First, let’s get this out of the way. I am not being anti-Muslim, or anti-Islamic, with this post. I am being anti-Muslim EXTREMIST with this post. In doing my research for this post, I read a lot of different authorities on the Qur’an and the Islamic religion. All of them say that the concept of “hijab” is spoken about in the Qur’an, but there is nowhere that says women have to be covered from head to toe. “Hijab” is the idea of modesty, the idea where people (men and women) should have some modesty when dressing or interacting with each other. This is often taken to mean the wearing of a head scarf by Muslim women, although the Qur’an does not specifically say that either. This is all it says about hijab in the Qur’an, and anyone who tells you that wearing a burqa or niqab is done because of religion is misinformed or just plain out lying.
The Islamic faith is not the only religion in the world that asks people to dress modestly. The Christians have a dress code for their clergy. Nuns wear an outfit that’s almost identical to Muslim women, designed to keep their body and head covered in a loose fitting garment that doesn’t reveal their sexuality. Even holy men in the Christian faith wear long dark robes that mask their sexuality. Hasidic Jewish women have to keep their head covered as well, as only their husbands are allowed to see their true hair. Many Hasidic Jewish women wear wigs, so they can be seen with “hair,” but not their real hair. I have no problem with the idea of modesty, nor do I have a problem with keeping the head covered. What I have a problem with is the extreme versions of this garb, the niqab (face veil that only allows the eyes to be seen) and the burqa (complete covering with a screen over the eyes so the woman can see out, but people can’t see their eyes).
In 2011, France outlawed all forms of facial covering in public. This was done as a safety measure so people can be identified by onlookers if there was a crime or accident. These face coverings included the niqab and burqa for Muslim women. In fact, judging by the bank robbery committed in Maryland this year by someone dressed in a burqa, it’s an excellent idea (http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/another-burka-bank-robber-strikes-again-in-usa/)! Since France has a large Muslim population, there were protests and outcries about this ban, saying France was anti-religious and against Islam. It got so bad in France that martial law actually had to be declared in parts of Paris.
These people are ill-informed. The women who follow Islam are requested to dress modestly, possibly even cover their heads, but NOT to cover their entire bodies. This is a cultural thing that is enforced in places like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. These religious oligarchies are enforcing “religious” rules upon people that have no base in religion. They are taking cues from writings of the life of Mohammad and what he had his family do (the only place the wearing of a head scarf is even mentioned, let alone a burqa), but they are ignoring the fact that Mohammad said that “only what is written in the Qur’an is the word of god,” or something to that effect. So, these people who force Muslim women to live day to day under a veil and gloves are not actually following the Qur’an, they are following the misogynistic laws of a misguided government.
I disagree with organized religion. I consider myself anti-religion, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Shintoism or Zoroastrianism! I think that people, should they believe in god, should worship privately and not be told HOW to worship or WHAT they need to worship about god. I especially disagree with religions that tell someone how they should dress; should they anger god by dressing a different way! That being said, I’m not against modesty, and I kind of like the idea of “hijab” in the Muslim religion, keeping in mind that it only says people should dress modestly, not completely covered from head to toe. Forcing women to completely cover themselves and making it illegal for them to leave their homes unless they are completely covered is ludicrous. It is like a prison without bars, where the only people these women can actually get to know and interact with are their own husbands. It’s inhuman and it’s wrong!