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A retort - Muslim in America

Hereís a response I received to my last entry about hijabs and burqas:

muslim in america
nothanks@noemail.com | 75.119.19.16

Hello,
You better sit down because I have some shattering news for you. )I am a Muslim woman who wears hijab AND Iím a feminist. And hereís more surprising news: Iím far from the only one!

Iím really surprised that you believe Iíve no identity because of my headscarf. Is it anytime someone dons something on their head? Or only when itís an expression of faith? Why does a womanís expression of faith erase her? Are nuns devoid of individuality, do you think? Anyway, this hijab as invisibility cloak is foreign to me because although I recognize that it has symbolism and carries meaning, it really is just clothing.

Also, sometimes hijab is worn for cultural reasons. So, in our society, people who follow the cultural normÖ are erased?

I think instead of viewing us from afar, you should talk to these women you are seeing. Youíll find that weíre just like anybody else. In fact, you seem to be unaware of a whole world of women, strong, vibrant womenÖ who also happen to wear a scarf or a veil.

Men *do* hijab, itís just a little different. Muslim men are required to dress and behave modestly, and many maintain beards (some say itís necessary for a man to have a beard, some say itís optional.) So Muslim men have similar requirements to us.

I donít know any women who wear burqa, but I know women who wear niqaab (face veil), and none of them are forced. They all wanted this for themselves and are quite happy with it.

How is it brainwashing that I cover up in summer? Yes, itís hot, but itís hot for everybody, even those in tank tops and shorts. Iíve experienced summer both ways (I, too, began covering as an adult) and actually, Iíd rather be all covered up in the sun. You could argue that just about anything we humans do is brainwashing then. No, itís not brainwashing. Itís opinion, itís a choice.

How very egalitarian of you to tell all women that the only good opinion, the only good choice is yours. Well, Iím a woman, too. Iím a feminist, too. And Iíve arrived at a different conclusion from yours. There is nothing negative or anti-woman about my life! We can follow different paths in our lives and still be woman-identified.

The thing that makes me laugh about this response is that it came from an anonymous female  identifying herself as ďMuslim in AmericaĒ with a fake email address.  What a coward!  If being a muslim is something she is so proud of it, youíd think she would have at least left her first name.

I donít buy her arguments.  In fact, I think she doth protest too much. 

I also find this quote very amusing.

How very egalitarian of you to tell all women that the only good opinion, the only good choice is yours.

I guess the next question I have to ask is if she feels it is her choice to wear the hijab or the burqa, then how does she feel about countries where it is required to wear a burqa?  Just for women though, of course.  Women have to hide themselves because they canít tempt men.  How egalitarian is THAT?  In these countries the Islamic way forces all women to cover themselves from head to toe in public and apparently the onus is on women to make sure men arenít overly sexed up.  How is it that a woman is responsible for making sure men donít look at them?  Iím pretty sure men are capable of looking away if they are uncomfortable or learning to control themselves might be a good idea.

Seriously ó itís ridiculous.

I find it interesting that women who live in a country where there is a majority of muslims are terribly treated and horribly oppressed.  You can say that Islam is a religion of peace, but if that is true then why are they so horrible to the women in their own culture?  The men can divorce their wife just by saying a few sentences but the wife canít divorce her husband unless the husband consents? 

HOW EGALITARIAN IS THAT?  Hmmmmm?

Oh, and the husband can have up to 4 wives in some countries that controlled by muslims.  Can the wives have more than one husband?  No, of course not.  The women are often forced to marry as well. 

If I was one of the women in a muslim country who had to endure such horrible treatment, I think I would be very saddened to see muslim women in Western culture willingly putting on a hijab or a burqa.  It would feel like a slap in the fact to see these women wearing these coverings when they have become unwilling victims because of their muslim faith.

http://fantasticalicious.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/a-retort/

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