Question

What is your opinion about the Laws coming against the PARDA(HAJAB) of Muslim Women in western societies?

Now that the world has become the global village, we all strive to respect the traits of all the religions. This dualism is causing many questions in the minds of Muslims. What are reactions of womens rights organizations on this subject?

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  • I am against it of course, its a matter of personal freedom for a person to dress anyway they like as long as it is decent, why make a big deal out of it?
  • On this issue let me give an example of the former Yugoslavia, where I was born , and for that I deeply regret . Act from 1959. prohibited the wearing of the veil . In addition , prevention of female children attending school has been declared a criminal offense . This contributed to the emancipation of women is not only Muslim but also in the Orthodox and Catholic communities. Covering the head in the Balkans is a symbol of submission to men. It is widely today in rural areas among older women , especially among the Orthodox . So it seems to me as insincere reducing the issue to the right of personal choice in clothing . In fact , there is a hierarchy of law : whether the right of priority for the state to promote certain values ​​, or the right of religion to prevent it.
  • Patricio Feldman · University of Buenos Aires
    I think its not only a question of rights or values, couse we know that muslim women need to be protected by civil organization or state, its a little bit complex. Religion its not and an state matter, but respect it is. Here I think prohibition es too much, but Im agree that covering the head is a symbol of submission to men, but is something that need to change in a cultural way, not by law!!!
  • Nancy Carre · Walden University
    In democratic societies, individuals are granted the right to self-determination and autonomy. In the context of personal choice, then, women of Islam are allowed by law to choose to wear the Parda if that is their personal belief, or not to, should they so choose. When laws are passed that target one segment of the population under the guise of "liberating" them, generally there is an underlying and perhaps sinister motive. In this case, the law reflects a deep paranoia and bias against Islamic traditions, based upon the so called "war on terror" that has acquired a life of its own. The law has no place in a free society.
  • Mohan Kumar.H.s Hanumanalu · University of Mysore
    it should be left discretionary of Muslim women . if they want to wear they can! other wise no one has no rights to impose any opinion against persons personnel, even religion also.....
  • Feroz Shah · University of Sargodha
    The Quranic Injunction must be applied in this regard and Sura al-Noor elucidately makes directions in the matter under discussion. West has been drown into the bigotry against Islam and its teachings.
  • Rajaram Zirange · Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University
    I think this is patriarchal system to underestimate the counterpart. With due respect to every religion, the male mentality will never easily allow anything that will go against their male power. The religious principles should also be changed according to changing needs of the time. For example, If I tell you that those who wear PARDA very religiously in their countries, the international female students from Muslim countries, are free to wear anything they like in India and other countries. I think they should dare to do the same in their society and tell them about such things abroad. By this way, there will hopefully some changes in the attitude of male community.
  • Deleted
    When westerners visit Islamic countries, they respect the culture/religion and comply. Why is it that muslims expect everyone to bend over backwards to accomodate them?
  • Rajaram Zirange · Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University
    Dear Mary,
    Not all muslims do the same, on the other hand (my experience is that I have proof for the that) especially the muslim girls those who comes for education to PUNE, INDIA, those do not want to go back to their respective countries. I talked with them and found that some of them have no belief in their own parents, as their parents want to marry their daughters to the person of their own choice and such families are strong believers in their traditions. So, these students want to stay in INDIA as long as they can even after the completion of their courses. What you will say about this??????
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    Mary, i respect your words that Muslims should also follow the rules and regulation of western countries and Muslims do in all matters but i think on the time of PARDA(HAJAB), we should give respect to religious thoughts, here no one is saying that Muslim women should veil,as Islam this is not the value of Islam, the value of PARDA is "Cover the head,all the body,but not the face(vial)". i don't think that because of wearing the Scarf creates problem in doing the daily work or perform the duties or rules of any government. and on other side, i am still unable to understand the logic/reason that banning the PARDA in Western countries, will any one explain its logic behind.
  • Ismail mp · Central University of Gujarat
    The basic need of the dressing code to cover the body as collective conciousness. No any western man to walk nude without dress. But they argues for half nakedness especially for women but women facing problems in public.
    As security to wear purda is good. Then issue of veil ,islam never insist to wear the veil. The western mentality towards the fashion without morality is the problem.
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    Agreed @ismail mp.
  • Amela Šačić · University of Sarajevo
    Democracy is a Western invention. Democracy is the pride of the entire Western Hemisphere. Thus, while these women are not dangerous for Western democracy, they should simply be proud users of the same
  • Debolina Mukherjee · Jadavpur University
    Amela, what are you exactly trying to say? If u r a believer in democracy , let the ladies decide whether to wear it or not. And may I share a personal anecdote? If the forum allows that , I'd like to tell u something I have seen myself and then u ppl please decide whether any 'free choice' has been exercised in the case or not.
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    @ Debolina Mukherjee: i think admin would not have any problem with sharing any type of experience and that would be beneficial to clear the picture more.......
  • Debolina Mukherjee · Jadavpur University
    Thanks M, Kamran but I'm not sure. Let the admin or few more ppl say so.
  • Deleted
    I am keen to hear what you have to say
  • Arun Goswami · Jagannath University
    A person should have freedom to choose her/his dress. If anyone wants to take this freedom in Western countries he or she must also expect and implement it in the Muslim majority countries. Actually, there is hardly any freedom of choice in the especially Muslim countries.
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    i am agreed with you dear Arun that Muslim countries also should give freedom of choice in each case, but all this is not religious, this is Cultural, and these all are happening in poor/developing Muslim countries, we call the conservatives, but why the European counties are doing this, its not understandable.
  • Debolina Mukherjee · Jadavpur University
    Since I've been permitted to share my personal experience, since I work in a rural environment, I have to travel by local train and everyday I get to meet plenty of people from the Hijab wearing community. Now a few days back, we saw lady fully covered in black from head to toe. Literally. No part of her body could be seen. Even her fingers had been covered under black gloves. While such a sight might be common for many, till date I've never ever seen anyone else wearing gloves to prevent others from seeing her fingers. She had her husband with her, an elderly man.

