reflects only my opinion. Yes it is, and a new approach and thought does not require references. The book was not to be meant for academic journals but for the people. As far as the data are concerned, I have always given the sources except where it has been inadvertently missed.
3. I have said that nakedness is not the only reason behind rape, not that it is not a reason at all. This can be said only by a person like you who cannot see what is visible to all and makes extraordinary efforts to show what is not easily visible. I reproduce here excerpts from my book, “The Killer Sex” regarding rape:
“The combined effect of the commercialisation of sex, the social culture it spawned and the legal framework that its proponents propelled was an overwhelming increase in all kinds of violence. Rapes, murders, abuses and other forms of domestic violence have reached a level at which a society loses its claim to be civilised. Whenever there is anarchy, it is the weak that suffer most. Obviously women and children are at the receiving end of an overwhelming majority of the cases of violence unleashed by changed perceptions about sex.
Let us first concentrate our attention on rape! The conditions that prevail in a typical Western society, or any society that follows Western legal system or tries to imitate its social norms, are good enough for rapes to abound. The empowerment of women sans security has made them easy targets. They are no longer confined to the safe environs of family for most of the time. They usually get out of out of their houses early in the day and do not come back till the night has settled in. They are normally not accompanied by any that would guard them. Often they are travelling or walking in lonely areas away from the public gaze. They often happen to be in situations and places where their screams for help have little chances to be heard. Their appearance hardly helps them. While several factors contribute to the rise in the incidence of rapes, two are the chief culprits. The first and more important is the laxity of law, in word as well as in practice. The second is provocative images in the media, including soft and hard porn, nude pictures, and highly provocative write-ups. It can be argued that rape is more violence manifested in sex rather than sex manifested in violence. Whichever the case, the truth is that the above two factors remain the ultimate culprits. It may be right that it is the desire to overpower a person rather than have sex is responsible for rapes. But these could never have culminated into sexual assaults, except in a small number of cases, had the atmosphere not been so terrifically charged with sex and the law not been so terribly impotent, as they have become.
There was a time not long ago, hardly a century back, when almost all over the world, harsh penalties awaited not just rapes but all forms of sex outside the accepted boundaries. Law as well as society would hunt the breakers of law. Rape was least acceptable, and would almost always be punished with death. The only escape route for the culprit was the lack of evidence to support rape. But in many cases, sufficient evidence would be gathered to ensure a speedy trial, prompt conviction and swift execution. It was a general feeling in the minds of common men that their slightest misdemeanour could land them in the hands of authorities, and any misguided adventure could lead them to the gallows. This fear would get strengthened whenever there was the news of a convict being stoned to death or beheaded in full public view. Rapes obviously were far and few. In countries where such laws are in practice, even today, rapes are rare. In many Islamic countries, and the countries of the Socialist block, rapes have been rather uncommon compared to West and India. In America, according to the US Department of Justice, a woman is sexually assaulted every second minute. In1996, more than three hundred thousand women became victims of rapes, attempted rapes or sexual assaults. According to National Crime Victimisation Survey, less than one in every three cases of rapes and sexual assaults were reported in 1996. And still more gruesome is the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes often happen to be acquaintances. Better knowledge of the movements of victims, greater availability of time and space to put their sinister plans into practice, intemperance especially in the night hours and lesser fear of being reported may be some of the factors that might be the driving force behind this. Thus, according to the US Department of Justice, more than two third of cases knew their assailant. The survey tells that 28% of victims were raped by husbands or boyfriends, 35% by acquaintances and 5% by other relatives. Obviously more rapes occur in private places. Still the number of cases occurring in public places is about 25%. This demonstrates that rapists have hardly any fear of being stopped or challenged by anybody. They are almost certain that their crime will go either unreported, or at least unpunished. This belief is further strengthened by the fact that about one third of rape cases occurred in daylight. And it is not surprising that about less than a half of the offenders were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Where there is provocation all around, sexuality has become extremely aggressive, and there is hardly anything that prevents a person from satiating his sexual desire in whatever manner he thinks fit, it is not inconceivable that children too become victims of sexual assault. According to Justice Department, in the US, one in two rape victims is under 18, and one in six under 12. This means that more than two third of victims are those that have not attained the official age of adulthood. Cases are often reported in the newspapers where the victims of rape are children less than 6. How rape is demolishing the whole myth of women’s “freedom” and “empowerment” can be gauged from the statistics that look horrible in the very first sight. Every eleventh woman in the US and every fourth in South Africa have been raped, and attempt to rape has been made on every fourth woman in the US and every second in South Africa. Conditions in most of the European countries are no better. Data on United Kingdom tell that one in 4 of women have experienced rape or attempted rape; one in seven has been coerced into sex. The international data confirm that the sexual victimisation has become almost a global phenomenon now. According to Statistics Canada, one in three women has experienced sexual assault. Over 60% of these women have more than one such experience. What is disturbing is that only 6% cases are reported. This demonstrates the lack of confidence in law-enforcing agencies as well as the inability of women to report on account of the fact that a substantial majority of the assailants are their nears and dears.
