A note from Radarsite: Today I received this email notifying me of a belated comment to Gary Fouse's informative Jan 2009 article on the hijab and its significance. I went back and read the comments to see if I could figure out which one upset her the most. I think it was the one about the women "not knowing any better", although I'm sure she took offense to that plea for aid for Geert Wilder. I didn't comment at that time to Gary's article but I will respond to this email, as it was addressed to me. Here, then, is the emailed comment and my response. - rg
"I realize this is an old post of yours, but I happened to stumble upon it in a google search and was sort of horrified by the responses that you got to this.
So here's an answer from a hijabi (one who wears hijab). Hijab is what we call fard- meaning it is obligatory. That doesn't mean that it is allowed to be forced on a woman, in fact the Qur'an forbids this (but most so-called "Muslim countries" wouldn't know real Islam if it did a dance in front of them while shouting at the top of its lungs- but that's another rant all together). It IS actually mentioned in the Qur'an, but somewhat vaguely so. Within the Qur'an, women are instructed to wear loose clothing that does not show their shape, it explains who a woman should cover in front of and who she doesn't have to and gives the instruction that a woman should use her scarf (which many Meccans already wore on their heads before Islam) to also cover her chest. It is more elaborated in hadiths (recorded sayings and teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him). Muslim women are supposed to wear hijab, not just for the sake of modesty, but also so that they will be recognized as believing women as well as Muslim women. The covering of a woman's hair is a tradition that we inherited from the Jews and the Christians (although many of them no longer practise this). By wearing hijab we are identifying ourselves as continuing that tradition.
I would argue that most women choose to wear hijab or do not mind to (I've heard some Iranian women comparing it to wearing a tie to work- in certain situations certain dress codes are required). In "Muslim countries", most women are more concerned about their general rights and freedoms rather than a piece of fabric. People focus on the scarf but don't realize that the concept of covering the body is cultural (I mean this in general, not only in regards to hijab). For instance, in the west it has become culturally acceptable for a woman to walk around in shorts- 100 years ago there would be no chance in hell that a woman would do such a thing. On the other hand there are some areas of the world where it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to walk around without a top on, or even completely nude! To suggest that Muslim women simply "don't know any better" is ridiculous and suggestive of Western supperiority- which is utter bull. I'm a proud Canadian, but I still know that there's somethings that my country could do better on (just like I know that Saudi Arabia has A LOT of things that it could and SHOULD do better on).
Hope this was helpful to you. Feel free to continue asking questions and sorry for replying to such an old post, but those replies really bothered me. " (UniMuslimah)
A response from Radarsite: So, our presumably-western-educated, proud Canadian Muslim woman is "sort of horrified" and "really bothered" by the comments made to that Radarsite article? Well, here we go again, folks. Another offended Muslim condescends to enlighten the ignorant infidel. And I for one am getting pretty damn sick of it.
women walking the streets in shorts. It's just a matter of culture and taste (something which we infidels seem to be sorely lacking).
Many Muslim women actually feel more comfortable in a hijab.
Of course we all know how Muslims treat their women with the greatest respect.
Remember these two lovely Muslim daughters, 17 year-old Sarah Yaser Said, and 18 year-old Amina Yaser Said
Take note of the expression on the face of this lucky child bride. What does that look say to you about women's rights under sharia law?
Nor are we to presume that this purposefully unassimilated, shrouded Medieval presence, hidden from our view in their inviolable clandestine mosques and in their rapidly expanding, all-Muslim, sharia governed enclaves pose any threat to us or to our way of life, or that the hijab could quite logically be considered a uniform. A uniform representing an alien foe, a deadly enemy whom we are presently fighting in at least two bloody wars, who has repeatedly vowed to either dominate us or destroy us. An enemy whose sacred Koranic goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate under sharia law, to do away with all Christians and Jews, and to bring the world back into the chilling darkness of the seventh century.
Well, it wouldn't be the first time we've naively let the serpent into the nest, would it?
The German-American Bund Rally at Madison Square Garden, February, 1939.
[see The Serpent in the Nest: Cair and the German-American Bund]
No, I'm afraid there's another presence lurking under that deathly shroud and it's not here to enlighten us, but rather to destroy everything we hold sacred, our freedoms, our democracy, our religions, in short everything that makes us Americans.
And despite that reasonable cultured tone of our Muslim apologist, we cannot allow ourselves to forget for one moment that there's a long history here. A long bloody record of virulent antisemitism and conquest and murder and hate and revenge. A dark history of making common cause with some of humanity's worst oppressors.
No more debates. No more posting offended Muslim's disingenuous apologitics. No more submitting to condescending lectures on the glories of peaceful Islam. No more room in my comments section for multicultural liberal traitors. No more pros and cons. It's time now to get serious. Time to fight back. And to hell with those so-easily-offended Muslim sensibilities. As some other angry American put it: We learned all we need to know about Islam on 9/11.
PS: I don't remember where I stole that great "Cosmotaliban" pic, but I humbly thank whomever was clever enough to create it. If you get in touch with me I'll gladly give you full credit. - rg