    Add to that , it was an extremely hot day in April, and while all of us, wearing cool cotton clothes were perspiring profusely , we could well imagine her discomfort sitting in the opposite side of motion. Noe , my question is, is it really about FREE CHOICE? did the lady actually want to suffer in the hot humid weather to save her HONOR? or had she been compelled to do so? What do you have to say to it?
  • Deleted
    Clearly if the man had not been with her, she may have atleast taken off the gloves.
    I still maintain that if these women want to dress like that, they are welcome to do so in their countries and when they travel to other parts of the world where it is not accepted, they should comply.
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    @ Debolina Mukherjee, u r rite , in my country (as many other Muslim countries) this is a normal act as fully covering the body even wearing gloves, but it is wrong, these women are choice-less as if they want to live in this society bcz this is the male dominated society, you cannot call it a religious act, its totally a culturally restriction. but this defended by many Religious leaders/scholars, but there are also many others who call this is not the PARDA.

    Basically its a common phenomena that as "much you will press some thing, it would have reaction", such is the case in this PARDA. in Western countries, women try to wear scarf, but they are being fined there. in Muslim countries,the women is also forced to wear BURQA, but there are also many cases of reaction, so i think this matter cant be solved through POWER or PUNISHMENT, Societies should handle it with logic/Religious ways.....
  • James Sturges · Presence Inc.
    The Muslim countries are harming themselves very greatly by their backward treatment of women. By way of comparison, please consider Chinese Civilization. In about the 10th century, when China was leading the world in many measurements of development, including technological, the practice was instituted of binding the feet of young girls so that they could not grow. This barbarous practice (a form of male dominance) was very painful, and broke the bones of the child as she grew to adulthood, sometimes causing loss of the toes. Immediately after the start of the practice, Chinese civilization stagnated. It became frozen, and did not advance again until the practice was stopped, in the 20th century. This allowed Western Civilization to catch up and move far beyond the Chinese in most measures of development, power and prosperity. Now, with the practice abolished, China is moving forward again. A simple examination of Muslim Civilization will quickly reveal that it has fallen behind Western, despite the fact that Muslim Civilization was once more advanced. I think the conclusion should be obvious. ------Regards, James
  • Mohan Kumar.H.s Hanumanalu · University of Mysore
    hajab is personally dislike by Muslim women
  • Surekha Chattopadhyay · Bankura Unnayani Institute of Engineering
    Well Debolina, ha jab is greatly a choice of the society that has been forced into the minds of the women as an equipment to secure themselves from apprehending dangers and gradually it has become the personal choice of the Muslim women.
  • Arun Goswami · Jagannath University
    Personal choice is okay. And of course it (personal choice) is a part of liberty. But no one or even the state should not compel any person to go by HAJAB. That is against personal choice and also against liberty of the individual.
  • Danish Khan · Cognizant Technology Solutions
    No one like Hijab. We living in a civilized modern society where every one is free to whatever she likes.People who advocatesHijab don't understand that during inception of Islam it was tribal culture which forced women to wear hijab.
  • Nilakantha Panigrahi · Guru Ghasidas University
    Friends.