India is also fast becoming a contender in the race to attain the peak in all sex-related problems. Her glorious family traditions are slowly but steadily being devoured by the monster of commercial sex. It has chosen to adopt the Western style of legal system with the result that all forms of crime abound. The situation on the rape front is hardly encouraging. More than 50,000 rapes are reported every year. The number of unreported cases far exceeds the reported ones. Minor girls and boys are raped with impunity. When a few years back, the country’s Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vapayee spoke in a conference about his intentions to amend the existing law so as to make it possible to punish the rapists with death sentence, I could not believe my ears. But I was sure the country’s Prime Minster did not have the guts or even power to make a law that would rile the big business. I told my friends that soon the global forces of economic fundamentalism would enter the picture from behind the scene, and there was little chance for Vajpayee to proceed with what he felt right in his heart. And within a few days, the government clarified that it did not plan to bring any legislation that would punish the rapist with death sentence. Instead an alternative measure was mooted to help the rape victims. This was aimed at insuring women against rape; if they have their honour insured with Insurance Company, they would have the benefit of securing handsome amounts in case they happen to be raped. So another business is in the making with its tentacles ready to capture as many women as possible. What a travesty of morality! What an empowerment of women! They need not unnecessarily fear about being raped; they could in fact earn fortunes out of it. Insurance Companies would of course earn even when women do not seek compensation. But the more the incidence of rapes rises the more the companies would grow their business. And their growth will reflect itself in the GDP of the country. So the state too need not bother too much about what is happening to its women and children. Their life and honour may be important but not as important as are the “needs” of “development”.
About thirty years back, I remember a writer having remarked that women can be equal to men in all respects except that it is only they who can be raped. The talk of rape of men would seem to be ridiculous to all in those days and to many even now. But this too has become a reality. With homosexuality on the rise as a result of legal or social permissiveness, and promotion by vested interests, it is hardly surprising that men are also being raped. And with the aggressive sexuality of modern women, they too have the right to feel delighted in, and boast of, raping men, either at the gunpoint or by the combined efforts of a group. Why should women lag behind when “equality” to their “feministic” passion remains an agenda that can never be sidetracked, whatever the circumstances, whatever the consequences? So the National Crime Victimisation Survey informs us that while 9 out of 10 victims of rape are women, men and boys are also victimised by this crime.
As has been said above, an overwhelming majority of the cases is not reported. This demonstrates, apart from other compelling reasons, total lack of faith in the minds of the victims in the ability of the system to nab and punish the culprits to their satisfaction. Data have established that not more than 6% of rape cases lead to the conviction. According to Home Office (UK) Study of Rape, over two thirds of cases dropped out during the police investigation. Half of the cases that were “crimed” by police resulted in no further action. According to the same report, in a small minority (12%) of “stranger rape” cases where the suspect was identified, the case was more likely to proceed to court than in those cases where the culprit and suspect were previously acquainted. And if at all a case reported reaches the stage of conviction, what is the punishment for him? Hardly a few years’ imprisonment. Once freed from the prison there are always possibilities that he takes on his victim again, this time with more care so that he does not have to face execution again. Often this means that he has to get rid of his victim so that she does not survive to report. When millions of women are raped every year all over the world and hardly a few thousands are punished, only hundreds severely, the disincentive for a rapist is hardly enough to strangle the incentive he sees in it.
As the rising incidence of rapes has direct relation to the growth of commercialisation of sex, obviously huge efforts would be made at the behest of vested interests to play down the problem. Every possible trick would be employed. As is the case with the criminals in general who have much wider support to protect themselves than their hapless victims do, rapists too have plenty of backing. There are many that venture to disregard rape as something serious, and twist their arguments to pinpoint the blame on victims rather than culprits. They have quite a few arsenals of reason in their armoury to advance their frontline. They often go to the extent of alleging a tacit approval by the victim claiming that if women really want to, they can always say no. They forget that a woman would rarely want sex without any benefit to her: she should either have an emotional satisfaction or, as in the case of prostitutes, a monetary benefit. Their cronies in the media, particularly Internet, have been lately busy in glorifying rapes; women are being made to believe that even rapes are pleasurable activities, the delight of which is no less than any other form of sex. But so far it is extremely unimaginable that women would enjoy it and would not resist it with their hearts and minds. In reality, they cry, scream, try to escape and often wrestle to the best of their ability. Sometimes they try to reason out, even plead. But the rapist would not listen. Why should he when he has an opportunity to discharge fluids of his desires without fearing any serious damage to his life? Rapists are also said to be psychologically deranged, perverts or mentally ill. If they are mentally ill, their place is in a psychiatric asylum; they cannot be let free to play with the lives and honour of others. The truth is that, in overwhelming majority of the cases, they are neither mentally ill nor psychiatrically deranged. They rape because they want pleasure; and if pleasure cannot be had with the consent of a woman, it is not an unattractive idea to ignore her consent altogether. They want to dominate, and if they feel the desire to lay specific women, they have nothing to stop them from fulfilling it. This must not surprise anybody that recent studies among the US students indicate that many of students would want to rape provided their safe escape was guaranteed. It is only the fear of the law or that of God that can prevent people from committing aggression on others, and if both are non-existent, the probability of their succumbing to their temptations will certainly enhance. Youngsters do tend to pursue adventurist desires and there cannot be a more exciting adventure than raping an unwilling but young, smart and attractive girl. The suggestion that the looks of a woman and the way she presents herself play some part is plausible. But the fact also remains that all types of women are raped; sometimes even pious women who present themselves in the most decent way possible are subjected to rape.
