Niqab and the banner of political call on Islam By Homa Arjomand’s
Homa Arjomand's wake-up call on the banner of political call on Islam
Sunday 5 November 2006
Niqab is publicizing and promoting the agenda of the movement of political Islam in the West while women in so-called Islamic countries are burning the compulsory Hijabs /veil on the streets, work places and at the universities.
War is peace and veiling of women is a human right.
Here, I intend to emphasize on Niqab as an obvious oppression, wall of segregation between women and men, or leaves the hands of backward tradition and religion open to interfere with the lives of individuals. Most importantly of all I need to highlight role of Niqab as banner of political Islam with its entire agenda.
If one does not see the role of Niqab in today’s society then he or she will easily fall for these false arguments, that Niqab is just piece of cloths and women have rights to wear them or not to, or if we oppose it then it goes against the freedom of choice of clothing for Muslims.
On TV Ontario (TVO) panel discussion, which was held on, 23 October 2006, one of the panelists tried hard to educate the public for not getting afraid if they see a woman with Niqab, another one claimed, some of these Niqabists are in fact feminist and defender of women’s rights, while other called the Niqabist a group of young girls who are opposing their parents’ way of practicing Islam! These reasons might peruse some people who have not experienced the violence of political Islam, nor heard the atrocities that the leaders of this move have caused humanity and can not imagine emerge of political Islam in the European heartland for more share of power. But we, who lived under its role and witnessed its violence, are obliged to not only oppose it but also, as advocates of freedom, egalitarianism and secularism, call people to come forward in full forces to build a firm barricade against it.
Niqab or hijab, the Islamic dress code are the banner of this political movement. Wherever this movement gained power or managed to get upper hand their first attack was to impose Hijab on women by hunting women in every way possible. In Iran for example the special patrols, armed with weapons were in charge to arrest women who fail to properly use Hijab in all work places, schools and streets. Bearing in mind that the leaders of this movement do not hesitate to kill, arrest, and torture. This movement is well known as anti-women, anti-freedom of expression and anti-Western values. As a reminder, tens of thousands of women have been attacked in Iran only by the forces of Hezbollah. It was in Iran that this movement organized itself as a state and turned political Islam into substantial force in the region. Along with Hijab came the reactionary laws and regulations. Laws such as “stoning to death” for committing adultery, “Early child marriage” as young as 9 years old for girls, “Sigha” the temporary marriage, “polygamy” allowing men to have four legal wives and unlimited number of Sigha women or Sigha children under the age of 16, beating the disobedient women, depriving women from leaving home, attending work, or traveling without the legal consent of their husband. all these inhuman and anti-women laws came along with Hijab.
The situation in so-called Islamic communities in the West is not much different. The promoters of this movement will do their best to keep youth away from the social metabolism, from integration. The duties of Sheik or an Imam are to promote the backward traditions and anti-women laws and regulations amongst them are; the Niqabs, the Hijabs, the honor killings, the arranged marriages, the forced marriages, the child brides, forcing veil on children, segregating girls and boys on early age, the list goes on and on. It is not coincident at all when an Australia’s most prominent Islamic clerk states that women who don not wear head scarves invite the rapist. Sheik Taj aldin al-Hilali at the Sydney mosque compared women who fail to wear scarves to “uncovered meat”.
The role of the opportunistic trends who recently converted to Islam while doing their PHD or among the rich immigrants who carry the title of professor at so and so university in promoting Niqab under the name of defender of women’s rights and feminism can not be ignored either.
I can only emphasize when this movement identifies itself with this banner Hijab (Niqab ) then to confront it, we have no way out but to bring this banner down.
In 60’s and 70’s we hardly saw a single Niqabis in public, as political Islam was not even formed then. Niqab came to existence when Islam, as a movement, came to power in Iran. The fact is these so-called feminists Niqabist never oppose the oppression of women under the role of Islam. And amongst all those books they write with regards to Islam, no articles can be spotted in opposition to child marriage, mutilation, polygamy, stoning women to death and honor killing. We have never seen them get heated when Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali along with so many other mullahs and imams preach their ancient traditions on every Friday mosque sermons. “If I come across a crime of rape - kidnap and violation of honour - I would discipline the man and teach him a lesson in morals, and I would order the woman be arrested and jailed for life. (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,20656690,00.html)
I guess these issues are not women’s rights issues for these so-called defender of women’s rights, instead establishment of Sharia court in Canada, defending the Niqabist teacher in England are women’s rights issues. The entire world should know about this so-called injustice!! To them burning unveiled women to death in Saudi Arabia is justice, interfering in private lives of women, interfering in women’s personal, emotional, and sexual relationship, imposing all forms of degrading, male-chauvinistic, patriarchal and unequal treatment of women are not in their interest. They have their own agenda and that is mainly to control those communities.
We need to ban Niqab totally from our society. As for other forms of veil, women should have rights to use it or not, however when it comes to public sectors then it should be forbidden. The Islamic veil must be forbidden for children attending schools and high schools. Only these progressive demands provide real support for girls and women in so-called Islamic communities. And only then families, who are reluctant to have the Islamic veil but are forced under pressure from Islamists group and the atmosphere dominating their environment, will join in to push back these pressures. These demands would strengthen the move for secularism. These demands will in fact isolate the hardened, closed -minded fanatics. Only these demands would provide the least painful and the most principled way for women and children to set free from the injustice they are made to suffer.
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