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Saudi Women's Rights Activist Speaks Out

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I really admire this women. She speaks out with courage and intelligence, there isn't one thing she said wrong. Her attitude towards reform is correct and it really needs implementation. She even advocates the right for non-muslims to enter mekkah, the right for other places of worship to be built in cities, other than that of Mekkah and Medina, and that the sheikhs of the haram mosque shouldn't only have to be from the hanbali sect, but they should have sheikhs from all sects of Islam (including Shia) and there should be sheikhs from different nationalities, not only Saudis.

Amazing Lady.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gBhh2AyxRI

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You've got to be kidding me. This woman is a complete joke, and has no chance of been taken seriously by anyone apart from the usual suspects that lap this stuff up.

I know she won't be taken seriously now, it's going to be a long haul until her views are fully endorsed. It may even take a colossal revolution to enforce these paradigm changes, because people such as yourself would act as as the primary obstacle.

What aspect of her views do you disagree with? Do you really conform with the status quo of the Saudi Wahabbi scum?

Edited by Çåá ÇáÈíÊ

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I know she won't be taken seriously now, it's going to be a long haul until her views are fully endorsed. It may even take a colossal revolution to enforce these paradigm changes, because people such as yourself would act as as the primary obstacle.

What aspect of her views do you disagree with, in regards to the rights of women? Do you really conform with the status quo of the Saudi Wahabbi scum?

Leaving aside whether I agree with most of the changes she would want to be made (and I probably wouldn't), this woman clearly has no intelligence. If you want to have any credibility as a reformer, you speak and act in way that a conservative can at least respect. What you don't do is go on some TV show with loose hijab (if that is even the right word here), with some bimbo presenter, and talk in a way that gives very little indication that you are a real Muslim. You honestly think any religious Saudi, or any other Muslim that takes his religion seriously, is going to look at this and think to himself that she's got a good point?

If you want to see a good example of a reformer with some credibility, look at someone like Tariq Ramadan. Whether I agree with him or not, I can at least admire his intelligence, and his willingess to make arguments that rely on textual sources. That is for me the absolute minimum requirement for someone to be taken seriously when they speak about Islam, a willingness to go back to the sources of the religion. Even if you are then trying to force a liberal interpretation on everything, at least you are still speaking the same language as the people you are trying to convince.

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Leaving aside whether I agree with most of the changes she would want to be made (and I probably wouldn't), this woman clearly has no intelligence. If you want to have any credibility as a reformer, you speak and act in way that a conservative can at least respect. What you don't do is go on some TV show with loose hijab (if that is even the right word here), with some bimbo presenter, and talk in a way that gives very little indication that you are a real Muslim. You honestly think any religious Saudi, or any other Muslim that takes his religion seriously, is going to look at this and think to himself that she's got a good point?

If you want to see a good example of a reformer with some credibility, look at someone like Tariq Ramadan. Whether I agree with him or not, I can at least admire his intelligence, and his willingess to make arguments that rely on textual sources. That is for me the absolute minimum requirement for someone to be taken seriously when they speak about Islam, a willingness to go back to the sources of the religion. Even if you are then trying to force a liberal interpretation on everything, at least you are still speaking the same language as the people you are trying to convince.

Ok, so you're focusing on your own subjective opinion as to how she represents herself. She wasn't rude, she was being open and objective, and you think that just because she shows a bit of hair, it invalidates the validity of her argument? Do you really think conservatives watching this would really find her views more acceptable if she fully covered her hair? I don't think so. Ironically, it is precisely this sort of false reasoning which makes it is good that she came out in this fashion, as she's setting the precedent in breaking the trend. Remember, it doesn't matter if you come out dressed in a way that is deemed objectionable by the opposition, it's the words you say, and how you say it, that plays the main role in creating awareness and movement.

You can't escape the fact that she has a real good grasp on the backward society of Saudi Arabia. She may not be giving textual evidence to back-up her rationally logical viewpoints, but this is basically just a brief overview. These liberal interpretations you speak of are actually an inherent part of Islam, and the hardline opposing views have no alliance to the reality and essence of this religion.

