|Message ||Those women who were most enthusiastic about wearing a headscarf, and sometimes even adopted a full hijab were those who returned after living some time in Europe and America. The same with men, so many of those who insisted on praying five times a day were 'returnees' from Europe - the 'average' Moroccan went to prayers on Friday, but wasn't that bothered the rest of the week, certainly not five times a day (except during Ramadan - maybe)!
It was Islam that liberated women from lives of servitude and gave them equal rights. Equality does not mean exactly the same and I would suggest people remember that Purdah is not simply what women should wear, but a set of instructions for men and women to create a civilised society in the which all people can live free from objectification and not on animalistic instincts.
Muslim women actually had the right to own property before women anywhere else in the world. Regarding inheritance, a daughter inherits half, not a third, of what the son inherits. This is because their husband's money is their money, and any money they inherit or earn themselves is theirs, and their husband has no right to any of it. So really, the women in Islam are better off financially. And they are allowed to earn money, and have a job, and are encouraged to gain an education.
Why is it such a big fuss? a woman can do whatever she wants, wear whatever she wants ... veil or no veil is one's choice. I'd be against people who set rules against wearing and not wearing veil. if anywhere in this world claim to be a liberal or democratic country, just let your people decide what they want to wear... being naked, though is not wearing anything, so I guess I'm just against that. The Holy Qur'an clearly states that purdah (modest clothing) is essential for all Muslims, and as such it is a commandment from Allah. (It is also actually prescribed to men first.) Whilst the type of covering is not specified, it clearly instructs women to: cover their heads, pull their head coverings over their chests, and to wear a loose outer garment. Furthermore, Muslims live their lives according to the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), who's wives adopted this way of dressing. Hence a lot of Muslim women willingly wear hijab etc.
I'm not quite sure I agree with the broad brush statement that all religions cast women as sinners. In Sikhism, women are held in the highest regard. Here is a quote from Guru Nanak,
"From a woman, man is born.
Within a woman, man is conceived.
To a woman a man is engaged and married. A woman becomes a man's friend.
Through a woman, the future generations come.
When a man's woman dies, he seeks another woman.
To a woman he is bound. From a woman, kings are born. From woman, a woman is born.Without a woman, there would be no man at all. How can a woman be called bad?"
It is unfortunate when we blame religion for people's behaviours. Some of the most loving, forgiving and giving people I know are devout Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs.
I wear a headscarf - my head, my choice. It hurts no one and it's not against the law. Why is this such a problem?! I despair every time I see an article by Ms Alibhai-Brown, because I know that she will yet again reinforce stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims. I reject with-us-or-against-us-type of arguments - I can be Muslim and at ease in the modern world. Watch me!