HomeSelect Main CategoryThe oppressor is man, not Islam

The oppressor is man, not Islam

The media usually salivates and greedily laps up stories of ???Islam oppressed me, but now I’m liberated! Let’s celebrate!??? by women who choose to give up religion. Which is what made the Open Page article, >???Under the veil, we are free souls!” (April 22, 2012) by Jumana Haseen Rahim, a pleasant surprise. While the Taslima Nasreens of the world hog the limelight with their views and definitions of freedom, it is rare that Muslim women, with conflicting views on women’s liberation, are given a chance to voice their thoughts. However, while Jumana’s article speaks out against labelling women in hijab (veil), it does not explain why many Muslim women feel so passionately about the hijab.As an educated woman in her early twenties who chooses to wear her religious convictions on her sleeve by practising hijab, I have been subjected to animosity, and worse ??? pity, from feminists and those who cannot fathom the reasons behind my choice. While I can attribute hurtful, anti-Muslim slurs to narrow-mindedness and bigotry, the assumption made by the educated, so-called forward-thinkers, that we are all oppressed girls whose lifestyles are dictated by the men in their lives, is both frustrating and demeaning.Hijab is more than just a religious obligation. People need to realise that, in its own right, it symbolises liberty. It gives women the freedom to show male strangers only the parts of the body that they wish them to see. Yes, the simple salwar kameez and kurti do come under the category of ???modest’ clothing. But if men want to objectify women, hijab just makes things harder for them. I would even go so far as to call it the ultimate feminist statement. A Muslim woman’s definition of empowerment is being judged by her personality alone, leaving her looks to be appreciated only by those who matter. To those who refer to the burkha as a ???medieval garb,??? I ask: Why is it that a nun wearing a similar robe is looked upon with respect, while a woman in a burkha is



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