The Veil Is Dehumanizing

I’ve written before about religion’s harm to women, but today I’d like to focus on a more specific example, the face-covering veils and shrouds that are often imposed on women in fundamentalist sects of Islam. These garments oppress women and are an affront to human dignity. By design, they are dehumanizing and degrading, and remain so even if the woman freely chooses them for herself.

If there is anything that defines human beings as a species, anything we do that differentiates us from other animals, it is communication. Other animals use sounds to convey meanings, such as the alarm calls of monkeys or the mating songs of birds, but human communication is unique in that it is not limited to conveying information about the immediate, present circumstances. Instead, we can discuss how we’re feeling and what we desire; we can describe and compare possible futures; and we can talk about our talking, in potentially endless self-referential loops of recursion.

But the full act of communication encompasses far more than just assembling strings of words. On the contrary, a person’s facial expressions, their body language, and the tones of their voice convey a huge amount of contextual information, tacit meaning and emotional significance that would be very difficult to express verbally. This non-verbal interaction is what gives warmth and genuineness to human interaction, and more than anything else, it gives assurance that we are communicating with a fellow person who sympathizes with us and feels what we feel.

The face-covering garments common in Islam deny their wearers this means of interacting with the world. Both the burqa, which covers the woman’s entire face except for a mesh grille over the eyes, and the niqab, the somewhat less severe face-covering veil that leaves the eyes exposed, have this in common. They rob social interaction of the facial cues and body language that are so fundamental a part of human communication, and therefore they are dehumanizing in its most literal sense, even if the woman voluntarily chooses them for herself. Their purpose is to make women invisible, inaccessible, and less than fully human – especially when combined, as they often are, with the tyrannical rules in Muslim theocracies that prevent women from going out in public unaccompanied or speaking to men who are not relatives.

Being able to see the other person’s face is not an absolute prerequisite for communication. Other media, such as telephones or instant messaging, also deny people this added context. But these limitations are inherent in the medium, not freely chosen by its users. And whatever their virtues, no one I know would claim that telephone conversations or the Internet are substitutes for human contact.

I will grant that the hijab, since it does not cover the face, does not have the same degrading effect. But its claimed good effect – allowing women to be appreciated for their personality and intelligence, and not just as sex objects – is unlikely to succeed. Women covering more of their bodies is not likely to lessen men’s desire. If anything, it makes ordinary interaction more sexually charged by expanding the zone of what is forbidden.

I can testify to this personally. During our junior year in college, my girlfriend shared an apartment with several other women, one of whom was a conservative Muslim who habitually wore a headscarf. Entering the apartment on one occasion, I caught a glimpse of her in the living room, without her headscarf. There was nothing unusual about her hair: it was long, flowing and black, perfectly ordinary, just like the hair of women I pass every day on the street without being in any way aroused or disturbed by the sight. But when she noticed I was there, she dashed into her room to hide, and I felt a hot bolt of embarrassment and guilt – as if I had accidentally glimpsed her topless.

Trying to lessen people’s interest in something by hiding it away, whether by headscarf, veil or burqa, will never work, and anyone who understood human psychology would know not to try such a thing in the first place. Not only does this not work, it cruelly and pointlessly punishes women by shutting them out from the world of interaction with others for something – their appearance – that is in no way within their control. I’ve always said that if it’s men’s sexual desires are the problem, then rather than Muslim women having to veil themselves, Muslim men should have to blindfold themselves, and have the women lead them around.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://infophilia.blogspot.com Infophile

    I will grant that the hijab, since it does not cover the face, does not have the same degrading effect. But its claimed good effect – allowing women to be appreciated for their personality and intelligence, and not just as sex objects – is unlikely to succeed. Women covering more of their bodies is not likely to lessen men’s desire. If anything, it makes ordinary interaction more sexually charged by expanding the zone of what is forbidden.