While rape cannot be condoned whatever the circumstances and however strong the temptation, some feminists have not been helping the cause by trying to defend women who wear provocative dresses. It will be interesting to quote here from a paper appearing on Net under the title “Information on…Rape ad Sexual Assault”. In an otherwise well-documented and well-presented paper, under the subtitle, “Common misunderstandings about Rape and Sexual Assault”, the author remarks:
“The argument suggests that women are responsible for sexually arousing men through their dress or ‘flirting’. Some people believe that if women invite men in after a date or allow him to pay for dinner this means they are also agreeing to have sex. In some societies, even being alone or going out for the evening with a man can be regarded as tacit permission. But we all have the right to choose when and with whom we have sex, and no-one has the right to presume this - consent means free agreement, an agreement that is explicitly made between two people where there is no threat or coercion. Implicit within this view is the idea that men cannot control their sexual desires and women should know this and adapt their behaviour accordingly. Why do so many men feel comfortable with this view of themselves? It is insulting and demeaning to men who do not think that their penises operate independently of their brains.”
Of course, there is nothing wrong in expecting all men to always behave in an exemplary manner and let their penises not operate independently of their brains. But it is naive to suggest that women must test their patience and control by doing things that may be, or may look, provocative to them. If you have to save your wealth, you also have to take sufficient measures to safeguard it from being robbed; public display of wealth is sure to invite robbers. Women are usually in attractive clothes that project rather than suppress their anatomy. The make-up, styles and perfumes further add the fuel to the fire. Women often advance the argument that it is their right to look charming and, if sleeveless arms or naked legs inflame the passions of a male, it is his bloody duty to tighten the noose on his basal instincts. They want to look inviting to all, and yet expect a chosen few to approach them. Nobody tells them that those who have no control over their baser instincts know or understand hardly any argument that would sober their actions. Their development has taken place in an environment that loathes ethics. Since childhood they have been growing on images that transforms them into lusty animals. And when there is no law strong enough to rein them in, they let loose their instincts. Like a bull that runs after everything red, these herds of beastly humans run after everything round or deep.
Yet, this should not be a ground for the culprits to justify their action. A robbery remains a robbery; a robbery from a jeweller’s shop cannot go unpunished on the plea that the robber had been tempted by the display of precious items. The jeweller can be well advised to adopt security measures but the robber cannot be set free on the plea that he was offered an opportunity by the jeweller himself.
The role of the media cannot be ignored in the creation of rapists. It can be argued that rapists are people with utter disregard for morality and ethics. They flaunt social norms for their own satisfaction. They have an evil mental make-up that instigates them to commit the crime. But it is naïve to assume that bad are bad, and good are good, in all conditions. This is not, unfortunately though, the truth. Circumstances and atmosphere tend to play a leading role in influencing people’s imaginations and actions. When there is provocation, even good tend to be bad; when there is no provocation, even bad tend to be good. And in the modern world, the media generates the biggest influence on human imaginations and actions. Like almost every other thing, media too is in the hands of the big business. It has nothing to do with morality preached by the “moral police” comprising religiously inclined and other humanists. And who says media suffers from the pellagra of morals? It has plenty of them. But what distinguishes its morals from what the “moral policemen” tend to preach is that its morality gives individuals a choice to choose whatever suits them; the decision is theirs. It provides them the variety, as it does not want to judge for others what is good or bad. However it has the right to judge that people want variety that must therefore be supplied, as quickly as possible, and in as much quantity as feasible. People must be given the choice and media does not compel them to watch what the “moralists” resent. The old-fashioned “morals” must be frozen to death and mummified so that future generations can wonder at their nonsense. The global media of today have two interests: direct and indirect. Their direct interest is to increase their own business, and their indirect aim is to collaborate and co-operate with other growing businesses. Sex helps both. People want to see sex, and as much variety as possible. Media therefore provides all. Go to a magazine shop and nude pictures and pornographic literature immediately arrest your attention. You scan through the television and images are there to capture your imagination. You browse through Internet and all kinds of sexually sensitive material are waiting to captivate your senses. There are websites that are exclusively aimed at glorifying rape; these claim to possess thousands of pictures and movies depicting cruellest form of rapes. Such is the cumulative impact of the media that all adult men and women have to remain in a sexually highly charged state of mind. With this state of mind, not all can be expected to keep their frenzied passions under check. Some people would find unconventional and violent ways to get rid of their frenzy. Their penises would operate without the involvement of their brains or conscience. With other factors hardly of any assistance, rapes are bound to increase in number, and in cruelty. Obviously, relatives would be easily accessible targets. When incest is shown as a delightful form of sex, it is not unexpected to see even daughters and sons being raped by fathers.”
