Challenging the hijab

Challenging the hijab

To us,( Asra Q. Nomani  ) the “hijab”is a symbol of an interpretation of Islam we reject that believes that women are a sexual distraction to men, who are weak, and thus must not be tempted by the sight of our hair. We don’t buy it. This ideology promotes a social attitude that absolves men of sexually harassing women and puts the onus on the victim to protect herself by covering up.

The new Muslim Reform Movement, a global network of leaders, advocating for human rights, peace and secular governance, supports the right of Muslim women to wear – or not wear – the headscarf.

Unfortunately, the idea of “hijab” as a mandatory headscarf is promulgated by naïve efforts such as “World Hijab Day,” started in 2013 by Nazma Khan, the Bangladeshi American owner of a Brooklyn-based headscarf company, andAhlul Bayt, a Shia-proselytizing TV station, that the University of Calgary, in southwest Canada, promotes as a resource for its participation in “World Hijab Day.” The TV station argues that wearing a “hijab” is necessary for women to avoid “unwanted attention.” World Hijab Day, Ahlul Bayt and the University of Calgary didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In its “resources,” Ahluly Bayt includes a link to the notion that “the woman is awrah,” or forbidden, an idea that leads to the confinement, subordination, silencing and subjugation of women’s voices and presence in public society. It also includes an article, “The top 10 excuses of Muslim women who don’t wear hijab and their obvious weaknesses,” with the argument, “Get on the train of repentance, my sister, before it passes by your station.”

The rush to cover women’s hair has reached a fever pitch with ultraconservative Muslim websites and organizations pushing this interpretation, such as VirtualMosque.com and Al-Islam.org, which even published a feature, “Hijab Jokes,” mocking Muslim women who don’t cover their hair “Islamically.”

Last week, high school girls at Vernon Hills High School, outside Chicago, wore headscarves for an activity, “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab,” sponsored by the school’s conservative Muslim Students Association. It disturbed us to see the image of the girls in scarves.

Furthermore, Muslim special-interest groups are feeding articles about “Muslim women in hijab” under siege. Staff members at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has pressed legal and PR complaints against U.S. companies that have barred employees from wearing hijabs on the job, has even called their organization “the hijab legal defense fund.”

Today, in the 21st century, most mosques around the world, including in the United States, deny us, as Muslim women, our Islamic right to pray without a headscarf, discriminating against us by refusing us entry if we don’t cover our hair. Like the Catholic Church after the Vatican II reforms of 1965 removed a requirement that women enter churches with heads covers, mosques should become headscarf-optional, if they truly want to make their places of worship “women-friendly.”

washington post

Europe’s future, think twice about having children

Europe’s future, think twice about having children

In talks, Muslim militant coalition seeks independent Islamic state in southern Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Muslim militant leaders in talks with Thai authorities to end a deadly insurgency said Thursday they are seeking an independent state and are ready to negotiate a solution.

Six insurgent groups, united in a coalition called the Pattani Consultative Council, participated in three days of informal peace talks ending Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“We want to stress that we did not drop our demand for independence. That will be the final aim for the Pattani struggle, but we are ready to sit at the negotiation table to find a solution that will give Muslims the right to determine their own future” in the predominantly Buddhist country, council representative Abu Hafez Al-Hakim told a news conference.

He said the Pattani people will ultimately decide whether the solution will be an independent state or autonomy under the Thai government for the three southernmost provinces. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since 2004.

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or maybe

Thailand links Bangkok shrine bomb to Chinese Uighurs for first time
Thai police chief blames last month’s deadly bombing on a people smuggling network that trafficked Uighurs and was angered by Thailand’s recent crackdown on their trade

Telegraph

Well you get the meaning. Islam, Religion of Peace

Should Islam Be Banned for Blasphemy? (hint: yes)

Should Islam Be Banned for Blasphemy? (hint: yes)

Soon after Muslim gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo offices, which published satirical caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—the “collective voice of the Muslim world” and second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations—is again renewing calls for the United Nations to criminalize “blasphemy” against Islam, or what it more ecumenically calls, the “defamation of religions.”

Yet the OIC seems to miss one grand irony: if international laws would ban cartoons, books, and films on the basis that they defame Islam, they would also, by logical extension, have to ban the entire religion of Islam itself—the only religion whose core texts actively and unequivocally defame other religions, including by name.

To understand this, consider what “defamation” means. Typical dictionary-definitions include “to blacken another’s reputation” and “false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel.” In Muslim usage, defamation simply means anything that insults or offends Islamic sensibilities.

Islam is the only religion whose core texts actively and unequivocally defame other religions.

However, to gain traction among the international community, the OIC cynically maintains that such laws should protect all religions from defamation, not just Islam (even as Muslim governments ban churches, destroy crucifixes, and burn Bibles). Disingenuous or not, the OIC’s wording suggests that any expression that “slanders” the religious sentiments of others should be banned.

What, then, do we do with Islam’s core religious texts—beginning with the Koran itself— which slanders, denigrates and blackens the reputation of other religions? Consider Christianity alone: Koran 5:73 declares that “Infidels are they who say God is one of three,” a reference to the Christian Trinity; Koran 5:72 says “Infidels are they who say God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary”; and Koran 9:30 complains that “the Christians say the Christ is the son of God … may God’s curse be upon them!”

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Christianity And Islam never the twain shall meet

Christianity And Islam never the twain shall meet

As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—in this case, the recent immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama’s response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:

Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

There is so much to be said here. First, the obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate “justified in the name of Christ” and violence and hate “justified in the name of Muhammad” is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.

This is not just a theoretic point; it is the very reason that Muslims are still committing savage atrocities. Every evil act IS commits—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents in the deeds of Muhammad, that most “perfect” and “moral” man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see “The Islamic State and Islam” for parallels).

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The Religion of Peace

The Religion of Peace

The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West–the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists.

They are only the latest blows delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades. It’s the same ideology that sent Salman Rushdie into hiding for a decade under a death sentence for writing a novel, then killed his Japanese translator and tried to kill his Italian translator and Norwegian publisher. The ideology that murdered three thousand people in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. The one that butchered Theo van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam, in 2004, for making a film. The one that has brought mass rape and slaughter to the cities and deserts of Syria and Iraq. That massacred a hundred and thirty-two children and thirteen adults in a school in Peshawar last month. That regularly kills so many Nigerians, especially young ones, that hardly anyone pays attention.

Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam. Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion….

A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique.

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