    I can testify to this personally. During our junior year in college, my girlfriend shared an apartment with several other women, one of whom was a conservative Muslim who habitually wore a headscarf. Entering the apartment on one occasion, I caught a glimpse of her in the living room, without her headscarf. There was nothing unusual about her hair: it was long, flowing and black, perfectly ordinary, just like the hair of women I pass every day on the street without being in any way aroused or disturbed by the sight. But when she noticed I was there, she dashed into her room to hide, and I felt a hot bolt of embarrassment and guilt – as if I had accidentally glimpsed her topless.

    I can see this line of argument extending directly to cover the nudity taboos in other societies. Genitalia and female breasts are considered indecent, and so are habitually covered up. Covering them up leads to an increased sexual charge relating to them, which then circles back to reinforce the notion that they’re indecent. There’s likely an initial reason for covering them up (support for the breasts, protection for the genitals) which led to their being unseen and thus sexualized, and given that, it’s not necessarily such a bad thing that they’re covered up now. Of course, it does become a bad thing when people take it to extremes.

  • http://infophilia.blogspot.com Infophile

    I will grant that the hijab, since it does not cover the face, does not have the same degrading effect. But its claimed good effect – allowing women to be appreciated for their personality and intelligence, and not just as sex objects – is unlikely to succeed. Women covering more of their bodies is not likely to lessen men’s desire. If anything, it makes ordinary interaction more sexually charged by expanding the zone of what is forbidden.

    I can testify to this personally. During our junior year in college, my girlfriend shared an apartment with several other women, one of whom was a conservative Muslim who habitually wore a headscarf. Entering the apartment on one occasion, I caught a glimpse of her in the living room, without her headscarf. There was nothing unusual about her hair: it was long, flowing and black, perfectly ordinary, just like the hair of women I pass every day on the street without being in any way aroused or disturbed by the sight. But when she noticed I was there, she dashed into her room to hide, and I felt a hot bolt of embarrassment and guilt – as if I had accidentally glimpsed her topless.

    I can see this line of argument extending directly to cover the nudity taboos in other societies. Genitalia and female breasts are considered indecent, and so are habitually covered up. Covering them up leads to an increased sexual charge relating to them, which then circles back to reinforce the notion that they’re indecent. There’s likely an initial reason for covering them up (support for the breasts, protection for the genitals) which led to their being unseen and thus sexualized, and given that, it’s not necessarily such a bad thing that they’re covered up now. Of course, it does become a bad thing when people take it to extremes.

  • http://www.alisonblogs.com Alison

    We have a very large Orthodox Jewish community near us, and we always see the women and children dressed in their severe way. . .Long sleeves, shirts that cover the neck, long skirts and opaque tights. . .and the wigs. Once a woman is married, she is required to cover her head – some sects require that she completely shave off her hair and then wear a wig. During our hot, humid summers, all this covering up seems downright inhumane. And it’s all about “modesty” and “respect for god”. What struck me as ironic not too long ago, though, is that in order to show the same “respect”, the men never cut their beards or the locks on the sides of the head. Why is it “respectful” to shave off or cut one kind of hair, but grow another? For that matter, why do they require circumcision but prohibit ear piercing or tattoos? In a lot of ways, their rules make less sense than the Muslim ones, which exist more simply to keep women under the control of their fathers, husbands, and brothers. Regardless, religious dress codes are yet another ritual that reminds followers to be mindlessly obedient, especially the women. . .

  • http://corsair.blogspot.com corsair the rational pirate

    As for the Ultra Orthodox Jews, why do they dress like 19th Century Eastern Europeans to assuage their god’s anger or follow his rules or whatever? Why that cutoff date? Why not 12th century Spanish Jews or 6th century Roman Jews or even 20th century German Jews? If they really wanted to gain favor in his eyes, shouldn’t they really dress like Moses?