This piece will also be a part of the ongoing series of my theory of economics, which will also include data related to rape.
I don’t know what makes you disregard the fact that the developments are usually propelled by the dominating forces and the forces that dominate most in today’s world are the ones belonging to the corporate world. Instead of giving the outdated arguments, I hope you would try to find ways to eradicate evils from the world.
From Zeba Salim
Dear Dr. Jamil,
Nowhere did I write if I agree or disagreewith the corporate world wheter they should or should not waste their time reaping benefits on anything. Instead I pointed out that the corporate actually DOES reap benefits from those who want to wear hijaab by manufacturing goods for people who want to wear it. Hermes and Burberry are designer lines - along with Coach and Channel - these companies make a fortune selling their scarves to Muslim women. So this argument you have that corporations and commercialization are the reason women don't wear clothes or even advocate women wearing hijaab has nothing to do it with it. Here are two links for you.
http://www.slate.com/id/2128906/ - Here is an extract "A 2004 Hermes ad featured two women with the dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin of many Middle Easterners and wearing the company's iconic scarves wrapped around their heads in the Muslim style of hijab." For your information, Hermes is one the TOP fashion companies in the world. One of their scraves costs nearly $300! If everyone woman wore hijaab think of the financial revenues for these companies!!
By the way, companies sell clothes, all kinds of clothes. Designers make a fortune on anything they want. So to assume that they are against anything is ridiculous. They manufacture the west and people throughout world want their clothes. Even if women don't show in front of other men, they will other females. Have you ever gone to a party in Saudi Arabia? A woman's only party? Apparently there is so much cleavage it will astound you.
And while sex might be used to sell specific products such as beer and alcohol, I can't image how you plan ot explain how you think its being used to sell vacuum cleaners, hoovers, household products, all kinds of clothing, comestics, shoes etc. Consequently your assumption that it the "biggest trade" has no basis. And even if sex does sell a product, that doesn't mean we to implement measures such as purdah or burkahs or hijaabs to prevent it's sale. People have enough intelligence to figure what has been sold to them. If you can't or don't know, then that is your problem. There are ample artitcles in the west as to how advertisers get you to buy a product and believe it or not, it's NOT sex that sells it. And frankly speaking none of your articles provide statistics on any company that you claim uses sex and the profits they have made! So again, this is ALL a mute point.
"I have never said that skimpy clothe or nakedness are the only reasons behind rape."
(Aghast), You just said it here in your response #3!. Skimpy clothe or nakedness is not the reason or any part of the reason why people are raped. Men get raped too by the way, is it because they are wearing skimpy clothing? Millions of people who have been raped in this world are fully clad. People were being raped in this world for centuries and for you to think it just started happening because of the way people dress in the 20th century is ridiculous.
Let me explain again, the figures are high not because of the incidence but because of the definition of rape, the justice, the fact you are not blamed because you happened to be naked or wearing skimpy clothes. Women were raped in wars, in battles, in homes for centuries and they were never able to get justice because there was nothing available for them so why would they report it? And what means were available to even track the statistics?
Rape happens in Islamic countires and I bet my bottom dollar to the same if not greater level as the west; however, there is no means to get similar statistics because there is no adequate reporting procedure. Let's pick Pakistan, do you think any woman in her right mind is going to go to police statiion and a report a rape? If she does, she will most likely find herself raped there. And if she does manage to get a trial, she has to find four witnesses to prove her innocence (the same happened for Nazanin Fatehi in Iran who defended herself from getting raped a second time and she wore hijaab!). And if she cannot prove her innocence, then she is charged with adultery. Now, that is unfathomable!
How about Dafur - one of the prime examples genocide towards Muslim women, did hijaab or dress make any difference when it came to preventing rape. Are you suggesting then that the men happened to have had access to a Victoria Secret's underwear catalogue and that is the reason WHY these women are getting raped? So, if we shut down the Victoria's Secret's catalogues, the rapes in Darfur will end? (I am trying to hold back my shock at the illogical nature your arguments). In Bosnia, thousands of Muslim women were raped; it did NOT matter how they were dressed when the descion was made to rape them. And again, the fact that some women might have danced in a club in the US, did not have any bearing on the decision these army rapists had when they raped these women.
People didn't think Muslim women were abused in their homes 20 years ago. Then, in the 1980s Shareef Al-Khateeb did a major research project and found that Muslim homes had a greater incidence of abuse then the average US home. Second, when Apna Ghar started their shelters in the US, the percentage of abused Muslim women who were seeking help was far greater than any ethnic group. Go to the Middle East or any Muslim country, do these same women have the services available for them to seek help or even admit they have a problem? These women would never have come forward in the past. Therefore, to conclude that Muslim women were never abused by these statistics is ridiculous. IF you change the situation in the Middle East you will be stunned what you will find in terms of abuse towards women when it comes to domestic violence or rape. I don't blame religion for these problems, I blame ignorance and denial that problem exists. And most of all I blame people who pretend that it is caused by ridiculous things such as they way women and dress and bahave and this theory of the "commercialization of sex."
