Last Wednesday, social media was abuzz with the published findings of a recent study conducted in the “Muslim world” (Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey).
The initial study was done by University of Michigan and looked at religious tolerance and secularism in Tunisia in comparison with six other nations. Although the initial poll covered a multitude of questions regarding political and religious situations in the Middle East, the focus of the poll, as presented by Pew Research Center,was “How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public.” This is one of THE MOST FAVOURITE questions of Muslimah Media Watch.
Sarcasm aside, the discussion around Muslim women’s dress is an ongoing global obsession. The discussions persist in the West about hijab as we write about them, write about them more, and then some more.In fact, I (and many more Muslim women around the globe) am so eager to receive results on studies dedicated to what respondents think of our (un)veiling and attire. Even more exciting was the deep analysis by Max Fischer of the Washington Post (and the go-to man of mapping and charts of Muslim countries’ opinions on “everything”), who brings forth such brilliant and novel theories as “Veiling can be controversial in the Middle East.” White, non-Muslim men really have this all figured out. It’s mind-boggling that they even need to poll to inquire other men’s opinions in Muslim majority countries.
A few of the most pointed and obvious critiques of this study are as follows: [Read more...]