  • http://corsair.blogspot.com corsair the rational pirate

    As for the Ultra Orthodox Jews, why do they dress like 19th Century Eastern Europeans to assuage their god’s anger or follow his rules or whatever? Why that cutoff date? Why not 12th century Spanish Jews or 6th century Roman Jews or even 20th century German Jews? If they really wanted to gain favor in his eyes, shouldn’t they really dress like Moses?

  • Polly

    By design, they are dehumanizing and degrading, and remain so even if the woman freely chooses them for herself.

    The last part interests me because it touches on a question in my own mind but at the opposite side of the spectrum. Would you (or anyone who wants to respond) say that employment as a stripper or as a prostitute is degrading to a woman? Even if she freely chooses it from among other options? (this is not a “trick” question, I genuinely want to hear others’ opinions)

    IMO, I see no reason that prostitution shouldn’t be legal and heavily regulated. It satisfies a natural physical need that may not otherwise get satisfied for some poor schmuck who can’t get a date (this is not personal, I’m happily married). I realize some “clients” just want something their siginificant others refuse to provide, nevertheless, the overall function is to provide PHYSICAL intimacy.

    On the other hand, stripping seems to be the creation or enhancement of an artificial and mostly manufactured desire for (mostly) manufactured bodies. To me, intuitively, it actually seems MORE dehumanizing.

    What about boob jobs? I have real problems with the idea that a woman should have surgery to adjust something about their perfectly normal and healthy bodies. Even if they, themselves, want it for their own self-image, shouldn’t they rather be encouraged to adjust their psychology? At least try that first?

    (Bear in mind, I’m male)

  • Polly

    By design, they are dehumanizing and degrading, and remain so even if the woman freely chooses them for herself.

    The last part interests me because it touches on a question in my own mind but at the opposite side of the spectrum. Would you (or anyone who wants to respond) say that employment as a stripper or as a prostitute is degrading to a woman? Even if she freely chooses it from among other options? (this is not a “trick” question, I genuinely want to hear others’ opinions)

    IMO, I see no reason that prostitution shouldn’t be legal and heavily regulated. It satisfies a natural physical need that may not otherwise get satisfied for some poor schmuck who can’t get a date (this is not personal, I’m happily married). I realize some “clients” just want something their siginificant others refuse to provide, nevertheless, the overall function is to provide PHYSICAL intimacy.

    On the other hand, stripping seems to be the creation or enhancement of an artificial and mostly manufactured desire for (mostly) manufactured bodies. To me, intuitively, it actually seems MORE dehumanizing.

    What about boob jobs? I have real problems with the idea that a woman should have surgery to adjust something about their perfectly normal and healthy bodies. Even if they, themselves, want it for their own self-image, shouldn’t they rather be encouraged to adjust their psychology? At least try that first?

    (Bear in mind, I’m male)

  • Judy

    Ebonmuse,

    I SO wish every religious fundamentalist who treats women this way could read this post and understand the cruelty behind their actions. I’m sure the women are just afraid of the men, but I wouldn’t be afraid of those bastards. I am a black female, and while this might sound terrible, I am glad that my ancestors (from Africa) were dragged to America, because if I just had to be born, I’m glad I was born in America with our freedoms and where women aren’t treated this way. Knowing my personality, if I had been born into a culture where women are treated this way, I’d raise all kinds of “hell”, at risk of my life, I’m sure. I wonder, if females were the dominant gender in these fundamentalist religions and ordered the males to cover up to extremes, for how long would the males stand for it before they revolt? Not long, I suspect.

    In answer to Polly’s question about women’s employment as strippers and prostitutes, I find that anything that reduces a woman or her body parts to something for ANONYMOUS men’s enjoyment, entertainment and use, no matter how mutual, is degrading and, quite frankly, disgusting. Making yourself available for the ogling and use of anonymous strangers has to be deadening. I guess I just believe that physical sexual intimacy should be between two people who care for each other, and that’s probably my emotions talking (ha ha!). As for boob jobs, I don’t condone them for the purpose of making breasts larger if you already have decent-enough size. No woman in her right mind wants heavy breasts (I speak from experience, they are a painful burden), and most women who get them always get sizes that are beyond ridiculous, making them look freakish.