By the way, my cousin who just moved to Canada from India was working in the rape capital of India. You know what she said to me on the phone one hour ago? How much better it was in Canada in terms of safety for her. She didn't change her dress code, the same supposed "commercialized sex" still existed in the world, but she felt safer! So what makes the difference then?
Actually, I have looked at your book "The Killer Sex." If I attempted to write something that said the complete opposite of what you wrote, I would never get published because there are no footnotes, no references and not decent arguments. It's all opinion, I would never get it published in the US. In fact, I would it thrown back at me by any scientific institute and journal because it is soley based on a BIG HYPOTHESIS - your opinon and lacks any decent explanation of the statisitcs. And because a handful of American women who importance.
As for the world's problems, they are not based on corporate America adverstising sex. If anyone in a coroproation used a child for any sexual puproses they would not be standing today. Moreover, there are many reasons why have child prostitution and abortions today and it's not because of the sexual revolution. Children are sold into prostitution because they have no rights, there is not no-one speaking up for them, there is no-one protecting them. Abortions happen today because people don't have adequate measures to birth control; they happen because people don't want a child even within wedlock because they don't have the financial means. People have them because they don't want a particular child of a particular gender. Abortions also happen because it's safer and it''s legal. They also happen because women are getting raped and instead of having the child or killing themselves, they can have another option. Women had abortions for years prior to the "sexual revolution" and they died from it. And again, when something is legal, you are able to track the number of abortions that can take place; if it illegal as it was for centuries in the west, you didn't have any numbers to present.
Frankly speak Dr. Jamil, I feel you really need to work with women who have been victims of abuse and rape before make such claims in your articles. I would encourage you to talk to the people who ran Muslim shelters and rape crisis centers here in the US - it has nothing to do with how women are dressed or this commercialism of sex. Therefore your claim that pardah is the solution to the world's ailments is baseless. Now that's not to say we should stop anyone woman who wants to cover herself (there is NOTHING stopping anyone). The reason we have the problems in the world, is a lack of justice, poverty and of course, disregard and disrespect to women.
From: Syed Shah MA Warsi
Since these e-mails come to me on a regular basis, I would like to put my 2 cents here.
I am responding to the response of Zeba Saleem, just to bring up the connotations that is there in her angry response, which is mostly the same as we have been seeing forwarded by all those in the West and in the East also who want to promote a certain ideology that wants to break people loose from the obedience of his Creator.
Let me go point by point:
"The corporate world is not a fool Mr. Jamil; if people want hijaab's.................."
'If people want Hijab', is it meant to say here that people (women) don't want to have Hijab ? This is not true there are women who want to wear Hijab, some even in the face to disapproval by their husbands and fathers. This is a known fact, if you are not aware of it you are ignoring a good section of women who have lived and are still living here in America for most of their adult lives.
Problem of corporate is not how much is covered or how much is exposed. Their problem is what Hijab symbolizes, it symbolizes piety and piety is a concept which has inherent connotation of curbing the desires. Now, whole corporate business is built upon stimulating and promoting desires and creating a need, yes creating a need; a need that does not exist. If piety prevails and becomes a house hold word, their business suffers. In case of Hijab this is coupled with Islam bashing. Why a nun is revered in the West and why always it is Muslim woman's Hijab that is in the line of fire. Think over it.
In the second paragraph you write:
".......What about men, they don't wear hijaab? Should they also wear hijaab.............."
Here there is another flaw of concepts. This is the same line of argument that I have been hearing since I was in grade school. The whole emphasis in this kind of argument is to create a confusion about the definition of nudity or the limitation of exposure. This confusion is created in an attempt to bring a secular style of thinking and then define nudity in secular terms and thus sway peoples mind away from religious thinking and thus moving them away from the concept of piety.
Another confusion is created here by bracketing all the religions in one group when these arguments are forwarded by West and promoted so called Muslim (by birth) thinkers.
Islam is a religion that provides all round guidance which is non-existent in any other religion. The other religions do not have an elaborate and practicable definition of nudity. Where as in Islam there is a clear definition of nudity based on the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is defined as exposure of anything more than face and hand for women or anything between belly button and below the knees, for men. In the areas defined to be covered, hiding body curves are also required. Yes there is a difference between men and women. The difference and similarities between men and women though connected to the discussion of Hijab and nudity but still is a complete different issue and needs a full separate discussion.
Thus, I as a muslim will not succumb to the arguments of West where they define the issue in their own terms and then discuss it in their own terminology. I have my own definition and I want that to be presented to the West to examine and see which is a better option for the society at large, Muslim or non-Muslim.
