Archive for the ‘Hijab’ Category
By Julie Joy Clarke
The Assembly for the Protection of Hijab has declared the 4th of September as a worldwide International Hijab Solidarity Day. Muslim women continue to suffer in countries such as France, Germany, Tunisia and Britain , to name but a few, where the Hijab has been banned thus ostracizing those who wear it from the very societies in which they live.
Following the remarkable success of the 17th January 04 “International day to support the Hijab” in which event took place in more than 35 countries around the world, the 4th of September will be another show of solidarity for religious freedom supporters.
The 4th of September also marks the return to school of girls in France, where the ban in academic institutions will commence. Such a ban will serve to create outcasts of every Hijab wearing Muslim girl causing untold psychological damage. The show of solidarity on 4th September is expected to provide these girls with the support and strength in order to fight for their rights.
The issue of the Hijab ban is a live one and with the continual escalation of the ban, Protect-Hijab thinks it is imperative to keep it at the forefront. Organisations, individuals and all those supporting the right of Muslim Woman to wear the Hijab will use September 4th to show solidarity with all Muslim women who are being denied education, freedom of expression and basic human rights and civil liberties.
While in France, young girls are being stopped from entering school premises wearing the Hijab; in Turkey Muslim women are being denied medical treatment and excluded from parliament for wearing the Hijab; and in Tunisia Muslim women are taken to prison and tortured if they wear Hijab. These are some examples of the persecution suffered by women simply because they follow a religious teaching as an expression of their faith.
Protect-Hijab calls people of all faiths and no faith to show solidarity on the 4th September events everywhere in the world. The Protect-Hijab campaigns will continue as long as there are bans against the Hijab in place.
Imane Boudlal, 26, a student, filed a complaint against Disney yesterday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.
Leigh Shelton, a spokesperson for Unite Here, Local 11, which represents workers at Disneyland, said the union is supporting her fight.
On Aug. 15, just days after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began, Boudlal wore her hijab to work greeting customers at the Storyteller’s Restaurant in Disneyland.
Disney told her that if she wanted to work as a hostess she had to remove her hijab because it did not comply with the “Disney Look.” Disney further told Boudlal that if she refused to remove her hijab, she had a choice between working a “back-of-the-house-position” where customers would not see her or going home.
Since that day Boudlal made two additional attempts to work her hostess position, each time wearing her hijab. On each of those occasions Disney blocked her from working.
Boudlal said she decided to challenge the discriminatory treatment because “I understand my rights.”
She said she learned about those rights while she was studying to take an exam for American citizenship, which she passed before she became a U.S. citizen in June. She said she learned, among many other things, about first amendment right to religious freedom.
“I realized the Constitution tells me I can be Muslim, and I can wear the head scarf,” Boudlal said. “Who is Disney to tell me I cannot?”
Boudlal did not jump into the idea of filing a complaint lightly. At first she tried to work with Disney by requesting a “religious accommodation,” something the company said it would consider. She said she waited for two months while Disney said it was considering her needs.
“Finally, I said ‘enough,’” Boudlal said. “They cannot continue to violate my rights, and just string me along. Disney is not above the law.”
“Their offer to put me in the back is humiliating,” Boudlal said. “They’re saying because I’m Arab, because I’m Moroccan, because I’m Muslim, they don’t want to see me in the front.”
On Wednesday the Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter to Disney demanding that the company accommodate Boudlal’s request to wear her headscarf, and to amend its “look” policy to more reasonably accommodate those women who make such requests on religious grounds.
“There is no justification for Disney’s refusal to allow Ms. Boudlal to wear her headscarf at work,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, staff attorney for the council. “To say that her headscarf would somehow impact guests is not only insulting to her, but is deeply offensive to the thousands of Muslims who open up their pocket-books at Disney parks and resorts every year.”
Source : http://www.pakistanintellectuals.com
The incidents that began with the expulsion of a Muslim sister from a French language course have now escalated to the Quebec government barring Muslims wearing the niqab from obtaining provincial services. The ban is politically opportunistic, pressures Muslims to abandon some of the Ahkam of Islam, and paints the Muslims as foreigners. In terms of voicing our opposition to this ban, we must do so intellectually and on the basis of Islam even when calling on the wider Canadian society to stop this ban.
By Rehan Ali
The entire Muslim world, especially its conservative citizens, is in resentment over the proposed legislation in France and Belgium which prevents women from fully covering themselves in veils. The insistence of European lawmakers on banning the burqa in all forms is surprising because only a couple of thousand women cover their faces. Belgian law makers consider prohibition of naqab or veil a security measure as it will allow the police in identification. The law prevents wearing clothing which hides a person’s identity in public. Critics call it repression of a person’s right to wear what they want.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy is pushing for similar legislation which according to the French lawmakers, repress women in subjugation and prevents social assimilation. They attribute veils to discrimination and social oppression. France and Belgium are not Islamic states, and neither of the two countries have Muslim majority. Their Muslim population consists mainly of North African migrants.
