I received a text containing an interesting website. psychologytoday.com. I came across several great articles and I was compelled to write about one in particular. The Mystery of the Veil, by Jaime Booth Cundy sparked this post.
In the article, Cundy discusses a new Belgium law which bans the covering of one’s face in public. Clearly, the law is designed to prevent Muslim women form wearing their traditional headdress, the Niqab and Burqa. The proponents of the law claim they are attempting to improve women’s rights, but I agree with Cundy, who suggests there is no difference between forcing a woman to wear a headdress and forbidding a woman from wearing one. It should be the woman’s right to decide whether or not she wants to wear a headdress.
The article is interesting and Cundy makes some great points. (I suggest googling the title and reading the article.) It is funny what happens when humans use religious texts to promote their own views. Islam is actually an extremely peaceful and tolerant religion, but the world perception is completely opposite because of a few extremists and a fundamental misinterpretation of the text. The true Muslim has a duty to follow in the tradition of the Prophet. (Obviously, I don’t believe in the Qur’an or the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad, but I know enough about the faith to voice an opinion.)
Mohammad considered women his equals; the downgraded role of women in Islam is the result of the Caliphs (leaders) who followed the prophet. Mohammad’s wives did not wear the veil until after he died. The veil was actually part of the Christian tradition; it was a sign of being a member of the upper-class, and was not required by the religion. The Qur’an commands people to dress moderately, not veiled. Some conservative man made the decision to force women to wear the coverings in public, based on his interpretation and the tradition was passed to future generations.
The Prophet’s wives were allowed to participate in the religious discussions; they were active and respected members of the faith. (Yeah, I said wives. You didn’t think a guy would be given the title of God’s Prophet and not use it to have more than one woman, did you?) Polygamy is technically allowed in Islam, but men must treat each wife equally, which is impossible, so it is unusual to find a Muslim man with more than one wife. (There is an interesting documentary named Women of Islam, I suggest people view it!) The belief in Islam is, men are responsible for providing for the family, but the interpretation was determined by men who lived in a misogynistic society. It is interesting to note that the first written copies of the Qur’an were given to the wives of Mohammad after his death in 632CE.
Professor Leila Ahmad is an educated woman who is leading the movement to provide a current interpretation of the Qur’an. The hope is that Muslim women will be given more rights in the Islamic world. She probably won’t be able to make the changes which she desires, but there is hope that a young lady who follows in her footsteps will be able to remove the negative aspects from the religion. The women of Islam enjoyed greater freedoms until the Caliphs, who followed Mohammed, changed the tradition and forced women to become second class citizens. One of the Prophet’s wives, Aisha actually led Muslims in battle after Mohammad died. There is no sexism in the Qur’an; the sexism comes from the male interpretations.
Before we judge a woman wearing a Muslim headdress and feel sorry for her, we need to keep in mind that, “We may not understand why, we can point out that according to our interpretation of the Qur’an it does not say that a woman must remain covered, but yet there are women in the world that believe that they should be fully covered, and they make the choice to do so. What are we saying to these women if we tell them that they are brainwashed, or that they are misinterpreting their own religion? Are we not telling them that they aren’t intelligent enough, or free enough, to make their own decisions?” –Cundy.
The problem with religion is the fact that people become insane. The faith becomes more important than their family members. “What the HELL is an Honor killing?” For those who are unfamiliar with the practice, honor killings occur when one member of a family decides to kill another family member who he feels has dishonored the family name. This usually occurs when a father or brother kills a female form the family who cheats on her husband or has premarital sex. Honor killings are usually unreported and unpunished. (There are places in the world where the practice is widely accepted and encouraged.) Nothing says honor like killing your daughter! Honor killings have nothing to do with Islam; they are the result of misinterpretation of the text.
There are many horrible examples of honor killings, but I will only mention one which I found particularly disturbing:
“Kifaya Husayn, a 16-year-old Jordanian girl, was lashed to a chair by her 32-year-old brother. He gave her a drink of water and told her to recite an Islamic prayer. Then he slashed her throat. Immediately afterward, he ran out into the street, waving the bloody knife and crying, ‘I have killed my sister to cleanse my honor.’ Kifaya’s crime? She was raped by another brother, a 21-year-old man. Her judge and jury? Her own uncles, who convinced her eldest brother that Kifaya was too much of a disgrace to the family’s honor to be allowed to live. The murderer was sentenced to fifteen years, but the sentence was subsequently reduced to seven and a half years, an extremely severe penalty by Jordanian standards.”
A new phenomenon, which is a direct result of the honor killings, is vaginal rejuvenation surgery. “What the heck is that?” This is when a woman pays a plastic surgeon to restore her hymen. (Now that’s what I call a born again virgin!) Women from the Middle East travel to the United States in search of a better education; while here, they have premarital sex, a result of assimilating into our “superior” culture. These women pay to restore their hymen so when they return to their homes, their husbands will not be able to discover the truth about their sexual pasts. In some cultures, the mother-in-law will examine the woman to see if she is worthy enough to marry her son. If a daughter is returned to her father because she was deemed to be impure, the father will usually kill her. Honorably of course!
Although I do not believe in any religion, I think it is important to make a clear distinction between the true heart of a religion before we make judgments. Islam is a tolerant, peaceful, pro-woman religion; it’s the men who changed the original teachings of the prophet in order to take control. The next time you hear someone say, “I don’t like Islam because women are mistreated.” You’ll understand that the mistreatment of women is not a part of the actual religion.