It would be helpful if you could point out on any aspect you strongly disagree with, and provide an explanation as to why (not just some random, questionable narrations from Tashayu, thanks).

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What is that supposed to mean? What gives you the right to judge like that?

At least he is open about his contempt for women, the dangerous misogynists are the ones that hide it behind a pretense of 'womens rights' which are really designed to exploit women.

like the pro-porn brigade.

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What is that supposed to mean? What gives you the right to judge like that?

I presume she is supposed to be a Muslim, and she is on TV with no hijab and tons of makeup. If someone is going to sin so openly and shamelessly, then yes, they open themselves up to being judged. The fact that she presents a feminist show doesn't exactly endear me to her either.

At least he is open about his contempt for women, the dangerous misogynists are the ones that hide it behind a pretense of 'womens rights' which are really designed to exploit women.

like the pro-porn brigade.

I don't have contempt for women, and neither am I a misogynist. I have contempt for some women, just as I have for some men.

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Wow ........

What do you know about joke? This woman is doing a great job standing up in the face of fake men that like to lower woman to feel satifed....

She probably had to go through alot for speaking up to her people.....

Some men just like to prison there woman to make them feel secure......

...........Sexist.......

Those woman are fighting for their basic rights, yet no one seems to care ...

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Those woman are fighting for their basic rights, yet no one seems to care ...

If the right is given to them by Islam, then I'll fight for it as hard as anybody, but if it is a right that goes against Islam, then why should a Muslim support that?

So can you list the Islamic rights women are being denied that she mentioned?

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What did she say that want against islam?

The men are dominated and they use the shariah laws to lock down woman. So you need a males consent to open a bank account in islam? You need to cover your face, is that compulsuer in islam. The woman get stopped if they dont have a male consent...

The men are keeping woman in a lower position so they can take control offer everything, so if someone gets raped she gets the punishment ....

If they followed the real islamic rules then its another case. But thats to much, why cant she work

, why couldnt they drive why do they need a men 24/7 with them? Is that part of islam....

When they ask to work they get told oh where special people so we dont allow it..... Khadija worked so whats the problem with woman choosing to work

There is no list because people make up rules as they go...........

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What did she say that want against islam?

To be honest, I'm not too sure what she was saying. She just went on one long incoherent rant. I was hoping someone could list the main points that they think are worth responding to.

The men are dominated and they use the shariah laws to lock down woman.

So women should use shariah to reclaim their rights.

So you need a males consent to open a bank account in islam? You need to cover your face, is that compulsuer in islam. The woman get stopped if they dont have a male consent...

I don't think all these things are necessary, but according to Sunni sources (and perhaps even Shia ones), a good argument can be made for women having to cover their faces. I don't think it's that big a deal if you live in a society where everyone does it. The wives of the Prophet (pbuh) and the women of the ahlulbayt (as) used to cover their faces. Were they oppressed?

The men are keeping woman in a lower position so they can take control offer everything, so if someone gets raped she gets the punishment ....

Men and women aren't supposed to have the same position in society. It doesn't mean it's lower, it's just not the same as a man's.

I don't know how a woman who gets raped ends up getting the punishment. That obviously isn't right.

If they followed the real islamic rules then its another case. But thats to much, why cant she work

, why couldnt they drive why do they need a men 24/7 with them? Is that part of islam....

When they ask to work they get told oh where special people so we dont allow it.....Khadija worked so whats the problem with woman choosing to work

There is no list because people make up rules as they go...........

Women can work in Saudi Arabia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia#Employment

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So women should use shariah to reclaim their rights.

The video had too many cuts , she didnt really state the rights that she wanted but she did talk about work. But in general she was just trying to show that men are more dominatied and that will never change.

You see the prophts family(as) werint forced to wear it, but what if someone doesnt want to wear it , its optional. Anyways they have alot of werid men there so its better for them but what I dont understand is why they need a paper or some sort of consent from a man to travel. Yeh I know they can work know , about time lol ....

