What western feminists should do about the veil
"Abandon the obsession with clothing and focus on what really matters in terms of women's struggle in the Muslim world"
Faisal al Yafai, guardian.co.uk, September 08 2008
An article full of links, followed up with many comments. Here's a part...
The veil - whether you conceive of it as a scarf worn lightly over the hair or a cloth that covers the face (and most writers have not been clear about the distinctions) - has been a central theme in western feminists' interactions with the Arab world. Some have decried it as a dehumanising practice, others have argued for tolerance of the choice to wear it. Few have been able to ignore it. What, then, should western feminists do about the veil?
First, ask why there is such a fixation on one piece of cloth. Washington warmongers, feminists among them, invoked both the burqa and the Iraqi niqab as justifications for destroying entire societies, as if the veil made those countries modern Sodom and Gomorrahs. (A UK charity reported (pdf) this year how that has worked out: "Seven years after the fall of the misogynist Taliban regime, Afghanistan is still one of the most dangerous places to be a woman.")
... continued at the title link...
A woman at risk, post 9/11, has no regrets
"Noreen Rahman hopes her decision to wear a hajib will encourage questions about Islam."
Yvette Cabrera, Columnist, The Orange County Register, September 10, 2008
Read the full article at the title link. Here is one portion:
In high school, prior to Sept. 11, Rahman began embracing Islam more than when she was younger. She began doing the five daily prayers required of Muslims, and says she was open to everything, except wearing the traditional head covering known as thehijab. Then she headed to college, at UC Irvine, joined the Muslim Student Union, and began learning more about her religion's support of women in the workforce, their right to vote and other stances on gender.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was in 2006, her last year at UCI, that she overrode the protests of her parents, both Pakistani immigrants, and started wearing the hijab. She was the only one in her immediate and extended family to do so.
"They were really concerned for my safety. My dad said 'why do you want to make yourself a target?'" says Rahman. "My stance was this is such a critical point for Muslim Americans, I don't want to start wearing it when things are OK, and people are comfortable with Muslims…I didn't want to sit back and let someone else do the hard work."
Why I Shed Bikini for Niqab
From the blog: "Tea Break Thoughts", September 15, 2008
Link to the story, and automatic radio starts playing (player is in the left column, if you choose to turn it off)
When I am feeling down, the thing I love the most is to hear inspirational convert stories. It reminds me of why I tread this path. I have come across this story many times, ma shaa Allah and I love it every time. In shaa Allah, I hope you will like it too
Muslim women crave stylish hairdos
"Observant women who wear the hijab are hard-pressed to find the salon experience in a male-free environment"
TheStar.com, Sep 13, 2008
Here's a partion of the story:
"It shouldn't be this hard for a Muslim woman in Toronto to get a good hair cut," says Chowdhury of her years of searching for a salon, from Yorkville to Markham. "We just want a place where we feel normal, and can get our money's worth."
Instead, she and many others across the city have accumulated a war chest of hijabi horror stories – tales of having men walk in on them, of being shunted into basements and backrooms, of mediocre haircuts or worse, and of being forced to pay a premium for even this accommodation.
Many yearn for what a high-end salon can offer. They want to feel good during the process, and come out looking even better.
Fashion show for veiled women
Saudi Gazette report, JEDDAH
Read the full (short) report at the title link above.
The first ever fashion show for veiled women will be inaugurated here on Sept. 18.
The fashion show, the brainchild of three young Saudi girls – Luma Al-Ghalib, Hida Al-Harthi and Lujain Al-Mu’allimi – aims at demonstrating the greatness of Islam and it intends to erase the stereotyped image about Saudi women and young girls in particular.
The idea to organize a fashion show for women was nurtured and developed while the three girls were participating in a summer camp last year in Switzerland. Their decent dresses and the simple designs attracted the interest of several foreign girls in the camp, Al-Watan said.