    I have gone through all the valuable responses. As a social anthropologist I look dress from two perspectives: one is cultural requitrment and another is environmental requirment.Basically these two major factors determine with slight changes internalised ny the communities due to time and space. For example by the time British came to India this country also had good number of cultural practices highly determined by the larger culture of this land. For example Sati system, Child marriage, not allowing widow remarriage etc.Druing the British with their intervention we started reforming certain cultural practices which are not human by nature. From the day of indian independence, the consitution of India in princeple not only promoting the cultural preservation of this culturally diversified nation of nationalities, but also closed the henious cultural practices and made them punshiable before the law of the land.
    Similalrly, using Hijib or such like practices by the women communities of some of the Islamic world is a part of their culture as well as state functuioning which are largely guided by their religious beliefs.There fore the male chauvanism in such countires are still continuing and demonstrated in day to day life system. Friends, culture is necessairy and a society cannot live without culture, but it can very well sustain by leaving certain cultural practices which are not humanatarian, democratic and professional.
    I hope this is a good area, need to be discussed thoroughly.
    Dr.Nilakantha Panigrahi
    Social anthropologist, ICSSR Center , Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • Friends,
    Actually.. Islam is beautiful. No forced to do something, because its depend on the belief of the followers. Hopefully Western societies could try to have better understanding about Islam perfectly, before make the wrong judgements through Islam's followers only, because not all followers can represent Islam as well as what should be done in Al-Qur'an. *Don't judge the book by it's cover*
  • James Sturges · Presence Inc.
    Nie Wietyaz, Western scientists and philosophers learned to step outside of the Christian and Jewish tradition from which they emerged. This led to such great movements as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Maybe it is time for the scholars of Islamic nations to do the same. Until there is "freedom of thought" from religious persecution, and true freedom from gender persecution, there will be no advancement. of Islamic civilization. -----------Regards, James
  • @ James: Independence of thought, opinion, gender has been written and arranged with the balance in Al-Qur'an. If the existing law in western societies also respects freedom, of course, there will be no law that prevents the use of Hajab (Parda). Feminism topics always be interesting to discuss further. --warm regard, Nie
  • James Sturges · Presence Inc.
    Nie, here is where we do not connect: In the Western tradition, science and philosophy (except some of the ethics) have little to do with the religious texts. I do not mean to attack your beliefs. I am just pointing out the fundamental difference. I would certainly place Western scientific achievement as an example of evidence in favor of the Western approach; however, the value placed upon such achievement, as well as true religions freedom, is certainly up to each person to determine for themselves. ---------Regards, James
  • I really understand the difference view of the Western tradition, science and philosophy and what you and other friends say. Things that are very interesting to be studied more deeply. Currently I'm also explore and researching the differences of view within Islam itself. What I want to underline is the opinions that are less proper about the differences between gender freedom, because actually, Islam always give each person to choose their own way freely. Hopefully, in-depth understanding will create a balance of Yin-Yang of thinking and peaceful coexistence for all of us.
    Thank you very much... James, for giving new acknowledgement about Western deeply. --- regards, Nie
  • James Sturges · Presence Inc.
    Nie, I appreciate the dialogue with you. It is very good to explore ideas with people of other cultures -- particularly when our two cultures are often seen as enemies in the world today. Your suggestion of a yin-yang coexistence is a great suggestion, one of the best and most positive that I have heard. I think it recognizes that most Islamic persons will not abandon their religious foundation, and most Western people will never convert to Islam.