  • Darren

    Judy, do you think your personality is as it is because of the freedoms you enjoy as an American citizen? Supposing you were born in Africa to strict Muslim parents, do you think your personality would be severely repressed from an early age so that you would never reach your true potential “to raise all kinds of hell”? This is how I see it for millions of Muslim women, and I think it is an abomination, a shame to the human race.

    Islam is still in it’s Dark Ages, and there can be no progress towards universal human rights unless and until it reforms it’s attitudes to women.

  • http://spaninquis.wordpress.com/ John P

    I can see this line of argument extending directly to cover the nudity taboos in other societies. Genitalia and female breasts are considered indecent, and so are habitually covered up. Covering them up leads to an increased sexual charge relating to them, which then circles back to reinforce the notion that they’re indecent. There’s likely an initial reason for covering them up (support for the breasts, protection for the genitals) which led to their being unseen and thus sexualized, and given that, it’s not necessarily such a bad thing that they’re covered up now. Of course, it does become a bad thing when people take it to extremes.

    Have you ever been to a nude beach, a nude resort, or any other place where nudity is not only accepted, but the standard? It is totally de-sexualized. No erections, no embarrassment, no sexual content whatsoever.

    Man’s a primate whose natural state is naked. Clothes are functional, but beyond their functional uses (especially in colder climes) they are totally unnecessary.

  • OMGF

    I’ve always said that if it’s men’s sexual desires are the problem, then rather than Muslim women having to veil themselves, Muslim men should have to blindfold themselves, and have the women lead them around.

    Exactly. If Muslim men can’t keep it in their pants, it’s their own short-coming and women shouldn’t be punished for it. But, of course, we are talking about religion where people are routinely punished for the short-comings of their gods, so it does at least fit the pattern.

  • bassmanpete

    Have you ever been to a nude beach, a nude resort, or any other place where nudity is not only accepted, but the standard? It is totally de-sexualized. No erections, no embarrassment, no sexual content whatsoever.

    Man’s a primate whose natural state is naked. Clothes are functional, but beyond their functional uses (especially in colder climes) they are totally unnecessary.

    Bertrand Russell in his book ‘Education and the Good Life’ wrote that ‘a child should, from the first, be allowed to see his parents and brothers and sisters without their clothes whenever it so happens naturally. No fuss should be made either way; he should simply not know that people have feelings about nudity.’ Seems like a perfectly common sense idea to me, and probably a lot of people’s sexual hang-ups would be avoided if it was taken up universally.

    However this, amongst other things, was used by his critics (largely from the Protestant & Catholic churches) to have him dismissed from his appointment to the College of the City of New York in 1941. And here we are over 60 years later & these attitudes are still prevalent in our societies (I’m in Australia.)

  • Malky

    Just a minor practical point. I am hard of hearing and need to see someones face to properly communicate with them Wearing a veil which covers the face/mouth just cuts communication to practically nil.

  • http://20gramsoul.com Richard Rosalion

    This is a really difficult one for me, while I agree with most of what you’ve said, I think taking it to the point where any veil is dehumanising “even if the woman freely chooses them for herself” might be taking things a little far.

    I’ve gone into my views about this in a little more detail on my blog

  • http://20gramsoul.com Richard Rosalion

    Oops… didn’t notice this one when I made my last comment…

    @ Malky

    I totally understand your point of view – My girlfriend is deaf, and she finds it difficult to understand anyone if they cover their mouth while they speak, or people with bushy beards.

    While I understand communication is vitally important, I would still argue that every man (or woman, perhaps?) has the right to grow whatever facial hair they choose. I even have one deaf friend who chooses to have a very bushy beard (despite knowing that it can be difficult for other deaf people to understand him). FORCING people to grow/not grow facial hair, on the other hand….