From the point of view of someone who does not practice religion, I can only ascertain that the goal of most religions is to separate. We may view the honor killings as an extreme practice, but we must not forget that religion causes Christian fathers to disown their unmarried pregnant daughters, which I consider a lesser form of honor killing.
Knowledge and understanding are the keys to change! Not Barack Obama, “he is a long-legged Mack Daddy!” (YouTube ‘Barack Obama is a Mack Daddy’…I love those videos! Pastor Manning is insane! RELIGION IS AWESOME!)
For tomorrow’s post, I will discuss another article from the website which I found truly enlightening!
I can’t wait for the world to become one crazy ass multi-cultural race. Shame on that girl for getting raped.
Ha ha! You probably won’t be around for the multicultural unity. I’m just hoping for a day when we all get to wear those silver jump suits like they do in the sci fi movies about the future!
An extremely important lecture for both believing men and women, as this lecture describes according to the Quran a Hijab / veil (psychological) which both men and women have to adopt allowing us to communicate with God and understand His message. Additionally the dress code (the physical Hijab) for both men and women is also described but more specifically for women and how this Hijab (psychological and physical) is to be maintained in our family and social circles.
Thanks for the link.
great post! I agree with you and I don’t like it when people use religion as an excuse to do certain things. God is misinterpreted by those so called religious people…
Thanks. People will always misuse religion.
I thought the men, hid there beautiful wives behind those veils. So guys like you won’t hit on them.
Ha ha. A veil never stopped me! I’m sure keeping others from seeing their wives plays a major roll in the tradition. It has to do with removing temptation.
It just goes to show noone knows anything. We are all trying figure out what is the “right” thing to do… Until then it’ll be just be a world full of confusion, misinterpretation and suffering. I’ll have to take a look at that website because lately I’ve been interested in child psychology and the effects of childhood on who we become as adults. It’s extremely interesting and can bring you to a complete understanding of why your brain calculates the way it does…
I’m sure you’ll find great articles on the topic. People post new ones everyday. Great site.
I just read the marijuana article…pretty good!
yeah, the site covers many topics and new articles are posted daily!
The funny thing is, the veil is to cover a female, but to many it might even be enticing, making folks wonder what is under there. A lot of these women out here with skimpy clothes don’t realize the seduction factor of covering up! That said, I agree with you about religion. It makes some crazy. Many use religion to justify bad or even evil behaviors or to confess their sins after having done so. I feel I am spiritual and connected to a higher being, but going or not going to church doesn’t change that. Kindness and humanity is what we should all seek!
I agree with your comment on skimpy clothes; showing the goods isn’t always sexy!
I agree with you, and think you definitely portray the University of Miami in a positive light. As do I. So shamelessly click my name to read my blog.
Fuck the university of Miami! GO GATORS!!! I’ll be sure to check out the blog! (The U is under investigation!)
While I don’t think anyone should be forced to wear or not wear a veil due to religious beliefs, I do think that there are some people that should definitely rock the Burqa! But I’m talking about a special kind of Burqa, one that is odor proof. Seriously, there are people walking around this world with the worst body odor! And the worst thing is that they seem to be oblivious to their smell because those are the same dumbass people that feel the need to get as close to you as possible to speak to you….or maybe those a**holes know they stink and get up on you on purpose. Those smelly bastards!!!! Sorry, I know this is a very serious topic and I 100% agree with your article and will check out the website since I’m a psychology nut (oxymoron?), but smelly people piss me off! I can take it from a homeless person or even a child who’s been out playing all day in the hot sun but a grown ass person who has the means to shower and use deodorant is inexcusable. B.O should be a crime!!! And yes, I’ve recently encountered an offender hence my rant! That’s all. Great post Peter, keep it up!
Great rant! I can tell the body odor issue is something that you had to deal with recently. Maybe someone can create a product that reveals a person’s “smellyness!” That way, people will be more aware.
No, they know they smell, they must! A better invention is an anti b.o. spray so when your out minding ur business and some smelly person comes close u can instantly spray the smell away…kinda like mase, but in this case its for the good of all!
Good idea, but I don’t know if scientists can create something strong enough to combat BO.
I refuse to accept that! They can do face transplants but they can’t combat BO?! That’s BS!
You should write your congressman and get the ball rolling!
I just might
This is an extremely important lecture for Muslims who want to govern their lives in accordance with the Quran. Most Muslims know only one type of fasting which is observed during the month of Ramadan, while this lecture will point out various other types of fasting mentioned in the Quran (in addition to what we observe in Ramadan) and also the various reasons behind the different types of fasts, which ultimately increases our consciousness for Allah. This is a must watch as these other types of fast are also ordained by Allah which we are not told about as we are growing up, hence we are leaving a major practice that we as Muslims are suppose to do.
Thanks for the info and taking the time to read this post.
*more of a pun, not oxymoron
Peter baby, you’re like 90% there. There is no “living accordingly” with the teachings of Jesus or Mohamed. The story of their lives are, at best, 4th-hand accounts by totally biased and unreliable people and their metaphysical claims are false. The Books make for great historical reading when put up with archaeological and other historical findings, and they’re vital pieces of literature. Beyond that, one would be wasting her time covering her face, even if by choice, in some lame attempt to be more holy, or pure, or pious, or…
But your gist is money in the bank; religion is man-made, man-instituted, and man-governed, with a perverse idea of women, their anatomy and the prophet/god-mother relationships they try and describe. That’s why they all (including the eastern ones) must go.
You’re doing great shit with your writing, bro!
Good looks, Charles.
Hey! Thanks for reading….and posting your thoughts on my article!! Pretty rad!!
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