    For your information, I believe the Western thought is now going through a period of significant change. Many people, at least in America, are now questioning what I shall refer to as the reductionist thinking of the 19th century. I would say that this is the type of thinking that arose from the scientific revolution, when it was emerging from the control of the Church. The scientists of that time felt it necessary to take an unequivocal position, essentially claiming that only the facts that could be observed in a controlled and repeatable experimental environment were considered "true." Many well-known scientists therefore totally and vocally reject the spiritual realm.

    It was not just the scientists of the "Modern Age" that rejected control of the church. The modern nation-state was also being created, starting about 500 years ago, and its main feature was that the nation itself took the place of the religion as the unifying concept for the large masses of people necessary to the military strategies of the time. Perhaps the nation-state is destined to weaken, since modern warfare is not based upon million-man armies, but upon technology.

    In any event, today many people are rejecting both the scientific reductionism, and the religious-style nationalism (un-admitted worship of the flag etc.), and are seeking a more inclusive philosophy. Within America, there are many, though not a majority, that think a return to more religious-centric forms of culture would be a good thing; however, I think this is to be seen as a weakening of the hold of nationalism rather than a true resurgence of religion. The same is to be said for the weakening of faith in science to solve all the world's problems.

    Hopefully, what may emerge is the sort of yin-yang co-existence you have suggested.-----------Regards, James
  • Anju Rao · University of Central Punjab
    Quran is a holy book bestowed upon muslim by Alllah. Concept of hijab for women against strange men( i.e Namahran = with whom marriage is permissible otherwise) is very clear. It is ordained upon women to cover their chest in front of men. "And tell the believing women to lower their gazes and guard their modesty.And hide their beauty except what may ordinarily appear thereof, and that they should draw their head-covering over their chests," ... (Quran 24:31)
    There is nothing like suppression for women in this order. It is for them to guard their chastity by not attracting men. As for as covering of face is concerned, it depends on women. It is their personal choice. If they want to cover their faces, they should be allowed. Rest of the thing depends on one's intention.
  • M.Adeel Kamran · Allama Iqbal Open University
    i am happy to see the discussion of Nie and James, whom are trying to understand the concept of HAJAB in ISLAM, the basic discussion i wanted to see the concept in the minds of Muslims and others religion followers. in my thinking i am agree with anuj Rao that ISLAM IS SAYING JUST OF COVER those organs which don't attract the other SEX, and interestingly it is also for male to DO HIJAB, as don't show his body to other sex, so ISLAM is just forcing you to not to do any action which is against the societal harmony and can occur crime, so no one can force the Muslims (Women and Men) to do BURCA or any other sort of HIJAB which creates problem for society and also can be problematic for the society.

    so i think the HIJAB(Scarf wearing/covering the head and chest) should not be taken as problem in western society as it is the symbolic only to understand that this woman is Muslim as other religions have a unique dress/traits which shows the western society as Multicultural Society and they should all religions!!!

    Regards
  • Daniel Asue · St. Thomas University
    If we never understand Islam the way Islam understands itself, then it can't be Islam. The same thing I tell my Muslim friends, if they do not understand Christians the way Christians understand themselves, then it is not Christianity. Even within Christianity for example, if we cannot understand Catholicism the way Catholics understand themselves, then we are talking about them but not to them. In the case of Muslim women, if what we call liberation from the western world tends to hurt them, what then is the point of our liberation? We mustn't travel along the same road to the same destination. Middle East feminism can't necessarily be the same with western feminism. As an African, I state that African feminism can only have similarities with the others in a globalized world but not a replication of other worlds' feminism. In USA for example, the liberation of a black woman is not the same with the liberation of a white woman over the same issue. One destination --liberation, but different routes. Don't force Muslim women to do what you like but causes them unhappiness.
  • Sirous Amerian · University of Tehran
    i believe such rules come from people with ill minds towards Islam, such as Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington in another sense, these people have been promoting clash of Islam and the West for a long time and have propagated much hatred towards Islam and its rules! if there is freedom of speech, freedom of thought i think there should be a freedom of religion too. the french justify there anti-hijab rule by stating their laicite is under attack! if thats the case, then cross necklases, tatoos with religious sings should also be banned to protect the Holy French laic Rules!

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