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In the Name of God بسم الله

Hijab, women in Islam

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Salam Alaykum everyone,

First I hope Allah accepts your prayers in this special evening. May Allah curse the killers of Imam Ali.

About the topic, a non-Muslim friend is asking about women in Islam and is saying isn’t hijab sexist? I have answers to these in my head but I don’t know how to approach it, can any sisters or brothers help me with this issue? Please keep in my mind that unfortunately when Islam is seen from an outside eye it is seen as a religion that can be interpreted as sexist so please be understanding. I know our religion is far from all of that but I just don’t know how to approach it, I hope some sisters know more about this.

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On any standard non-Muslim beach, women must cover their chest (somewhat), but men do not. Is that “sexist” too?

Or is this just all Eurocentric colonial impostion on human rights? It’s so subconscious many don’t realize. Why is hijab the deviation from the norm to question, and seemingly never imagined the other way around?

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Posted (edited)

I think it is the other way around. Displaying women in public as objects for the pleasure of men is sexist and misogynistic. At least in the west women does not wear headscarf for a man but for god. In many western countries women remove headscarves because what other people say. Hijabies are ostracized and face hostility from some people. It is more difficult to find jobs. Especially if western women wear head scarves we are seen as cultural traitors.

Edited by Revert1963
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22 hours ago, Revert1963 said:

I think it is the other way around. Displaying women in public as objects for the pleasure of men is sexist and misogynistic. At least in the west women does not wear headscarf for a man but for god. In many western countries women remove headscarves because what other people say. Hijabies are ostracized and face hostility from some people. It is more difficult to find jobs. Especially if western women wear head scarves we are seen as cultural traitors.

But what about if the person is against misogyny and all that and dresses modestly except for headscarf?

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Jeleel said:

But what about if the person is against misogyny and all that and dresses modestly except for headscarf?

A lot of women, including me, struggle with the headscarf because of the issues that I outlined. In the western country where I live it is not easy. That is why I enjoyed visiting Iran where wearing headscarf i obligatory. Though even in Iran it was not uncommon that people mocked me because they thought my headscarf was "to religious". I did of cause also received compliments that I as a foreigner wore the headscarf in a more modest way than most Iranians.
So when a Muslim woman doesn't wear a headscarf, but otherwise dresses modestly, especially in a western country, it is most likely not from a wish to please men, but simply to avoid trouble. Lets face it. Especially in our day and age a headscarf is a big sign that spells Muslim. Unfortunately Muslim in the eyes of many westerners equals "terrorist" or at least backwards conservative narrow minded moral police. And like your non-Muslim friend said, many westerners see oppression when they see a woman with a head scarf. This is something the brothers don't get to experience. Though they could experience some of it if they wear a kufi all the time, but most of them don't. I wonder why :dry:
Some times I think that if all the female converts to Islam in my country would wear a head scarf out in daily life, the Islamophobic's would be scared to see how many we really are.
I think the headscarf is a beautiful sign of piety an modesty that has been used in many religions throughout history. And wearing it for God should be acknowledged, but one does not need a head scarf in order to dress modestly. If someone wore a headscarf and nothing else, that would not be modest. The Quran specifically ask women to cover our breasts, but it does not say how much hair should be covered or even if at all. It says "cover your breasts with your headscarves." That puts an emphasis on covering the breasts. It doesn't elaborate on the fashion of the headscarves of the Prophets wives and daughters (peace be upon them all)
 

Edited by Revert1963
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19 hours ago, Cherub786 said:

Can you translate what he said (at least the gist of it)?

While he agrees that coverings are considered important by some people he says that there is no formal injunction on women to cover up (in his opinion). He does not think it's as important a practice as many Muslims give it.

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

While he agrees that coverings are considered important by some people he says that there is no formal injunction on women to cover up (in his opinion). He does not think it's as important a practice as many Muslims give it.

Hijab really does trigger the French. I was in Montreal once, a city that isn’t entirely French, some areas are Anglophone. Nevertheless, I could tell French people are the most Islamophobic of all Europeans. They looked at me and treated me differently. Because I don’t speak a word of French I was definitely in their bad books. Once I had to buy something from a convenience store and the cashier told me the total in French. I said, “pardon me” and she was obviously annoyed.

Another time I went to a Halal restaurant in Montreal for supper. The owner and staff were Muslims, probably Lebanese or something, and they spoke broken English. They were also annoyed that I didn’t speak a word of French. They also thought I was Jewish because I was wearing a kufi and thobe, and I have very fair complexion. I was only in Montreal for two or three days but can tell you so many stories. Imagine having to live in a pure French society!

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1 minute ago, Cherub786 said:

Imagine having to live in a pure French society!

Yes, I was at a conference in Paris some months ago and I ordered a vegetarian meal. The others at my table were curious and wanted to know why and then the whole halal issue came up and it was a far more uncomfortable experience than it has ever been in the UK.

Having said that I note that Emmanuel Macron is getting as much flak for tweeting about the death of Ginsberg in English as he does for his Arabic tweets.

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6 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

Yes, I was at a conference in Paris some months ago and I ordered a vegetarian meal. The others at my table were curious and wanted to know why and then the whole halal issue came up and it was a far more uncomfortable experience than it has ever been in the UK.

Having said that I note that Emmanuel Macron is getting as much flak for tweeting about the death of Ginsberg in English as he does for his Arabic tweets.

Macron was critical of Marine Le Pen for her anti-Muslim bigotry, so imagine how much more anti-Muslim the right wing elements of France must be, if even their liberals are against us.

The French aren’t so much racial supremacists as they are cultural supremacists.

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12 hours ago, Cherub786 said:

Macron was critical of Marine Le Pen for her anti-Muslim bigotry, so imagine how much more anti-Muslim the right wing elements of France must be, if even their liberals are against us.

The French aren’t so much racial supremacists as they are cultural supremacists.

But can’t you understand why? Have you seen what kind of muslims they are in France? Not the kind of muslims you want to have a cup of tea and any kind of conversation with.

They oppose islamic laws, talk about turning france into an islamic state and want everything implemented according to their benefit. European muslims, wether orthodox or traditional, are ruining it for themselves. 

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18 minutes ago, Guest Andrew said:

But can’t you understand why? Have you seen what kind of muslims they are in France? Not the kind of muslims you want to have a cup of tea and any kind of conversation with.

They oppose islamic laws, talk about turning france into an islamic state and want everything implemented according to their benefit. European muslims, wether orthodox or traditional, are ruining it for themselves. 

I’ve never been to France, but as I understand it, the majority of Muslims in France are from North Africa, and predominantly Algerian. They are also some of the most secularized and least observant Muslims in the world.

When France banned the burqa, for example, there were only a handful of Muslim ladies in France who actually used the burqa and niqab. Compare this with Britain, for example, where there must be hundreds of thousands of Muslim ladies who use the niqab and burqa. This reveals a fundamental difference between the British and French attitude to Muslims, the former are extremely tolerant and respectful, while the latter are intolerant, Islamophobic, and full of bigotry.

Edited by Cherub786
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11 hours ago, Guest Andrew said:

But can’t you understand why? Have you seen what kind of muslims they are in France?

The combination of poor social conditions and Islamophobia creates radicalization. You don't fix the problem by banning particular pieces of garment. You can only fix it by addressing the poor social conditions and the fear and ignorance that lead to Islamophobia.

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