Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Muslim Woman Like the Veil?
From BBC Channel 4 comes a Christmas message that could do with a little more analysis and less taking the thing at face value.
Veiled British Muslim woman delivers alternative Xmas message
At the same time the 80-year-old monarch's Christmas message to Britain and the Commonwealth was broadcast, a woman known only as Khadijah spoke on Channel 4 television Monday about why she wore the niqab in public and called for tolerance.
"We are seen as oppressed. Since I've started covering I feel much more liberated, which I know a lot of people possibly won't be able to understand," she said.
"I don't wear the niqab to separate myself from society. I want to be part of this society -- this is where I choose to live. I hope that society is more accepting of my personal choice. It's not about separation."
OK, so we have a purported "Muslim" women claiming she loves to be covered in the black tent she walks around in. She claims it's "liberating".
At first blush (not that you could see her blush, mind you) one would see this as an affirmation of religious choice. Why, those Muslim women love their traditional dress, you'd think. We should ease off this hateful, western bias against the veil or the hajib. It must be that all our assumptions of the oppressiveness of Muslim female coverings is wrong.
But wait. One small section of the AFP story makes the entire thing a lie...
Khadijah -- who converted to Islam a decade ago and said she is the great-granddaughter of a suffragette who fought for women's right to vote -- said Straw's comments were not helpful.
This is no "Muslim" woman, but a white woman who willingly converted. And what we have here is a person who is striving to out Muslim the REAL Muslims. A nuevo Muslim attempting at zealotry trying to be accepted by people who will never accept her. A white person "gone native", as the saying used to go.
One can never take the word of an activist convert for much of anything because all too often they are extremists. They usually have certain mental problems and emotional voids that they fill with a new thing, something that becomes their entire life, something that is often even more than a passion. Usually more an obsession than a conviction or belief.
So, this claim of Muslims loving the veil is not from a woman who has spent her life covered from head to foot. This is not a woman who's mother was beaten by her Muslim Father. This is not a woman who was raped by her Muslim Uncle and warned to never tell anyone. This is not a woman who has lived with all the women around her beaten, mistreated and oppressed her whole life. This is a woman who only recently became a Muslim and is suddenly enamored with her interesting, new world.
This is not a woman who's voice comes from the experience of the Muslim world, but an outsider trying to convince herself that she is a "true" Muslim.
This woman's "message" is misleading and should be ignored. She does NOT represent the average Muslim woman and should not be treated as if she does.