"..............Fixated on how women do or don't dress is a social cause that some men want to make for themselves simply because they have a problem with controlling women....................................."
By this argument, that you regurgitate; west wants to connect Hijab to being oppressed. Which is again not correct. It reminds me of an occasion when I was flying on a domestic flight and the woman next to me obviously recognized me as a Muslim and the discussion turned to condition of women and thus them being oppressed in Muslim world by the fact that they wear Hijab or are covered.
My response was, both my wife and daughter use Hijab, they are both US Citizens and are brought up in the so called enlightened society and know how to contact authorities if oppressed. Why do they choose to wear that "garment of oppression ?" So this is not a conspiracy by Muslim men to keep them oppressed. It is the protection that Allah has provided for them and they surely feel and are more safe in using it. 70% of the reverts in US are women, invariably they think highly about Hijab and over 90% do practice it. I will attach a small article at the end so that you can read it yourself.
Let's go to the last protion of your writing:
".....how you DRESS in the west is a matter of personal choice.............."
There is a hue and cry in the Western society about perosnal choice. Any issue that needs to be trivilised is a made a personal choice, however West is not consistent in it. You yorself write and I quote,
"...........their are laws against public indecency. If you are dressed inappropriately to work, church or elsewhere you called into an office and warned......................"
Where did this personal choice go here ???
Why are they called in the office and warned ???
Does someones' work performance changes by dressing in bikini in an office or a Church ???
The issue is if how someone's dress affects others, and affects the society at large, then it has to be legsilated and that is why there are laws in US against indecency since it affects others. Islam gave laws in the similar fashion long before these laws and their long term effects would have been thought out in the West.
"........There male and female (eg Curves and Women's Fitness) only gyms for people who uncomfortable about showing themselves.................................."
This itself indicates that it is but natural, however corporate decided to go aganinst nature to further its interests. They do have these gender specific places but running it is obviously costlier than the mixed ones, since chances filling it to the capacity will be limited and a the usage of the equipments is not optimised to maximise the revenue. Thus you don't see them that frequently available.
May Allah show us the right path as the right path and help us follow that and show us the wrong path as the wrong path and help us avoid that. Aameen.
Here, I will attach the article about Hijab that I promised earlier. It is not written by any Muslim religious leader, not even by a Muslim. You can view this article on the web at,
Samuel Cole - Donning the Hijab
(how not to be a sex object)
by Samuel Cole
Smetime in 1987 my sister, an ardent feminist with a degree in civil engineering, converted to Islam. She now lives in Lahore, Pakistan where she is a full-time Muslim wife and mother of fiveâ€”soon to be six. As is required by her adopted Qur'an, she stops all activities to pray five times each day; and when she goes out in public she covers herself from head to toe in the hijab.
The term "hijab" comes from the Arabic word "hijaba," which means to hide from view. It is the long dress and veil worn by many Muslim women with the function of distinguishing them from non-Muslims, reminding them of their Islamic faith, and concealing them from the public view of males. In many of the more traditional Muslim societies women tend to remain outside the public sphere of men, devoting themselves to child rearing and taking care of the home. In part because of this apparent restriction from the public realm, many Americans see the Muslim hijab as a symbol of female oppression.
Despite this perception, Islam is growing rapidly in Americaâ€”and female converts outnumber males four to one. Indeed, according to my sister the hijab is not a symbol of oppression, but is instead a symbol of liberation. Naheed Mustafe, a Canadian woman who converted to Islam, writes that "young Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab. . . to give back to women the ultimate control over their bodies." Yet to most Americans this is a strange assertion. How can a law that restricts a woman's dress be liberating?
To Muslims the answer is easy. The Islamic tradition of hijab frees women from being perceived primarily as sexual objects. "[Non-Muslim] women are taught from early childhood that their worth is proportional to their attractiveness," writes Mustafe. It's not hard to understand this: leafing through the ads of any woman's magazine, even a male reader can sense the incredible pressure on women to conform to some ever-changing and abstract image of female beauty. Is it any wonder that American women spend billions of dollars on hair and beauty products; or that they subject themselves to plastic surgery, drugs, and diets; or that in despair they fall into neurotic cycles of anorexia and bulimia? It is the pursuit of a mirageâ€”one that degrades and sickens the pursuers.
The hijab liberates a Muslim woman from this insidious oppression. She need not concern herself with her hair or makeup before she goes out. Underneath her hijab she can remain if she so wishes, simply herself: unshaved, unpainted, unplucked, or even a little overweight. All this without having to worry about what others think of her. The tradition of hijab, writes Mustafe, is "simply a woman's assertion that judgment of her physical person is to play no role whatsoever in social interaction." Since a Muslim woman is invisible behind her veil, she can be appreciated only for her intellectual qualities. Thus the importance of her physical appearance becomes subordinate to her intelligence and personality.