How can thet claim there rights if men dominate and wouldnt listen to woman?

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I presume she is supposed to be a Muslim, and she is on TV with no hijab and tons of makeup.

Youre assuming she believes a headscarf to be wajib, if she doesnt then she isnt 'sinning' because she isnt willfully disobeying God. How incredibly judgemental people like you can feel good about themselves i dont know, you must either despise yourself or be a saint.

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Youre assuming she believes a headscarf to be wajib, if she doesnt then she isnt 'sinning' because she isnt willfully disobeying God.

Since hijab is in fact wajib, then she is sinning, whether she realises she is or not. She may or may not be punished for it, but it doesn't change the fact that it is a sin.

As it is, it's hard to believe she doesn't have the means to easily ascertain whether hijab is wajib in her religion or not, considering that she presents a show that deals with women's issues. Or that she isn't aware that Muslim women shouldn't be heavily caked up in makeup in public. When you are in a position of easily finding out the truth of the matter (which she obviously is), ignorance isn't much of an excuse.

Even if she has been fooled into believing that hijab isn't wajib, then she must at least be aware that Islam requires modesty. She can't seriously believe that her appearance is in line with:

And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful. [Qur'an 24:31, Shakir]

How incredibly judgemental people like you can feel good about themselves i dont know, you must either despise yourself or be a saint.

I'm far from being incredibly judgemental, but some people just go too far, and deserve it. I wouldn't judge some random woman I saw who didn't wear hijab, but when someone goes on a TV program that is broadcast to Muslim countries, with no hijab, tons of makeup, and presents a show that aims to spread secularism and feminism (or at least gives a platform for people to spread those ideologies), on a TV channel that is funded by the United States (for obvious reasons), then I think they deserve it.

Alhurra (or al-Hurra) (Arabic: الحرّة‎, al-Ḥurrah [alˈħurra],[note] "the free one") is a United States-based Arabic-language satellite TV channel funded by the U.S. Congress that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa. Its stated mission is to provide "objective, accurate and relevant news and information" to its audience while seeking to "support democratic values" and "expand the spectrum of ideas, opinions, and perspectives" available in the region's media.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhurra

I'm sure the U.S. congress has the best interests of Islam at heart.

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'Since hijab is in fact wajib'
- this is debatable, evidenced by the fact that it is debated widely. There are many muslim men and women who do not subscribe to the word for 'covering' in the passage you quoted being specifically 'head scarf'. I think the women who have legitimately come to this conclusion and do not wear the headscarf are quite brave, esp when they have grown up in communities where there is a strong cultural pressure to wear it.
'goes on a TV program that is broadcast to Muslim countries, with no hijab, tons of makeup, and presents a show that aims to spread secularism and feminism (or at least gives a platform for people to spread those ideologies)'

There is nothing here to indicate a person having 'no intelligence' or being a 'bimbo', its just a load of stuff you dont like.

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I presume she is supposed to be a Muslim, and she is on TV with no hijab and tons of makeup.

LOOOOOL There are many Christian Arabs....and she very well could be.

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A brief period spent in the United States influenced Wajeha al-Huwaider to become a feminist activist:

"Before that, I knew that I'm a human being. However, in the United States I felt it, because I was treated as one. I learned life means nothing without freedom. Then I decided to become a real women's rights activist, in order to free women in my country and to make them feel alive."

I find it rather ironic that putting a cap on liberty is seen as a means of providing a perfect Islamic society, yet you always find some form of strong complaints and a swarm of protests about lack of rights or miscarriage of justice due to Sharia law. It clearly gives an impression that, behind closed doors, most women feel heavily suppressed and depressed in this situation, and the society itself remains stagnant. Whilst on the other hand, in a secular society, you find no such ado and this society becomes one of the most prosperous and advanced countries in the world. It also permits free press and speech, a privilege that 'Islamic' countries are supposed to provide but, for no justifiable reason, turn into a taboo. Now, a nation governed by Islamic values should technically make women feel happy and secure, though this isn't the case, which makes me wonder whether liberal principles are in actual fact islamic in essence. Or is it that Islamic principles should be placed within the framework of far-right liberal values? Perhaps this is the most conventional method of progress, I personally feel this way. What do you think?

