OTHERS 1: ***** :
OTHERS 1: it is obvious that you
are quite knowledgeable of islam and
took great time to write out a response. frankly i would not have
bothered. though i had some questions for you as well, after reading your mail,
if you will indulge me.
>ME: THAT IS OPPRESSION. The constant need to look beautiful as society
>prescribes so that you don't feel inferior or so that you get this
>job you really want and so on. Can you very confidently say that
>this is not a problem in modern societies and that it is a form of
>oppression of women?
OTHERS 1: Don't you think that patriarchal
oppression is more than just hem
lines, anorexia, and low self esteem?
>ME: For a Muslim woman who wears the hijaab, she is judged by her mind and
>her deeds only...not by how sexy she looks, how much cleavage she's showing
>and how much make up she's wearing. when a man looks at her, he looks into
>her eyes and his focus is on what she says and the way she thinks and not
>anything else. that is freedom.
OTHERS 1: So, if hijaab permits
a woman to be judged by their mind-- why do not men
wear hijaab too? Are you rationalizing here or are you truly being critical?
Are we not interested in freedom for both sexes?
>ME: I think Hijaabi women have a great deal more confidence and self-respect
>for themselves because they don't see the need to portray a beautiful
>image in order to get by in life.
OTHERS 1: Is this really a fair generalization. Self-esteem and confidence has
nothing to do with covering one's body or not. So, why would a
woman who wears hijaab have more confidence?
>ME: Have you any idea of the extent to which domestic violence is rampant
>in America AND other parts of the world which have little or
>negligible number of Muslims? Domestic violence
>is a social problem rampant in the USA....and how many percentage of the
>offenders are MUSLIM?
OTHERS 1: With this thread of your
argument, I adamantly disagree. Unfortunately,
here you do great injustice to Muslim women by suggesting that domestic
violence is not rampant among Muslim communities. I worked for over a
year in a South Asian domestic violence organization, and I worked with
many women (Bangladeshi & Pakistani) who are abused by their husbands who
are Muslim. Domestic violence does not discriminate. The statistics you
cited do not even record extensively or survey women of color, let alone
muslim women. What are you statistics on the incidence of domestic
violence among Muslims? It has not been done, at least not that I know od
in the states. I have done community presentations at Islamic centers &
mosques in NY and women say in confidence that it happens at the same
rates. So, by suggesting that domestic violence does not happen in muslim
communities, you are silencing the woman who experiences abuse from her
partner who is Muslim, because she may think she is the only one, an
aberration. This severely undermines the work that women are trying to do
to address social problems within the community. As her Muslim sister, if
you negate experiences of Muslim women who are abused, you simply add an
additional burden to her life as she is trying to defend her religion in a
society that is seeks to demonize it, and protect herself from
her partner who abuses her. You unwittingly take away her potential
supporter -- women like yourself. We need to be careful, in how we
discuss these issues which are more complex than the dichotomies you set
up. (modern vs. islam; women who wear hijaab vs. those who don't etc).
As it is obvious that you are interested in women and islam, allow me
to suggest an author that I respect who writes extensively about women,
feminism, and islam. Her name is Fatima Mernissi. Any book of hers would
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