I started writing this blog last summer, when there was a lot of hype on the news around HOW THE MUSLIM WOMAN DRESSES AND HOW HER CLOTHES OPPRESSESS! Remember the incident on a beach in France where four male police officers made a woman remove a piece of clothing because the mayor of Cannes banned women from wearing a burkini on the beach. He cited (as usual) bullsh** reasons that were a) “the burkini has Isis terrorist links” (no joke) b) “sanitation reasons??” and finally that it is not conducive with “secular values” there we go, aka the benchmark of secular liberation is the less clothes the more free you are apparently, even by force ;). People were enraged on Twitter and it had an effect as they removed the ban. I’m not sure what is enforced now on Frances beaches.
Half a year later not much has changed about the obsession of the Muslim woman; How she dresses, how she carries herself, her Haya (modesty) and literally every crevice of that, what work she does and does not do, her relationship to men, how hijab (head scarf) is a ‘patriarchical enforced dress code to dominate women’ and generally how she intakes oxygen. So I’ve decided to write down my thoughts, seeing this constant rhetoric and onslaught against a group of women (me included) that want to fulfil their religious obligations so let’s explore, DISCLAIMER – I go in.
There’s an obsession from Muslims and non-Muslims, males and females and I’m trying to understand some of the reasons WHY. It may not even be apparent to them that they’re doing this due to a whole load of brainwashing from the media and the dominant western culture, some un fulfilment and people wanting to hang on to their values.
There is also a very apparent lack of understanding of Islam in regards to the rights and treatment of women within the religion, with people unanimously believing it is oppressive to women and man’s gain.
I had written a blog on understanding the rise of feminism that states very nicely and concisely that God gave rights and obligations to women and the ONLY removal of this is by people themselves. These obligations are for the benefit and protection of women. God created mankind and know how we operate, all of this is a test for us, our Lord wouldn’t state anything for the harm of women or anyone and anything. We are the one’s lacking in knowledge and understanding and he is the most wise.
But as usual the hard-headed always has to feel the problems that go against the teachings of Islam before they believe it.
The Muslim woman is placed into a certain box, much more so than in comparison to men. The activist like Linda Sarsour (becoming more popular due to social media), the feminist, the lawyer, Dr, homemaker, mother, MUA, fashionista, YouTuber like Dina Tokio etc.. and people do it so they know what to expect and how to “deal” with her, when it’s a lot more complicated then that and people are very multifaceted. I was a martial artist for God’s sakes, you wouldn’t think it to look at me and I enjoy a plethora of subjects.
I also find it amusing at this point that when I speak with people I don’t really know (non-Muslims) and they see how I am, they still believe I’m oppressed by my husband and he’s forcing me to wear hijab. I mean c’mon with my personality I find it damn near shocking that people believe this.
My hairdresser, who’s been coming to my house for years thinks it’s because my husband won’t allow me to get my haircut outside LOL, when really it’s just the most convenient thing for me to do but she won’t accept it, so I gave up trying to convince her.
The way the Muslim woman dresses dissected
I dress fly, but aside from that the way Muslim women dress is being policed from all angles. The religious, the anti Islamic, the “Muslim” reformers et al, online and in real life. An example is the banning of the niqab (face veil) in a number of European countries. Again BS reasons were cited and for the life of me I don’t know why people believe them, either they do or they just go along with it because they don’t they like or understand it.
Post Colonialism & Anti-Islamic Rhetoric
‘This woman, who sees without being seen, frustrates the coloniser’, Frantz Fanon.
Why the west is so concerned with a small piece of cloth – By abjuring western standards of liberation, she asserts an identity and even power of her own, thus refusing to acknowledge the validity of an inherent power in her colonisers unveiling, subjugation and rape of her own culture. Ironically, in claiming to liberate women from the constraints of the veil, the coloniser is forced to do so with violence and force, thus becoming the culprit of the very crime that they purport to fight, Yasir Qadhi.