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- this is debatable, evidenced by the fact that it is debated widely. There are many muslim men and women who do not subscribe to the word for 'covering' in the passage you quoted being specifically 'head scarf'. I think the women who have legitimately come to this conclusion and do not wear the headscarf are quite brave, esp when they have grown up in communities where there is a strong cultural pressure to wear it.

Since when it became many?

- this is debatable, evidenced by the fact that it is debated widely.

There were never a widely debate of this issue.

Edited by Dhulfikar

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- this is debatable, evidenced by the fact that it is debated widely. There are many muslim men and women who do not subscribe to the word for 'covering' in the passage you quoted being specifically 'head scarf'. I think the women who have legitimately come to this conclusion and do not wear the headscarf are quite brave, esp when they have grown up in communities where there is a strong cultural pressure to wear it.

Everything is 'debatable', in the sense that an argument can be put opposing something. Whether the argument has much strength is another issue. Objectively speaking, there is no real debate withing mainstream Sunni and Shia Islam that hijab is wajib. There are no scholars that I know of in either sect that argue otherwise, and those that do are on the fringe and have little or no credentials to speak with authority on this issue.

Of course those who want to dispute hijab being wajib will cling to any straws going, and will see any article that quotes an ayah or two from the Quran as some kind of brilliant refutation to classical scholarship.

There is nothing here to indicate a person having 'no intelligence' or being a 'bimbo', its just a load of stuff you dont like.

I doubt she got to present the show based on her journalistic skills somehow.

LOOOOOL There are many Christian Arabs....and she very well could be.

She's not. Her name is Nadine Al Bedair, and she's a Saudi journalist from a Muslim family.

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She's not. Her name is Nadine Al Bedair, and she's a Saudi journalist from a Muslim family.

I never watch memri or any shows she presents so I wouldn't know. It is her life though and the way she looks is quite normal and not very revealing, you should toughen up, you are too sensitive for something out of your control. Have you ever seen Saudi women in airports when they leave KSA :shaytan:. Most of them look like they are getting ready for the red light district....mini skirts and all.

Edited by ImAli

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I never watch memri or any shows she presents so I wouldn't know. It is her life though and the way she looks is nothing....you should see Saudi women in airports when they leave KSA :shaytan:

MEMRI is a Zionist organisation that translates media ouput from the middle east that they think will portray Islam or Muslims in a negative light. The TV channel she is on is Al-hurra, which is a satellite channel funded by the U.S. congress.

As for this particular woman, I think the following two clips are sufficient to prove she is not particularly intelligent:

She also reportedly penned an article compaining that is was unfair that men could take four wives, and women couldn't.

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Ok one question Haydar Husayn. Are you against women from KSA being allowed to drive? (Of course with their husband or father's permission)

Edited by ImAli

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Ok one question Haydar Husayn. Are you against women from KSA being allowed to drive? (Of course with their husband or father's permission)

No. I haven't seen any convincing case that from a Shia persepctive would say women shouldn't be allowed to drive. Even from a Sunni perspective, it doesn't seem all that strong.

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As for this particular woman, I think the following two clips are sufficient to prove she is not particularly intelligent:

Seriously, can you just get off your high horse and quit thinking you have absolute monopoly on the truth? Blemishing the reputation of many women like her, who have to struggle and fight against a dictatorship, doesn't really put you in a good light, does it now? It really isn't easy for these women to break free from the chains of degradation, it requires motivation and intelligence. You have to understand that magically pulling out random narrations from a hat, doesn't justify your stance or make you any more intelligent than these activists. They also have valid opinions, too. They live oppression, you don't.

