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October 26, 2006

Full veiling is anti-female

Some would have it that Western women have no business commenting on the message sent by full veiling. Certainly, white Western men should never even mention it at all! Non-Muslims should just quietly and uncritically defer to the sentiments of the women who choose to tent themselves.

Now, besides the sophistry of conflating the wearing of head scarves with burqas, of long sleeves and pants with chadors, not one of us that have taken to criticising the likes of the excreble Yvonne Ridley are calling for the legal banning of scarves or burqas.

But hey, instead of this "white" woman questioning the commitment to integration of immigrants who choose to live in Western cultures but who also refuse to even minimally assimilate, here's a few words from Ishad Manji in The Trouble with Islam

Enough, too, of wallowing in the conceit that Westerners owe us basic human respect, but we owe nothing to the Western values that offer us this opportunity for respect.
And this about veiling.
...but desert tribalism can be detected even in what Muslims are often instructed to wear. Millions of Muslim women outside of Arabia, including the West, veil themselves. They accept that it's an act of spiritual submission. It's closer to cultural capitulation. ... While the Koran requires the Prophet's wives to veil, it never decrees such a practice for all women. Why, indeed, should it? Veils pretect women from sand and heat -- not exactly a pressing practical concern beyon Arabia, Saharan Africa, and the Australian outback. This means I could wear a turtleneck and baseball cap to meet the theological requirements of dressing modestly. To cover my face becaue "that's what I'm supposed to do" is nothing short of brand victory for desert Arabs, whose style has become the most trusted symbol of how to package yourself as a Muslim woman. Tell me: Should Allah operate like Prada?
. And here's a telling excerpt from an interview with Wafa Sultan
[Q]Are Western feminists on your side? I have encountered Americans and Israelis who - when it comes to the rights of women in Arab countries - side with multiculturalism. Has this been your experience as well?

[Sultan] Yes it has. I haven't received the kind of support I expected from women in the US. Recently, I gave a speech at the University of California, and during the question period, an American woman told me she didn't believe the things I was saying about Muslim men's treatment of women. She said: "Muhammed was the first man on earth to give women rights."

I responded, "Would you please tell me what some of those rights are, so I can tell Muslim women to be aware of them?"

She said, "I don't know, but I was invited to a mosque in LA, and that's what the mullah told us."

Can you believe how naive these women are?

Well, naive is one explanation.

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Posted by Darleen at October 26, 2006 06:07 PM