Quote Of The Day
Posted by Lee on June 26, 2008
“I am sick and tired of people referring to the hijab debate when speaking about being an Islamic woman. Get over it! It’s just a piece of material.”
Susan Carland, Salam Café panellist, Monash University lecturer, mother of two and 2004 “Muslim of the Year”.
Interesting how the argument is frequently played out in public (and by many feminists too I might add) that women who wear a hijab are seen as doing so by force or fear of religious or cultural persecution should they choose to not adhere to the scarf.
The hysterical ranting about the erosion of the rights of our sisters by a misogynistic and secular practice depicted in the Qur’an is, in my view, very often completely misguided and reeking of authoritarian hypocrisy.
Just as women have the right to seek out equal pay, equal work opportunities, equal access to the television remote control; is it not our Muslim lady-friends right too to have equal say in how they wish to express their religious freedoms?
Why preach of female liberties when neglecting to take into account that the vast majority of Muslim women choose to wear the hijab for their own cultural purposes? Many Muslim women who practice the hijab feel that it liberates them from body-image stereotyping and allows them to be closer to the truer version of themselves where they are valued for their intellect, social and family contributions and not on how they look.
The broader problems of the Muslim world are not the issue when it comes to the hijab. When individuals are indiscriminately denied the opportunity or are challenged on their reasons to identify with their own culture in wearing the hijab, it only illuminates the critics clear lack of objectivity and abilities to disassociate themselves from the imagery that they feel the hijab represents.
And while I will not even consider getting into the debate about the prominent Mufti who made the incredibly offensive claims about un-veiled women and uncovered meat; for every Sheikh Hilali you present me to lambast about being anti-female, I will raise you 5 Wayne Careys and ask you if you enjoy watching the football. Same-same.
If you ask me, (which if you are still reading this means that you are probably seeking a point somewhere about now), I am far more terrified of the anti-Muslim sentiment associated with this religio-political squabble than of any damage a silky piece of coloured fabric can do to me.
If the practice of wearing the hijab only involves the individual and causes no harm to others, I really don’t see what the hub-bub is all about. It is not my place to question whether another woman wants to wear something that I myself would choose not to; regardless of what may be my Qur’anic interpretation of womens rights.
Truly, if it’s a head-gear fashion issue, I should be the one pilloried and shredded for crimes to humanity. I once used to wear a snood for Pete’s sake! A SNOOD! Oh, the horror.
The way Mark Twain saw it was so much simpler in terms of defining why clothes are good. He said:
“Clothes make the (wo)man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Please do enjoy this feature presentation on the many lovely styles of wearing the hijab. I would think it would help combat bad hair days too.