  • Pingback: 20 gram Soul

  • Archi Medez

    The prescribed covering up of Muslim women in public in Islam does have some basis in the Quran (24:31, 33:59). However, as is often the case, the Quran does not have sufficiently clear or detailed instructions, so mainstream Muslim scholars and jurists refer to the Hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad which Muslims take to indicate what is permitted or not permitted) in order to find out, in this case, how much skin, and which areas, should be covered. Here is one such hadith:

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4092:
    “Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands.”

    This suggests that the face and hands can be exposed; though there are other interpretations of other hadith that suggest that even more veiling is required. (The above hadith, however, does suggest that the burqa and niqab involve too much covering, even by Muhammad’s strict standards). With the widespread revival of Islamic law throughout Islamic countries in the past century, and particularly in the past few decades, more head-coverings, veils, niqabs, jilbabs, etc., have been appearing increasingly.

    There a re numerous major problems with the extensive coverings. For example, it is now well-established scientifically that women who use the Islamic coverings have vitamin D deficiencies due to lack of exposure to the sun. Even allowing exposure of the face and hands is insufficient. The extent of the vitamin D deficiency is determined by the amount of covering: The more skin covered, the less vitamin D. The negative effects on health are serious:

    “There are many reports in medical literature about the consequences of severe vitamin D deficiency caused by the use of the veil and burqa.
    In Lebanon, girls who simply wear a veil have half the lab-test values for vitamin D as their classmates who do not wear a veil. Taking vitamin D increases the gain in bone density in girls before puberty. The women of Saudi Arabia commonly suffer back pain that is cured just with vitamin D supplementation.
    Imagine the consequence of moving north to Europe or Canada, where people sustain themselves through the winter with the vitamin D made in skin during the summer. If skin is covered, sunshine is not an option. Women who wear veils or burqas must take vitamin D supplement pills. Public health statistics now show that a lack of vitamin D is as bad for health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Vitamin D is a simple solution, but by the time women realize the health problem of the burqa, it may be too late.”

    Source: Reinhold Vieth, Professor, Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Laboratory Medicine, University of Toronto
    http://www.news.utoronto.ca/inthenews/archive/2006_07_11.html

    Also see this.

    Indeed the use of the extensive coverings is linked to a ranged of health problems:

    “Furthermore, the mandatory act of wearing burqas itself causes health risks. They are so heavy and enveloping that they restrict women’s activities by making it difficult for them to move. The simple act of walking outside becomes hazardous because the mesh opening severely restricts women’s field of vision and they are unable to see their path clearly. In addition, burqas are linked to hearing loss, skin problems, headaches, cardiac disorder, asthma, and also can contribute to mental health problems. PHR revealed that the Afghan women who participated in its study demonstrated alarmingly high levels of mental illness: 97% displayed symptoms of major depression, and 86% reported signs of anxiety. These problems are linked to the oppressive conditions imposed on women and are significantly aggravated by the constant stress of restrictions on their movement and confinement to burqas.”

    Source: http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/06/2taliban.cfm
    The Health Care Crisis Facing Women Under Taliban Rule in Afghanistan
    by Stephanie Dubitsky
    Human Rights Brief Volume 6, Issue 2, beginning at page 10 is: 6 No. 2 Hum. Rts. Brief 10 (1999).

    Also, the darker a women’s skin, the more sunlight she needs for her body to manufacture the vitamin D. The combination of darker skin, living in northern latitude, and wearing Islamic coverings combine to create a high risk of vitamin D deficiency for these women. I have read that women who wear the Islamic coverings, and thereby do not get enough sunlight, should take a vitamin D supplement. It is now widely believed that healthy levels of vitamin D in the body serve to fight off various cancers.

