As it stands, two Muslim clerics who run phone helplines in India have said it’s not okay for women to post their pictures — veiled or unveiled, I don’t know — on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“You can’t see someone’s face on Facebook and decide that you want to be friends. Look for ‘pyar aur mohabbat’ (love) in real life. Virtual relationships are not ‘faydaymand’ (profitable),” Sunni Mufti Abul Irfan Naimul Halim Firagni Mahli told PTI on phone from Lucknow.
“If one is on Facebook for business purposes or for constructive purposes, then the account is justifiable,” he said.
“Women should not post pictures on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet. This is un-Islamic,” he said.
More importantly, what exactly is un-Islamic about women’s pictures? The article never says, though it’s safe to assume it has something to do with Muslim men’s inability to control themselves when a woman shows some skin, even in small doses like you might see in a Facebook profile picture selfie. The solution, therefore, is not for men to get some self-control, but for women to refrain from fully using social media.
The other cleric was no better, offering precisely that explanation:
A Maulana from the minority Shia sect too endorsed the Mufti’s views.
“Women are not allowed to show their faces to anyone apart from their ‘mehram’ (male kin like father and brothers). So posting pictures on Facebook is ‘haraam’ (banned),” Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi told PTI.
Here’s what brave Muslim women everywhere should do: Post their pictures on Facebook and tag Abbas Naqvi just to spite the guy.
Ditto with the other guy once I figure out what his name is.
(Thanks to Shashi for the link!)