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Seriously, can you just get off your high horse and quit thinking you have absolute monopoly on the truth? Blemishing the reputation of many women like her, who have to struggle and fight against a dictatorship, doesn't really put you in a good light, does it now? It really isn't easy for these women to break free from the chains of degradation, it requires motivation and intelligence. You have to understand that magically pulling out random narrations from a hat, doesn't justify your stance or make you any more intelligent than these activists. They also have valid opinions, too. They live oppression, you don't.

You know it's not just him - she works for a US-funded satellite channel and presents a naively simplistic perspective on the causes behind all the alleged 'terrorism' besides exaggerating the plight of women in her own homeland (contrary to her babble, women have employment rights in Saudi Arabia) .

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Seriously, can you just get off your high horse and quit thinking you have absolute monopoly on the truth? Blemishing the reputation of many women like her, who have to struggle and fight against a dictatorship, doesn't really put you in a good light, does it now? It really isn't easy for these women to break free from the chains of degradation, it requires motivation and intelligence. You have to understand that magically pulling out random narrations from a hat, doesn't justify your stance or make you any more intelligent than these activists. They also have valid opinions, too. They live oppression, you don't.

Did you actually listen to her speak? Did you hear any insightful analysis?

I also find it amusing to be lectured on thinking I have absolute monopoly on the truth by someone who routinely praises even the most vacuous of supporting posts, articles, and videos, as 'rational', 'logical', and 'intelligent', and dismisses without thought any argument that goes against him, no matter how well-supported.

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Did you actually listen to her speak? Did you hear any insightful analysis?

I also find it amusing to be lectured on thinking I have absolute monopoly on the truth by someone who routinely praises even the most vacuous of supporting posts, articles, and videos, as 'rational', 'logical', and 'intelligent', and dismisses without thought any argument that goes against him, no matter how well-supported.

He only speaks in praise of her because she doesn't wear hijab.

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Since when it became many?

There were never a widely debate of this issue.

In my experience it is. I grew up mainly around sunni's near a majority asian area and there is a large muslim population in my city and it is a minority of women that wear hijab and often it is like a token hijab, a nod to the tradition rather than the more paranoid, tight hijab. It is also a subject very much debated.

As for 'classical scholars', i would question the health of the scholarly tradition, the old guard are revered almost to the position of prophethood them selves, i dont think there has been much in regard to healthy, rigorous discussion about such things as hijab, its far tobculturally entrenched, you dont get points for that, you get point for basically regurgitating what some bloke said 7 centuries ago in in a slightly different way it seems to me.

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In my experience it is. I grew up mainly around sunni's near a majority asian area and there is a large muslim population in my city and it is a minority of women that wear hijab and often it is like a token hijab, a nod to the tradition rather than the more paranoid, tight hijab. It is also a subject very much debated.

That is because Asians by and large follow their culture, and not their religion. If you ask any scholar, Shia or Sunni, on the Indian subcontinent about hijab, they will all say it is wajib. However, only the religious Muslims there actually wear it properly.

As for 'classical scholars', i would question the health of the scholarly tradition, the old guard are revered almost to the position of prophethood them selves, i dont think there has been much in regard to healthy, rigorous discussion about such things as hijab, its far tobculturally entrenched, you dont get points for that, you get point for basically regurgitating what some bloke said 7 centuries ago in in a slightly different way it seems to me.

It's not just the classical scholars, it's the entire history of Islamic scholarship since records began. And it's like we are depending on their verdicts either. We have very explicit ahadith on hijab, Shias probably much more so than Sunnis, making it clear the hair needs to be covered. This is why even the most liberal of Shia scholars still say hijab is absolutely wajib. Contrast to the case of the beard, where you could argue there is also a consensus that it is wajib, and there is a lot of scholarly tradition in support of that, but since the ahadith on the subject aren't that strong and few and far between, many scholars only say it haram to shave as an obligatory precaution. Nobody says a woman only needs to cover her hair out of obligatory precaution however, since there is no doubt on this issue.

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The woman is right about extremists eventually being defeated, but al hamdulillah, it's safe to say that will never happen to the one who seeks revenge for the blood of Aba Abdillah (as).