The obsession around a woman’s dress and the lack of her overt sexualization is steeped in history. Brutal history of colonialism and the west – the ‘bearers of liberty, democracy and freedom’, we’re still feeling the ramifications of colonialism. With the rise of anti Islamic rhetoric, laws being passed in Europe against women that wear hijab and niqab, a very small minority at that, we’re a target for distraction from current climate’s problems.
The rise of the Islamic identity in the west is also what they want to disavow, why? True Islam fights against these governing forces that perpetuate injustice, capitalism and imbalances within society and the superpowers do not want to lose their power and riches.
The hijab is an overt symbol of Islam and people (men) do not have the control that they’re used to. They cannot look at them like usual. Women are flaunted literally everywhere but it’s not enough, they want to look at everything, they’re greedy pigs and it interferes with their desires (my husband’s comment, I giggled). These laws are a joke, like they don’t have real crime to spend their time on instead of policing women’s clothing.
Verses in the Quran that instruct women to cover and modernity and the interpretations extracted thousands of years ago by learned scholars that dedicated their lives to learning and understanding, somehow got it all wrong according to these modern-day interpreters and it needs updating like the Bible to fit in to today’s standards and covering oneself is deemed backwards, intelligible, regressive stuff, unless you’re a nun.
Islamaphobia and the rise of anti Islamic rhetoric is a big money-making market for so-called “Muslim” reformers like Maajid Nawaz that peddle government sponsored Islam for money, fame, a bit of status until they are no longer wanted and tossed aside, to those that flat-out oppose Islam.
There has been a rise in more people asserting their Islamic identity and people adhering to the orthodox teachings of Islam and this is not liked. Also a dramatically increased number of people converting to Islam since 9/11. Giving up their so-called liberation of being able to dress how they want to adhering to the laws of the faith, the majority being white women.
Colonial poster in Algeria ‘enjoining’ Muslim women to stop wearing the veil (1958). Ambiguous meaning, “Aren’t you pretty?” Almost a rhetorical question depending on which way you look at it, ‘you should let the world see your beauty that is where your validation and esteem lies’; “unveil” or are you ‘hiding’ because you are an ugly gremlin? Nobody likes ugly gremlins 😦
‘Assimilate! You are in a western country, if we were in a Muslim country we wouldn’t be able to dress how we want’, the difference dear, is that the west claim liberation and freedom for people’s dress when the sharia does not, please stop contradicting yourself.
And we can see from countries like Bosnia where the people did assimilate, a genocide still took place against them even though they were white skinned, blonde hair, blue-eyed Muslims and it happened because they were Muslim.
People are constantly complaining about the treatment of Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and petitioning for their right to drive etc.. ok, but what about the other problems in Saudi Arabia? I haven’t seen anything about that, unless they believe it has some direct negative effect on their ‘democracy’ in their own land. So I call BS on their so-called concern. They believe that it is due to Islam and sharia law, Saudi Arabia is not the pinnacle of Islamic example and was set up by the British and we can see from history, not much justice comes from the British endeavours.
So it doesn’t matter what you do, you will never be accepted and they will never be pleased with you, so it is best to adhere to your teachings and faith, that is where the victory lies.
MUA’S & Beauty
Yvonne Ridley, a revert to Islam said in a talk that she used to have to put on a whole different face to open the front door and now she puts on a simple piece of cloth and it has liberated her from her own old mindset.
No, MUA is not a martial art like we all think, it means make up artist and with the rise of YouTube and Instagram it has given birth to many people jumping on this band wagon, Muslim women included.
The make up industry is like a 30 billion pound industry per year. It’s big bucks, just look at the small products for so much money that isn’t necessary consumerism. Just like the fashion industry, with the biggest consumers being women. Selling beauty standards and it sells big time and these people do not want their money to be taken away, it’s capitalism and the Muslim woman breaks the mold of this very industry that plays on low self-esteem, validation and self worth.
I don’t see much difference of the commodity of a woman in the past to now, except she is the one sexually exploiting herself also, but it’s okay because money = liberation and they have no parameters, so get it anyway you can guurrl, even if you demean yourself.
