Female Liberation Theology Â mixed with lots of ignorant mush Â from Â Sally Neighbour. Sally would have done herself a favor to STFU rather than writing garbage like this.
It reminds me a bit of this article which I posted recently: “What’s liberating about Islam is that one is spared from having to think.”
Thanks to Mullah
LIKE the Americans waging war in Afghanistan, the French demanding their government ban the burka would do well to look back in history at the experience of others who pursued a similar path.
In 1935, the shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, embarked on a sweeping program of modernisation. He built railways, factories and a university and prohibited the photographing of camels, which he believed made Iran look backwards. He also outlawed the chador, urging his countrywomen to “cast their veils, this symbol of injustice and shame, into the fires of oblivion”.
The move was “part of a continuous Westernisation campaign whose primary aim was to weaken Islam”, Iranian historian and author Mohammad Gholi Majd wrote.
Women who resisted had their veils forcibly removed and troops killed hundreds of protesters at mosques.
The then US ambassador to Persia, William Hornibrook, reported in a dispatch to Washington: “No innovation inaugurated during the reign of Reza Shah has caused the same feeling of unrest and uncertainty or the same feeling of open resentment to the present regime as the proposal for the unveiling of Muslim women.”
Many of the Shah’s supporters “could only see evil” in his ban on the veil, Hornibrook wrote.
Forty-four years later, when Iranian women took to the streets in an Islamic uprising against the Pahlavi dynasty, they flaunted the chador as a symbol of protest against the regime and its Western backers.
The attempt to destroy it transformed the veil from clothing into a potent symbol of political resistance; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared the veil “the flag of the revolution”.
As Pulitzer prize-winner Geraldine Brooks wrote in Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, the chador served much the same purpose as the denim overalls worn by militant American feminists of the same era: “The chador symbolised liberation.”
Sally should have a look at this:
- “Those who wish to wear a burka of their own free will must have good reasons for it, and those who are forced to do so have my most heart-felt sympathies.” Â Â “Like a lobster in boiling water” from Politically Incorrect
This most recognisable emblem of Islam in fact dates back to pre-Islamic times. In ancient Assyria, veils were worn by noblewomen to signify their status, while slave girls were punished if they went veiled.
At the time of the Prophet Mohammed in 7th century Arabia, the veil was common among Arab tribeswomen but not obligatory. The Prophet’s first wife, Khadija, a successful businesswomen, did not wear the veil. It was only after her death, when Mohammed took a string of new wives, that he reported a divine revelation as to how they should dress, which was recorded in the Koran: “Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters and the wives of true believers to draw their veils close around them. That is more proper, so that they may be recognised and not molested.” The instruction to women outside the Prophet’s immediate circle was: “Tell the believing women to turn their eyes away from temptation and preserve their chastity, and not to display their adornments, except such as are normally revealed, and to draw their veils over their bosoms.”
Muslims have debated for centuries over how this verse should be read. Most jurists say it means everything should be covered in public except a woman’s face and hands. The most common version of the hijab is a scarf that covers the hair and often the upper torso.
The more puritanical interpretation holds that the face and hands should also be concealed. Thus, different garments have evolved: the Iranian chador, which swathes the body and head; the Arab-style nikab, a black veil attached to a scarf; and the sky-blue Afghan burka, a shroud with a mesh panel over the eyes.
The veil means many things to many people. In some places, such as the profoundly conservative Pashtun societies of rural Afghanistan, where the burka prevailed for centuries before the Taliban, women have little or no choice but to wear it. In other places, such as the Shah’s Iran in the 1970s or Suharto’s Indonesia in the 80s, it is donned as a symbol of political and religious defiance when Islam is under threat.
Widely viewed in the West as a sign of subjugation, it is seen by many who wear it as an assertion of their refusal to be subjugated.
“It’s true it’s become a symbol. It’s a statement of not compromising my religion, no matter what people think,” says Fatima (not her real name), a Kuwaiti-born Australian who grew up as an “Aussie girl” in western Sydney before abandoning jeans and tank tops in favour of full Islamic garb.
For Fatima, 25, the veil means: “This is what I believe and it’s not gonna change, no matter what anyone says or does or makes me feel. The more they want me not to wear it, the more we’re going to wear it.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under pressure to ban the veil among France’s six million Muslims, who comprise 6 per cent of the country’s population. He might well consider the advice of Hornibrook to the Shah:
“When the suggestion is made that the veil should be removed from Muslim women, His Majesty steps upon something which is far more important to the Islamic mind. He steps upon a tradition of longstanding, a custom which has been observed for centuries, and does violence to the feelings of his own people. It may be stated with certainty that the great majority of Muslims are enraged as a result of the reform.”