From Tafseer al Ayyashi:

67 – عن سلام بن المستنير عن أبى جعفر عليه السلام في قوله: (ومن قتل مظلوما فقد جعلنا لوليه سلطانا فلا يسرف في القتل انه كان منصورا) قال: هو الحسين بن على عليه السلام قتل مظلوما ونحن اولياؤه، والقائم منا إذا قام منا طلب بثار الحسين، فيقتل حتى يقال قد أسرف في القتل، وقال: المسى

From Salaam bin al-Mustanir from Abu Ja'far (as) that he said:

(And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.(Surah Israa Verse 33)

“It was Hussain bin Ali (as) that was martyred unjustly and we are his successors. When the Qa'im from us rises he will set out to revenge the blood of Hussain (as). Then he will unleash such killings that it will be said he is killing in excess (till the end of the hadith)"

Edited by S.hassan

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I think this post got stuck in limbo. I want to know what you think.

A brief period spent in the United States influenced Wajeha al-Huwaider to become a feminist activist:

"Before that, I knew that I'm a human being. However, in the United States I felt it, because I was treated as one. I learned life means nothing without freedom. Then I decided to become a real women's rights activist, in order to free women in my country and to make them feel alive."

I find it rather ironic that putting a cap on liberty is seen as a means of providing a perfect Islamic society, yet you always find some form of strong complaints and a swarm of protests about lack of rights or miscarriage of justice due to Sharia law. It clearly gives an impression that, behind closed doors, most women feel heavily suppressed and depressed in this situation, and the society itself remains stagnant. Whilst on the other hand, in a secular society, you find no such ado and this society becomes one of the most prosperous and advanced countries in the world. It also permits free press and speech, a privilege that 'Islamic' countries are supposed to provide but, for no justifiable reason, turn into a taboo. Now, a nation governed by Islamic values should technically make women feel happy and secure, though this isn't the case, which makes me wonder whether liberal principles are in actual fact islamic in essence. Or is it that Islamic principles should be placed within the framework of far-right liberal values? Perhaps this is the most conventional method of progress, I personally feel this way. What do you think?

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That is because Asians by and large follow their culture, and not their religion. If you ask any scholar, Shia or Sunni, on the Indian subcontinent about hijab, they will all say it is wajib. However, only the religious Muslims there actually wear it properly.

It's not just the classical scholars, it's the entire history of Islamic scholarship since records began. And it's like we are depending on their verdicts either. We have very explicit ahadith on hijab, Shias probably much more so than Sunnis, making it clear the hair needs to be covered. This is why even the most liberal of Shia scholars still say hijab is absolutely wajib. Contrast to the case of the beard, where you could argue there is also a consensus that it is wajib, and there is a lot of scholarly tradition in support of that, but since the ahadith on the subject aren't that strong and few and far between, many scholars only say it haram to shave as an obligatory precaution. Nobody says a woman only needs to cover her hair out of obligatory precaution however, since there is no doubt on this issue.

I dont know why you say either of those things when neither is true. The first is assumption and conjecture and the second is simple false.

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I dont know why you say either of those things when neither is true. The first is assumption and conjecture and the second is simple false.

What evidence do you have to the contrary?

The first one is true for sure, and you can ask any Asian on this site. Asians don't wear loose hijab because their is any scholarly disagreement over the issue, they do it because proper hijab isn't part of their culture. If you look at a female Shia speaker from the subcontinent, you will see that she won't be wearing loose hijab.

As for the second, since you claim it is false, then presumably you will be able to quote a Shia scholar, past or present, who says hijab isn't wajib.

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The first one is true for sure, and you can ask any Asian on this site. Asians don't wear loose hijab because their is any scholarly disagreement over the issue, they do it because proper hijab isn't part of their culture. If you look at a female Shia speaker from the subcontinent, you will see that she won't be wearing loose hijab.

I second this. The only time you will see the non-religious women of the subcontinent cover their heads is either when they attend majaalis, or when they go to pray.

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