Lifting the Veil on the Niqab
The following article on the subject is fairly well written.
Agree with most of what Tarek has said, but if a woman wants to wear the Hijab or Niqab (face mask), let her, it is her life and her body; she should have complete freedom to choose. Its time to think in terms of freedom, and not fall into the trap that wearing Niqab is oppression or regression. Why does one have to conform? It is about what she wants to cover or uncover, let the issue be a pro-choice.
One comment I have heard that makes a lot of sense is “if she had told the court that she is not comfortable with the open face in presence of media or such..." it would have been more acceptable as opposed to referencing to religion. Then we have two choices - some Muslims think it is religious, most others don't... should it not be a woman's choice?
My late wife never wore any Hijab, except the covering at the Mosque... one day she said she is going to wear the Burqa... that stopped me in my tracts and resisted my own resistance to it. Who am I to "tell" her what to wear or not?
February 5, 2009
Lifting the Veil on the Niqab
There is no requirement in Islam to cover one's face -- the niqab is the epitome of male control over Muslim women
By Tarek Fatah,
The Ottawa Citizen
Barely a week goes by when my religion, Islam, does not face a fresh round of scrutiny. If it is not a suicide bomber blowing himself up in an Iraqi mosque screaming "Allah O Akbar," it is news that an imam in Malaysia has declared the practice of Yoga sinful. If it is not a Toronto imam defending suicide bombing on TVO, a Muslim woman writes a column in a Canadian daily, advocating the introduction of Shariah law in Canada.
But the one topic that rears its head in almost predictable cycles is the subject of a Muslim woman's supposed Islamic attire. Whether it is swimming pools or polling booths there is no escape from the repeated controversies surrounding the face mask, better known as the niqab, or the burqa.
The latest incarnation of the niqab controversy surfaced this week when a Toronto judge ordered a Muslim woman to take off her niqab when she testified in a case of sexual assault.
The woman invoked Islam as the reason why she wanted to give testimony while wearing a face mask. She told the judge, "It's a respect issue, one of modesty," adding Islam considers her niqab as her "honour." Her explanations were rejected by the judge who determined that the woman's "religious belief" was not that strong and that in his opinion the woman was asking to wear the niqab as "a matter of comfort."
But all of these arguments are premised on the acceptance of the myth that a face mask for women is Islamic religious attire.
There is no requirement in Islam for Muslim women to cover their faces. The niqab is the epitome of male control over women. It is a product of Saudi Arabia and its distortion of Islam to suit its Wahabbi agenda, which is creeping into Canada .
If there is any doubt that the niqab is not required by Islam, take at look at the holiest place for Muslims -- the grand mosque in Mecca , the Ka'aba. For over 1,400 years Muslim men and women have prayed in what we believe is the House of God and for all these centuries women have been explicitly forbidden from covering their faces.
For the better part of the 20th century, Muslim reformists, from Egypt to India , campaigned against this terrible tribal custom imposed by Wahabbi Islam. My mother's generation threw off their burqas when Muslim countries gained their independence after the Second World War. Millions of women encouraged by their husbands, fathers and sons, shed this oppressive attire as the first step in embracing gender equality.
But while the rest of the world moves toward the goal of gender equality, right here, under our very noses, Islamists are pushing back the clock, convincing educated Muslim women they are sexual objects and a source of sin.
It will be difficult to pinpoint what went wrong, but most of Canada 's growth in niqabi women can be traced to one development in 2004, when a radical Pakistani female scholar by the name of Farhat Hashmi came to Canada on a visitor's visa, to establish the Al-Huda Islamic Institute for women.
Maclean's magazine reported in July 2006 that she had "established a school where she lectures to mostly young, middle-class women from mainstream Muslim families, not only from across the country but also from the U.S. and as far away as Australia ."
In October 2005, the Globe and Mail ran a story on Dr. Hashmi quoting a 20-year-old Muslim woman as saying, "I agree with Dr. Hashmi that women should stay at home and look after their families." This student was so impressed with Dr. Hashmi's sermons that she convinced 10 of her friends to enrol in the course that involved wearing the niqab, leaving the work force and embracing polygamy.
In the Globe piece, 18-year-old Sadaf Mahmood defended polygamy and the burqa saying: "There are more women than men in this world. Who will take care of these women? It is better for a man to do things legally by taking a second wife, rather than having an affair."
While the rest of Canada sleeps, the Islamist agenda, funded by the Saudis and inspired by the Iranians, continues to make its presence felt. The vast majority of Muslims look on in shock, unable to understand why this country would tolerate the oppression of women in the name of religion and multiculturalism.
The woman who was denied her burqa in court is a victim. She is merely a puppet in the hands of those who wish to keep women in their place. First she suffered the trauma of the alleged sexual assault, which was then compounded by the controversy about her niqab. She could have asked the judge to not let her face her alleged attackers, and that would have been a fair request.
But when she invoked Islam and said hiding her face would be an act of religiosity, she became a voice not for justice, but for those who wish to sneak Shariah law into our judicial system. This should be stopped.
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
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August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
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Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.