    A different kind of problem with the coverings that cover the face, such as the burqa and niqab, is the potential for their abuse as disguises used by males in crime and terrorism. Such cases have been reported in the news in recent years (e.g., terrorists using the disguises to get past security check-points), though the use of the coverings by male jihadists as disguises dates back at least to Khalid bin Waleed, a companion of Muhammad. (The warrior bin Waleed in the feminine burqa-like disguise was able to approach one of his enemies and crush his ribs, killing him).

    Another problem with the coverings is the clear social segregation which results from it. Women are segregated to some extent from Muslim men, and are further segregated from non-Muslims because the veil (from a non-Muslim perspective) discourages social interactions with the wearer. Societies change and evolve, to some extent, as a result of their mingling with other cultures, but the Islamic coverings restrict that type of interaction.

  • Archi Medez

    Another problem associated with the Islamic dress codes for women: Some believers take divine command a little too seriously:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1414137.ece
    Female Pakistani minister shot dead for ‘breaking Islamic dress code’
    Devika Bhat, and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad. From Times Online, February 20, 2007

  • http://inthenuts.blogspot.com King Aardvark

    Someone has to link to Jesus and Mo here.

  • http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com Antigone

    I suppose if a woman can freely “choose” the hijab kinda goes into the nature of choice. If I didn’t get any social benefit from it, I wouldn’t choose to wear makeup and a whole slew of other clothing I wear for reasons. In this case, it is not only religion, but society, that are impressing their views onto women and men.

    Also, wearing scarfs et all probably had very good initial reasons: sand coming up and getting into your hair, hurting your skin et cetera. It is just an example of our culture not being as fast as our evolution.

  • CJ

    Just out of curiosity, to all the above posters who wrote about the nude beaches, I was wondering what you think the Bible’s stance on the subject is? The Eden story seems to give way to two very different conclusions on the matter, 1) Adam and Eve were naked and “not ashamed” before there was any sin, so therefore “God” did not intend them to cover up, or 2) Adam and Eve covered up when they had “knowledge of good and evil,” thereby implying that their being naked was evil. Which school of thought do you subscribe to? (I ask this both to the above posters and Adam, who might want to cover this in a future “Morality of” post. For the record, I am an atheist.)

  • Alex Weaver

    This is a really difficult one for me, while I agree with most of what you’ve said, I think taking it to the point where any veil is dehumanising “even if the woman freely chooses them for herself” might be taking things a little far.

    There’s nothing illogical about a person choosing to be “dehumanized”, and the choice wouldn’t necessarily influence the outcome. However, I suspect this was put in mainly to counter arguments in defense of veiling that women are “choosing” to wear them, conveniently ignoring a degree of culture pressure and prejudice, and doctrinal anxiety, that arguably makes the choice, even if it is one, rather less than free.

  • http://20gramsoul.com Richard Rosalion

    Alex – I certainly agree that it’s possible there is no real choice, but this post suggests that even if they DO have a choice (assuming, therefore, that that is a possibility) that it’s still just as bad.

    I’ve hopefully explained myself a little better on the blog post I linked to earlier.

  • http://20gramsoul.com Richard Rosalion

    Alex – I certainly agree that it’s possible there is no real choice, but this post suggests that even if they DO have a choice (assuming, therefore, that that is a possibility) that it’s still just as bad.

    I’ve hopefully explained myself a little better on the blog post I linked to earlier.

  • http://www.anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    What is really damaging about these strict dress codes and the ban on contact between men and women is that they make it virtually impossible for women to participate meaningfully in the workforce or in civil society. Simple acts of friendship, like when that female Pakistani tourism minister hugged her European skydiving coach after a jump, become twisted into something scandalous and indecent. I blogged about this last month, inspired by that t-shirt design I saw which features two niqab wearing women and a caption that reads “Thank you for not provoking my uncontrollable lust.”

