Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Niqab or Not To Niqab

Hey Guys! It's E.A.P again.
I know I promised an interview, it's coming! It's just being postponed.
You'll have it NEXT WEEK!

So I was at our glorious school library and I was just about to leave when this cover caught my eye. I felt compelled to discuss this article in today's post.

I like the contrast. I just had to stop and read it.

The author, Anne Kingston, opens up her article with
"No item of female apparel summons more attention, animosity, debate or censure in Western society than the veil covering Muslim women." Sounds cool right? And then she brings up the recent controversy surrounding the Niqab and how it's been banned by Belgium and France. Our Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a ban on face veils during the swearing-in of the citizenship oath. Kingston goes back and forth in the article bringing up points for and against the ban of Niqab and the various notions that surround the Niqab and covering of the face and body.

Here's a view points brought up in the article.

Supporting the ban:
-Quebec’s Bill 94, which would deny essential public services to women in niqabs in the name of “public security, communication and identification,” is wending through the legislature.
-Jason Kenney described a covered face as “un-Canadian” when announcing the new citizenship ruling: “Allowing a group to hide their faces while they are becoming members of our community is counter to Canada’s commitment to openness, equality and social cohesion,” he said.
- Last June, Muslim women were singled out by FIFA, the world soccer body, which banned players from wearing Islamic headdresses on the grounds they could cause a “choking injury.”

Against the ban:
-Turkish-born sociologist Necla Kelek dismisses the idea that the burka has anything to do with religion or religious freedoms, but rather represents an ideology whereby “women in public don’t have the right to be human.”
-.As British writer Myriam Francois-Cerrah, a Muslim, puts it: “[Governments] have a funny idea of liberation: criminalizing women in order to free them.”
-“These new WMDs (Women in Muslim dress) seem to evoke the same fear as those other WMDs (weapons of mass destruction),” she writes. Khan, who wears the hijab, sees a cultural disconnect over the female body and its display: “Muslim women value their bodies, they simply don’t believe in flashing skin.”

I like that she not only speaks about Muslim women but she also brings in the Western culture and their standards regarding women, their bodies and the tyrannical standards of beauty: "Western women may be shackled by clothing and customs—six-inch stilettos, Brazilian waxing, cosmetic surgery, the imperative to be thin—but that’s seen to be their choice, their self-expression within a culture that often conflates female empowerment with female sexuality."

I like this article because it does a nice job of summarizing this debate, bringing people up to speed and showing both sides.

Kingston talks about what other people have said, but we don't really get her take on the debate. She comes across as sympathetic but we just don't get her opinion. Was she playing it safe by not taking sides? In addition, I like the comment feed online; there's some intense discussions and blaming going on over there.

Well, In my opinion I feel like people need to take a good look at themselves and get to the source of why they feel the way they do towards the Niqab and Muslims. We also have to understand the media is often misleading and promotes only one way of thinking/perceiving towards a particular subject, so don't buy into it. It only reinforces stereotypes.

If the government bans the Niqab, can they go on to ban other articles of clothing because it's considered offensive? Where do we draw the line?

In my opinion, here are some tips the media should use whenever talking about Muslim women:
1) Don't confuse the "Niqab" with the "Hijab." The Niqab is the head piece covering the whole face versus the Hijab, which covers the hair.
2) There is a big difference between forced marriages and arranged marriages. Arranged marriage is when your parents help you pick your partner, it's consensual, the person can say no. Forced marriages guessed it, is forced.
3) NEVER EVER USE THE WORDS "Honor Killing." Murder is murder don't dress it up and give it a fancy name.

Here is the link of the article, read it and let me know what you think:

Epic quote of the week: "It’s a mystery and a threat," from the article.

Epic Song of the week:

For next week: I will be at the "All Out Feb 1! Day of Action" the protest happening at Queen's Park, I'll let you know how it goes.

As well I'll post my interview. Cheers. Till next week.


  1. GREAT article- thanks for breaking down the views for/against the ban!

  2. Always appreciate the feedback, thank you and keep reading!

  3. Good article, I really like it. As for me, I am against of this law. It is their culture, religion, niqabs and burqas do not disturd me. Many of muslim women are ready to show their faces, if it is needed. In one small Russian city (Stavropol) even hidjabs are prohibited. I do not support this. My best friend is muslim girl. I find her really nice, and there is no differene for me if a girl or a woman is covering her face or not, it does not makes her better or worse. It is her style of life, her world and choice. Sorry, if there are some mistakes, I am from Russia, so English is my second language.

  4. We have to compare all women of the world who love and feel like to wear hijab and other hand who love to expose their body by having their choice. You can see the ratio of Eve Teasing and Raping with the hijab women and without hijab women. You can see why Islam emphasizes hijab for women. There are many ways of hijab that makes you modern and modest too. I think here can be a big debate over hijab.

    Abida@ modern hijab

  5. just one.. wherever i'm.. i will consistent with this hijab :)
    and the truth isss.. i really want to wear niqab..
    by the way.. it's good article..
    nice to meet you.

  6. Pour Niqab ou ne pas Niqab !
    Lorsqu'on parle du voile (( Niqab )) vous dites " Vous voulez nous ramener 1435 ans en arrière ." Mais quand l'affaire c'est de se déshabiller là vous allez jusqu'à la préhistoire.
    ALLAH ( Exalté ) dit : " Et dis aux croyantes de baisser leurs regards, de garder leur chasteté, et de ne montrer de leurs atours que ce qui en paraît et qu’elles rabattent leur voile sur leurs poitrines; et qu’elles ne montrent leurs atours qu’à leurs maris, ou à leurs pères, ou aux pères de leurs maris, ou à leurs fils, ou aux fils de leurs maris, ou à leurs frères, ou aux fils de leurs frères, ou aux fils de leurs sœurs, ou aux femmes musulmanes, ou aux esclaves qu’elles possèdent, ou aux domestiques mâles impuissants, ou aux garçons impubères qui ignorent tout des parties cachées des femmes. Et qu’elles ne frappent pas avec leurs pieds de façon que l’on sache ce qu’elles cachent de leurs parures. Et repentez-vous tous devant Allah, ô croyants, afin que vous récoltiez le succès ." ( Coran )......
    "La seule parole des croyants, quand on les appelle vers Allah et Son messager, pour que celui-ci juge parmi eux, est: «Nous avons entendu et nous avons obéi». Et voilà ceux qui réussissent. Et quiconque obéit à Allah et à Son messager, et craint Allah et Le redoute... alors, voilà ceux qui récoltent le succès." ( Coran ).
    " C’est à Allah qu’appartient la royauté des cieux et de la terre. Et vers Allah sera le retour final." ( Coran ) .
    ALLAH , à Lui la puissance et la gloire .


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