Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Is hijab freedom of choice?

If you are an adult, and have made a conscious, educated decision to wear it as an article of faith.

But what about if you are a child, or a teenage girl?

What if all of your life, you are taught that girls or women who don't cover themselves are loose, dirty or whores? Surely in that case, you are not coming from a postion of knowledge, but rather one of prejudice?

Instead of seeing a girl as just a girl, you see in her the personification of unclean. Would you want to be seen like that?

And what about when you go to school? If you are going to a state school, you meet girls of other beliefs, or even no beliefs, but they don't sleep around, they don't tempt men into sin. They are other people, that's all. You can't tell me that there is no confusion there.

Being a teenager is diffcult enough at the best of times. Added pressure to conform to a religious or cultural dress code that is also restrictive can only make life more confusing.

This is, of course, my opinion only.

I'm just not the only one who thinks this way.

Please read the defence of the banning of the veil from the Middle East Women's site. The rest of the site is well worth a look, also.


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Caz said...

There was an excellent article about Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Good Weekend, 15 October. Did you see it?

Only a small part of the long article discussed her devotion, as a teenage girl, to Islam, ditto the devotion shown by her class mates. "We all wanted to be martyrs", she said. They stopped playing sports, they covered themselves, they hated Israel "with a passion", even though they had no idea where Israel was, and had never met an Israeli. Her mother was, apparently, “both delighted at her daughter’s piety and a bit shocked by the Shite form it was taking”.

There is nothing unique to Islam about this type of fanaticism, particularly in the young. All religions want their converts as children, all the better to brainwash them, and it IS brainwashing. Children, including teenagers, are often the most devout and committed of all, as they accept, without analysis, what they are told by adults and by their parents, and taking on the extreme view and total devotion leads to a great deal of community praise – a marvelous reward for any child.

Confusion? No, I think there would be far less confusion than you imagine, because the inculcating of young minds is intoxicating and exciting to the recipient; it’s a ready made identity and point of differentiation from their (lesser) peers. They receive praise for rigid conformance in their own community, while being proud of their “individualism” when comparing themselves to their non-Muslims peers. It’s got everything going for it, and the pliable child / teenage mind is just ready and waiting.

The potent brainwashing offered by religion will always beat peer pressure, drugs, sex, rock n roll, and Western culture. Always has, always will.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Good point, caz. I hadn't thought it through to that level, I guess. Still trying to assimilate all the information out there.

At least, that's my excuse. :)


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