People who are impressed with modern civilization believe that the Hijab (Islamic covering) is a sign of backwardness that prevents women from development and hampers their creativity and individuality. According to them, the Hijab is an obstacle that prevents women from progressing in the spheres of personal and social development.
We ask these people: "What does the Hijab have to do with development and technology?' Is it a precondition for civilization and development that women must expose themselves in front of men? Is it a precondition for civilization and development that women should have illicit sexual relationships with men? Is it a precondition for civilization and development that women must become mere bodies with no souls, sense of shame or conscience?
Is adherence to Hijab the reason behind our incapability of manufacturing vehicles, airplanes, tanks and electronic devices?
Muslim women in many Islamic countries abandoned the Hijab and went out to work alongside men in all fields of work. Did these countries, therefore, become developed as a result of their women abandoning Hijab? Did these countries catch up with the rest of civilization when their women mixed with men? Did these countries thereby become as strong as the developed civilised countries? Did any of these countries thereby become a superpower that has the power to veto any United Nations resolution? Did any of these countries resolve all their economic, educational and social problems? The answers to these questions are clear and need no further explanation. Subsequently, this must be asked: Why is it that people still call for women to take off their Hijab and intermix freely with men?
The people who advocate this have, in reality, no desire for civilization or development. They simply want to have women in close proximity of themselves so they would be readily available to fulfil their lusts; they wish to make woman an open object for the fulfilment of their desires – a toy to play with whenever they wish. They wish that women became an item to be traded in the market of immorality. They want to rid women of their chastity and bashfulness, and wish that their thinking and objectives becomes Westernised. Their desire is that women become experts in singing, dancing and acting. In short, they want the Muslim woman to be devoid of faith, belief, purity, morals and chastity.
False accusations against the proponents of Hijab
Those who issue false accusations against the propagators of Hijab are usually liars, and they are well aware of this. They say that those who call for the protection of women's chastity look at them as mere bodies, and that if women were given the liberty to dress as they wished, this opinion would disappear and the relationship between men and women would then be based on mutual respect.
The truth is that nobody can deny that reality disproves this claim, and the proof for this is what actually takes place in the communities where women really do wear what they wish and go out with anyone they please. Is this how the relations are between men and women in these communities where they are supposed to enjoy such great 'mutual respect'?
Statistics answer this question:
• Documented statistics show that 19 million women in the United States have been raped.
• The Italian Union for Psychiatrists conducted a public survey, in which 70% of Italian men confessed to betraying their wives by going with other women.
• One million illegitimate children are born and one million abortions carried out in the United States.
• A survey conducted by Cornell University in New York, USA showed that 70% of the women who work in that city have been sexually abused.
• 35,000 women are raped annually in Germany.
Do these statistics not indicate just how false these people's claims are? Or are these crimes actually part of the 'mutual respect' which these people are striving to achieve?
The Hijab is the greatest aid for the woman to preserve her chastity and bashfulness as it protects her from evil eyes and lustful looks.
Those who have tasted the bitterness of "modernisation" and who did not adhere to Islamic rules regarding dress and mixing with men have admitted this fact. Indeed, the best testimony is the one given by one's opponents! H. Stanberry, a Western reporter who spent a few weeks in the capital of an Arab country, returned to her country to state that:
"The Arab community is healthy and perfect. This community adheres to its traditions and restricts young men and young women within reasonable limits. This community differs from the European and American community; they have manners that are inherited which set limits for young women, they necessitate parent's respect, and most importantly, forbid the licentiousness that has destroyed American and European communities and families. They forbid intermixing between men and women, limit the freedom of young women and go back to the age of Hijab, because this is better for you than the licentiousness and lack of bashfulness of the American and European communities."
Upon reading these words, is it not time for the observant Muslim women to rejoice with their Hijab, secure in the knowledge that the future belongs to this religion and the good end is for the righteous – even if those with diseased hearts hate this fact.
The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The ‘hijaab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated ‘hijaab’, let us first study the status of women in societies before the advent of Islam.
1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust
The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity:
1. Babylonian Civilization:
The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.
What does it mean to feel safe? For many of us, we don't think about it until we've lost it. What I learned most from my work with these young women here in Nepal is that many women in this world do not feel safe in their daily lives, and worse yet, have never felt safe.
Our two groups (volunteers and Nepalese women) did a number of art games and exercises during the week structured to take us all deeper into and with ourselves as well as our relationship to our outside world. After each practice, we would share, in the large group of 25, or smaller groups. I think the greatest shock for me was the sharing on this topic. None of the young women who chose to share about the "safety" exercise felt safe in their world, and had never felt safe. They gave us pieces of their lives and their history, and through many tears, sobs, and much heartfelt stories, we followed each other through this very emotionally wrenching afternoon.
As women, none of us are truly safe until all of us feel safe in the world we live in. How can we each be proactive in creating and sustaining safety for ourselves, our families and our communities? What does "safety" mean to you?