But the sacrifice of health (and self esteem) in a futile pursuit of physical attractiveness is not the worst effect of sexual objectification. Societies that view women as sexual objects have a horrendous rate of violence toward women. In the United States, one out of every four women will be sexually assaulted at some time in her life. And even in relatively non-violent Canada, one woman is assaulted every six minutes.Women in our society live with the awareness that they must always be cautious of dark alleys and fearful of strangers. This is true oppression, a type that stems directly from the perception of women as sexual objects.
In the few societies that closely adhere to the Qur'anâ€”and many repressive Islamic regimes do notâ€”this sort of violence toward women is quite low. In 1990 the number of reported rapes in Egypt, a relatively westernized Islamic society with a secular government, was only 17 (Israel reported 369 rapes that same year). And my sister has told me that as a Muslim woman, she feels a respect and security on the streets of Pakistan that she had never felt in 30 years of living in America. It does seem hard to ignore the fact that many Islamic women enjoy a level of protection and respect that is unheard of in the West. In some countries this is no doubt in part the result of Islamic law that imposes draconian punishment on offenders. But extreme enforcement of religious law is not practiced in moderate Islamic countries such as Egypt or Pakistan; and there it seems Muslim tradition alone protects the dignity of women.
Nevertheless, Islam and its tradition of hijab can seem an extreme solution to the sexual objectification of women. Can't society simply be changed through more education? Or perhaps through encouraging men to practice some self-restraint? In fact this has been a goal of the women's movement for years. But although there has been some success at increasing career and educational opportunities for women, the oppression of women continues unabated. One only needs to peruse the horror section of the local video store to see that the most common victims of violence portrayed in popular films are women. And not surprisingly statistics in the United States point to more violence directed at women, not less.
The problem in western society, as some Muslim writers see it, is that predominately Judeo-Christian cultures have no convention of equality between men and women. Instead, these traditions hold Eve to be ultimately responsible for original sin and the downfall of man. The story in Genesis is a cornerstone in the foundation of our culture. As such, it has institutionalized an essentially inferior status for women. This is not so in the tradition of Islam: Eve is not blamed for tempting Adam. Together they sinned, together they are guilty, and together they both begged for (and received) forgiveness from God. It is true that Islam holds women and men to be different in the most integral qualities. But unlike Judeo-Christian doctrine, the Qu'ran puts women and men on equal footing before God and thus as equally, and innately, valuable to society.
Unfortunately, many of us see Islam as a religion of suicidal bombers or of bearded zealots intent on returning us all to a cultural stone-age. But this image is perhaps unfair. All religions have their own fair proportion of crazies. Islam, however, is the largest and fastest growing of the world's monotheistic religions, and has (quite properly) more than most. Still, the Muslims have something to offer for women. Pierre Craibites (an American judge) writes: "Muhammad, 1300 years ago, assured to the mothers, wives and daughters of Islam a rank and dignity [still] not generally assured to women by the laws of the West."
The conversion of my sister to Islam was a shock and then a mystery to me for many years. It did not seem possible for an intelligent feminist woman to, without coercion, suddenly chuck her ideals and embrace the religion of the misogynist Ayatollahs. Within my family the subject is beyond the bounds of rational discussion, and it is only from my sister's very recent letters that I may have finally acquired an understanding of her unique brand of feminism: You see, in adopting Islam she has rejected a culture that assigns value to a person based on a masculine ideal of success. In exchange she has adopted a culture where she is valued as an equal. . . for no other reason than that she is a woman.
Samuel Cole is a freelance writer living in Carrboro.
Burqa to no Burqa
Mike Ghouse, July 4, 2007
Updates added on July 7, appended at the bottom
When the President of the United States abuses the authority given to him and violates the constitution and trust of the people (low approval ratings), when the Pope abuses his authority and utters words that create gratuitous chaos, when the Mufti of Saudi Arabia abuses his authority in pre-empting God’s authority and issues a fatwa declaring another Muslim as a non-Muslim, and when people in power abuse their authority; the people in power over their family also abuse the imposition of Burqa as an instrument of control. However, not all the Presidents, not all the Pope’s, not all the Clerics and not all the people abuse the privileges, some do and I estimate that to be no more than 1/10th of 1% when it comes to the general public.
A majority of Muslim women wear the Burqa out of their own volition, however there are a few men out there who compel them to wear, and it is certainly an oppressive situation. When you take a principled stand, women are indeed oppressed by all societies, The insecure men; whether it is a Bubba, Mullah or a Prince, be it in China, United States, India, Brazil or Saudi Arabia, they all behave the same, take it out on their women. Idiots do not have the guts to fight some one equally strong or independent; but they always prey on the weak or the dependent. They are the one’s that need education and not the Burqa elimination. Once we learn about the essence of Burqa, we may find oursleves to become pro-choicers, i.e., respecting the right of choice of the woman and not dictate what she does and does not wear, just as we are divided on Roe V. Wade.