Muslims doing it to themselves
Last year, for the first time ever a hijabi Muslim woman was featured in Playboy magazine. We all know what Playboy is, a degrading pornographic magazine men purchase for sexual arousal and gratification. It is the most degrading thing I’ve seen, in my opinion, a Muslim woman do thus far and I’ll tell you why.
The sister wasn’t naked she was fully covered but still attractive, the article was not memorable or even that interesting tbh but the only reason it got so much attention was because of the marketing of a hiajbi woman in Playboy. People obviously wanted to know what it was about, was she naked? It’s a fetish now because they’ve exploited absolutely everything else. Women say it’s their choice but it still exploits women! It’s an oxymoron and just shameful to exploit yourself and your religion to advance your career, you cannot be that good if you have to go to these degrading lengths.
So now if they can’t force you to remove your clothes, they’ll just brainwash you into sexying them up and lure you with making you feel like your part of their ‘successful’ society. Women are looked at for their beauty a lot and they like to be but the drip drop brainwashing without women even realising is happening. This is a market for money to be made and money talks.
Look at these “shoes” recently worn on a runway at New York fashion week, these ridiculous “shoes” that are dangerous to women’s health are acceptable and even deemed ‘cutting edge’ (quite literally) and ‘fashionable’ but a simple piece of cloth is a problem, this is how badly people are brainwashed by those that are on top.
Muslims will not stop talking about a woman’s modesty on twitter, way too much in my opinion, maybe they are desperate for her to hold on to it in this vulgar world but I believe there are better ways to go about this and to be less reactive and more proactive. Education is key and we need to discuss these things a lot more maturely.
The Brothers The Brothers The Brothers
A lot brothers are obsessively tweeting about the Muslim woman. A high content amount pertaining to women is bordering on not normal. ‘Policing’ MUA videos and other facets just come across as ridiculously immature to me in their approach. I haven’t experienced it myself because they know…
I understand that they are concerned about having a good wife and the correct standards but they really need to check the way they dish out their advice because the way they act nobody is going to pay attention to that and change for the better.
Also a lot are very childish with their attention seeking ways of trying to push women’s buttons to have them try to come and talk to them, at times using the religion.
SISTERS – THEY ARE SAYING THESE THINGS FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND WANT YOU TO RESPOND TO THEM, STOP FALLING FOR IT JUST IGNORE THEM AND THEIR ATTENTION WHORING WAYS WHEN IT’S NOT CONDUCIVE.
When I first started wearing hijab it wasn’t correct but If I was on social media seeing all the rubbish both sexes spout it may have discouraged me to even attempt to wear it, it doesn’t hurt in the slightest to help, that is what our religion promotes completely.
Role Models and our Aspirations
Muslims have a duty unto to God first and we have to look to the pious predecessors as our role models and aspirations. The mother of the believers, Aisha (peace be upon her) the wife of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of the top major two or three narrators of hadith (books describing the prophet’s words, actions, habits). She was a scholar and jurist in her own right and a major contributor to the society until the end of time.
Maryam (pbuh) the mother of Jesus (pbuh) dedicated her life to worship, Khadijah (pbuh) if it wasn’t for her support morally and materially the message of Islam could not have continued. More contemporary role models Zaynab Al Ghazali (pbuh) is a personal role model of mine, read her autobiography about her dedication to spreading the religion and standing firm for what she believed in.
We have to study them to understand their greatness and revive it within ourselves because education is imperative and knowledge is the power and the catalyst for change.
The women are raising the next generation of the ummah (Muslims) and if they are corrupted so will the nations, so we have to stand firm and strong for what’s right. It’s not an easy path but it’s the correct one and nothing ever worth it comes easy. It’s an honour bestowed upon us, may Allah grant us success in this life and the next.
Allah protect us, preserve us, keep us on the right path, make us righteous and enjoin us with the righteous ameen.
Nouman Ali Khan – The way she walks