  • http://www.anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    What is really damaging about these strict dress codes and the ban on contact between men and women is that they make it virtually impossible for women to participate meaningfully in the workforce or in civil society. Simple acts of friendship, like when that female Pakistani tourism minister hugged her European skydiving coach after a jump, become twisted into something scandalous and indecent. I blogged about this last month, inspired by that t-shirt design I saw which features two niqab wearing women and a caption that reads “Thank you for not provoking my uncontrollable lust.”

  • jen

    Just a quick note… women are NOT required to veil in islam. If you hear of a woman being made to do something, it is her misguided husband and NOT islam that is making her.

  • jen

    Just a quick note… women are NOT required to veil in islam. If you hear of a woman being made to do something, it is her misguided husband and NOT islam that is making her.

  • Alex Weaver

    Care to back that assertion up with some evidence to counter what’s been provided to the contrary?

  • Ta Da!

    The evidence is that it is NOT written in the Qu’ran, and there no where in the religion that specifically tells women to wear the Hijab. The reason why so many muslims think that women HAVE to wear Hijab is due to the fact that they are following something called a Hadith, and not the Qu’ran itself. The Hadith was written after the Qu’ran, and is simply a collection of scholars trying to interpret the Qu’ran, however, people mistaken this as the actual religion and follow. Hijab mainly stems from a cultural agenda that has been practiced for such an extensive period of time, that people ignorantly accept it without any true reasoning on why. It isn’t the Islamic religion itself that punishes women, it’s the blind followers who impose what they think is “religion”, onto their children, which soon becomes a habit that is passed down through generations.

    The majority of conciously aware muslims understand that Hijab is an optional accessory that is left to the decision of the woman herself, and to force it upon her is cruel. So try not to direct your attention on extremists, or hard headed religious followers who are focused on archaic habits or else you are going to get stuck seeing one side of the issue.

  • Alex Weaver

    The majority of conciously aware muslims understand that Hijab is an optional accessory that is left to the decision of the woman herself, and to force it upon her is cruel. So try not to direct your attention on extremists, or hard headed religious followers who are focused on archaic habits or else you are going to get stuck seeing one side of the issue.

    If your characterization of “the majority of consciously aware Muslims” is accurate, what you’re basically asking us to do is spray the entire street with water instead of the building that’s actually on fire. And if Muslims in general object to being lumped in with the “extremists” because so far they haven’t done anything effective to curb the damage said extremists do, there’s a VERY simple solution.

  • Alex Weaver

    The majority of conciously aware muslims understand that Hijab is an optional accessory that is left to the decision of the woman herself, and to force it upon her is cruel. So try not to direct your attention on extremists, or hard headed religious followers who are focused on archaic habits or else you are going to get stuck seeing one side of the issue.

    If your characterization of “the majority of consciously aware Muslims” is accurate, what you’re basically asking us to do is spray the entire street with water instead of the building that’s actually on fire. And if Muslims in general object to being lumped in with the “extremists” because so far they haven’t done anything effective to curb the damage said extremists do, there’s a VERY simple solution.

  • Ta Da

    There isn’t a very simple solution, and it’s naive to think so, I would love to hear how “simple” your solution is. The mass media stereotypes and characterizes muslims on a mass scale, and ontop of that, Muslims don’t have any real say in what the media spews out onto its’ viewers. Asking muslims to stop these extremists is like telling North American cultures to abolish all people with racist, or sexist
    mind frames, it isn’t that simple to try to single out people and get them to change, don’t look at things in hypothetical situations, look at it realistically.

  • Ta Da

    There isn’t a very simple solution, and it’s naive to think so, I would love to hear how “simple” your solution is. The mass media stereotypes and characterizes muslims on a mass scale, and ontop of that, Muslims don’t have any real say in what the media spews out onto its’ viewers. Asking muslims to stop these extremists is like telling North American cultures to abolish all people with racist, or sexist
    mind frames, it isn’t that simple to try to single out people and get them to change, don’t look at things in hypothetical situations, look at it realistically.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X