Burqa is used from the Shuttle-Cock format in Afghanistan to the Hijab format (a bare scarf in the United States, Canada, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and some other nations. The Original Islamic idea was for a woman to be modest in public places, hold on from jumping to conclusions, it is not only women, it is men as well. Men in most Muslim societies do not wear shorts, they wear full length pants, they do not go bare chested even in their homes. That is range of modesty in practice. For an average American to understand this concept of modesty, all they have to do is compare the society of a higher threshold where, some families walk around the house with barely any clothes on, but most American families have modesty, what they wear in front of their children, especially of the opposite gender, when their sister, daughters or cousins are around is not the same.
If some woman wants to drop the Hijab, she can, but she has to feel comfortable with it. It would be hypocritical of us to impose our values onto others, let alone our own relatives.
We have an obligation to maintain a balance in the society and it is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each individual, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
Prejudice against any one is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. if we let hate mongers, hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies, we lose that desired balance in the society.
First, we have to believe that the societal balance begins with each one of us; we see goodness around if we upload good values in ourselves. It is in our interest to treat the world as one nation under God, one family and one people with liberty and justice for all. We are on the bus.
Another column on the topic in Feb: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/02/to-veil-or-not-to-veil.html
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He founded the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is www.MikeGhouse.net and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://MikeGhouseforAmerica.Blogspot.com and http://MikeGhouse.Sulekha.com . He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com . Mike lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980
Two articles to refer to following the update on July 7th
July 7th update:
Dear Ahmed, Allyternity, Bharat Born, Sabiha and Mariam,
All your comments and questioned can be contained in the following paragraph;
I have always wondered about the "own volition" part of the wearing of the veil. Do women really do it on their own or are they conditioned to ?" Do majority Muslim women wear the "burqa" (or some modification). Is this really true? And what is the basis for your statement that majority women who wear the burqa do so because they want to?
We have to take a principle stand on the subject and test it out.
The various formats as the pictures have suggested are determined by culture and within each culture there is diversity. In any given Muslim community, you may find the whole range of practices with varying ratios.
The Saree; Are the women in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka or the diaspora forced to wear the Saree or conditioned to wear? Can we get a traditional woman to wear a skirt instead of the Saree? Would most of them jump at the opportunity?
Are Men at work forced to wear pants and shirt or conditioned to wear. Is police forced to wear the uniform or conditioned to wear? Is the clergy forced to wear the head gear or conditioned? Are we conditioned to eat medium rare steak or well done? Are we forced to eat the meals we grow up with any opportunity we get or we conditioned to?
A traditional American woman would be reluctant to wear a bikini in presence of her sons and brothers, and a conservative American father would not run around the house bare naked, where as a Norwegian or dutch would be comfortable with that... nothing is wrong or right about it, it is the level of comfort one develops or conditioned to. We can even label it conservative or liberal, but one has to be comfortable to be in either classification.
As with all habits, including the habit forming taught by Stephen Covey, it takes effort and conditioning at the beginning, but later on it becomes a practice, it become part of your daily living and personal or family culture.
The form of Burqa may have similar beginnings as Covey's habits and Muslim women are used to it now. The Shuttle Cock Burqa (Leftmost picture) is mainly used in Afghanistan and NW frontier of Pakistan, however you still see it co-exists in different communities here and there, I have seen that in India also. The dominant one is with an openable flap on the face in most conservative places. The very rural and very urban women across the world except in Saudi Arabia and Iran wear just the Hijab, a small piece of cloth covering their hair, it is simply a scarf. America and Canada is developing it's own fashionable clothing. Mother Mary wore full clothing with fully covered hair, it is a symbol of purity, the practice has continued in Islam.
Do most Muslim women wear Hijab in one form or the other? Yes, they do and do it out of their own volition with a few exceptions (please refer to the original article appended below) It is a symbol of modesty and they are comfortable with it. Even though I may not see the need for it, but as a pluralist and as person who believes in democracy and rights of individuals, I would not force any woman to wear or not wear, let it be her choice.
The fallacious assumption that she would drop it instantly if she had a choice, falls flatly on its face. Let's go back to our principle stand, and ask the same question to the liberals and moderates.
Men: Would you cut your hair short or long if you do the opposite? Would you change because some one tells you to, or would you retain what you have because you are conditioned to?
Women: Would you drop the Saree if some one tells that it is primitive and wear revealing clothes that shows you are on par with the society? Can a Hollywood girl tell you to drop the traditions and wear like them as they do on Oscar night?
Except a few, most working Muslim women have adopted to the environment, I honor them and also honor the right of those who want to wear what is good for them. You can wear a Saree, Burqa or a Skirt, that is entirely your choice.
Personally, I would like to see all Men and Women wear clothing that are modest, which would facilitate the person to focus on other's thoughts, talks, emotions and ideas rather than the appearance.
Thanks for sharing your interesting. I'd like your feedback on the following question: Your article seems to imply that majority Muslim women wear the "burqa" (or some modification). Is this really true?
And what is the basis for your statement that majority women who wear the burqa do so because they want to?
I have always wondered about the "own volition" part of the wearing of the veil. Do women really do it on their own or are they conditioned to ?"
Burn the Burqa - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/01/burn-burqa.html