Frankly speaking, what the French or Belgians do is their business. It is their country and they really don’t require our advice on these and other matters. Yet Pakistanis, the self appointed guardians of Muslim Ummah, are furious. There is widespread resentment on these measures among the Islamic quarters. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we observe a rally or two by the women wing of one the rightwing Islamist factions denouncing these laws.
Why all the fuss about European legislatures when in Turkey, a Muslim majority nation, law prevents women from attending government events if they wear hijab. Even in our beloved Pakistan women are inflicted abuses and are ill treated. Forced marriages, honor killings, and domestic violence are the order of the day. The local panchayets are free to do as they please and women are used as commodities in resolving disputes. Instead of catering to issues at home, we are all worried about a certain law involving merely a couple of thousand women who choose to live in these non-Muslim societies.
France and Belgium are outside our locus of control and we should not fret about this and similar issues. Apparently, this argument should suffice; however, for the conscientious individuals, it is a matter of principle contradicting the right of expression. The whole issue is just another form of oppression, the other extreme.
Proponents of law consider veil as a tool which subdues women. Hijab to them is a symbol of oppression which silences, bars and subjugate women. It is deemed a scion of the inferior status of women. They argue that in many situations males exercise coercive powers over women, especially on under-age girls, forcing them to wear the hijab. It cannot be ascertained that the girls are wearing the hijab do it of their own will or because their fathers and brothers are forcing them to. Hence, they should be protected through such legislation.
They say hijab prevents social assimilation, but wouldn’t stigmatization and it’s portrayal as an undesired symbol create or farther disintegration? Women who are forced to wear hijab, and there are a lot of them amongst us take it off, almost immediately, as the stimulus (family members) is removed. Good news for them, but what about women who choose to wear the dreaded cloth.
Opponents argue that such nonsense exclusion will prevent social integration of the women supporting a hijab. The notion that women are forced into wearing a hijab may be valid for a limited number. However it is void for a large number of women who wear the hijab self consciously. Instead of being respected and accepted these women are repressed though such measures. Indeed, by shutting out those women who are trying to better themselves, it will have quite the opposite effect.
Muslim women argue that hijab liberates them from societal and peer pressures. They feel empowered, Elle and Vogue seem to loose their grip on such women. Behind their veils they can be themselves and not some skinny, terrified conformist following the latest trends in fashion. These hijabis are a major threat to gloss merchandisers as they defy tyranny and ask respect and independence.
Surprisingly, the controversy is brewing in societies averse to treatment of women in Muslim countries. They advocate a women’s right to humane treatment, education, social empowerment and independence. They actively fund and appreciate Muslim individuals who toe their line of feminism. These bold and brave volunteers are self proclaimed custodians of woman rights in Muslim majority states. They actively search for the exploited souls and manipulate such situations for defaming Muslims countries, Islam and settling their scores with the so called Islamists.
The unfortunate majority caught between the two extremes – enlightened Islamophobes and labelled Islamists – finds very little space to express its concern. Their voices shunned, their opinion considered a confused ideologue.
Irrespective of their inclination, everyone agree that the decision to wear or not to wear a hijab should rest with women. So in principal hegemonists on both sides should refrain from barging on their (women) domain. Libertarians in their bid to free women are doing exactly what their opponents do. The proposed legislation is nothing but coercion, restricting women from exercising their will.
By Alanna Shaikh
In the Wall Street Journal today, Peter Berkowitz weighs in on the controversy surrounding French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s call to ban the Muslim face veil. Berkowitz argues that France has unique reasons why it should ban women from wearing the Muslim face veil. He is right that France is in a unique situation. He’s wrong to think it means the country should ban the veil.
The crux of his argument is this: “Freedom is in special jeopardy when a substantial segment of the population embraces a way of life that fails to cultivate the virtues of freedom while teaching disdain for freedom’s practices and principles.In France as throughout Western Europe, the full veil, along with cousin-marriage, polygamy and sexual violence contribute to a culture that secludes women and creates sizable barriers to assimilation.”
That logic is problematic at best. Equating the veil with sexual violence is senseless. For many women, the veil – even the face veil – is a garment of empowerment.
Many women choose the veil freely, and see it as a protection that allows them to fully be part of the world. It is not inherently a form of seclusion. Nobody chooses sexual assault.
France is in a touch spot. Its Muslim minority is unusually angry and averse to mainstream French culture. I would suggest, though, that this may be due to the steady stream of discrimination they live with. French Muslims, and immigrants in general, face widespread discrimination, especially when it comes to education and employment. Perhaps limiting their options for religious expression is not the best way to respond to that?
Veiling creates a barrier to assimilation only if mainstream culture chooses to treat it that way. If everyone in France talked to women in veils just like they speak to everyone else, the veil wouldn’t be a factor in marginalizing women or preventing engagement with classic French culture.
It would just be a piece of cloth. Stigmatizing the veil, and the people who wear it, creates the very alienation that the French government is trying to combat.
Making the face veil illegal takes that stigma to the ultimate level. If Sarkozy actually wanted to help Muslim women in France, he’d support things that actually improve their lives.
Better educational opportunities.