Question: Why Do Muslim Men Talk About Hijaab?

You can think of this as a sequel to my post on “Stop Telling Muslim Women How to Dress,” and maybe it sounds a little redundant, but I want to zero in on why Muslim men, whether they are scholars or not, feel entitled to speak about the hijaab.  Moreover, why do we often hold their stance and opinion on the topic in such high regard?

I’m asking because Muslim male authority on the hijaab and “modest dress” (whatever that means) is something I’ve always noticed in the Muslim community. I remember noticing once that one of my Islamic books, brilliantly titled “Hijaab,” was written not by a woman, but a man! There were several times during my first years of college when I felt the necessity to defend hijaab, not only because of the way Islamophobes stereotyped hijaab-wearing Muslim women as “oppressed” and “submissive,” but also because I believed my opinion was highly valued by Muslim women.

I am not going to conclude that all Muslim men believe it is their “religious obligation” to encourage women to wear the hijaab, but from my experiences in mainstream Sunni mosques, Muslim Student Association (MSA) events, and interacting with Muslim men, the emphasis on “modest dress” is primarily directed at women, implying that they should wear hijaab. Also strongly present in this discourse is that Muslim women should dress “modestly” because it protects them from lustful gazes and a man’s uncontrollable sexual desires.

It is difficult not to see how Muslim men are (1) holding women responsible for their sexual thoughts, desires, and/or behaviors, (2) dictating how women should dress, and (3) reinforcing their authority and control over women. If the Muslim men who prefer their spouses or relatives to wear hijaab cannot impose it, they will preach it in a way that makes non-hijaab-wearing women feel guilty and like “bad Muslims.” More on this later.

The problem with Muslim men constantly preaching about hijaab and feeling a sense of urgency to talk about it is that it implies Muslim women cannot speak for themselves and that their opinions are not as important or credible. I find it quite awkward and irrational when a Muslim man, especially a scholar, shares his thoughts on hijaab for several reasons. For one, Muslim men do not and cannot fully understand the lived experiences of Muslim women, both those who wear hijaab and don’t. Second, it would be like asking a White non-Muslim man to discuss how people of color “should feel” about whatever experiences they may have had with racism in their lives. It doesn’t make sense when one could be talking to the affected people directly. What does a Muslim man know about being a Muslim woman and wearing or not wearing hijaab? Nothing. So, why not talk to Muslim women themselves? Why not let Muslim women scholars address and discuss this topic? Wouldn’t that generate a richer discussion instead of listening to Muslim men simply sharing their “thoughts” and “scholarly knowledge” about something that will never affect them?

When we allow male heterosexual interpretations dominate the discourse, it leads to pushing fellow Muslims out of our community. In particular, Muslim women who don’t wear hijaab are far too often stigmatized, marginalized, and excluded by other Muslims. At Islamic conventions, banquets, or even art festivals, the absence of non-hijaab wearing Muslim speakers, activists and artists is extremely shameful. At a time when Islamophobia is rampantly growing and hating on Muslims is defended as “free speech,” our community works very hard to break stereotypes, but at the same time, we ignore the oppression existing within our community – and I’m not even talking about what happens in Muslim majority-countries either, I’m talking about how we treat each other here in North America.

Let me quickly share a true story to illustrate what I’m getting at: the other day, I was waiting at the traffic light when I noticed a White police officer in the car next to me. He kept staring at me and shooting me dirty looks. I considered the possibility that the music I had playing reminded him of the sad and lonely time when he missed the “Niyaz” concert earlier this year, hence the angry look. Or, I considered the possibility that he was simply racist scum. Anyway, it is one thing for me to anticipate these kinds of encounters with ignorant White non-Muslims, but I believe it is worse when people of color do it to each other, or more specifically, when Muslims do it to other Muslims. This is why it upsets me when I hear Muslim women share their experiences of discrimination and judgment from within our community just because they don’t wear the hijaab. I cannot speak for them, but no one should have to feel that way in their own community (or anywhere, really). The fact that they feel this way and the rest of the community overlooks it – along with other problems like the way non-Arab Muslims are treated – represents a large and serious problem that we need to resolve.

If we Muslims truly care about the unity of the Ummah – something that we always seem to groan and complain about – then critical self-reflection is required. Rather than focusing on how Muslim women dress, Muslim men should turn inward and address serious issues like the misogynistic interpretations of the Qur’an, the way we’re conditioned to perceive and treat women, and how patriarchy is counter-productive to Islam’s message of gender equality. Muslim men need to trust that Muslim women are smart enough to discuss hijaab and dress code on their own. We also need to become allies for the Muslim women who seek equal prayer space, equal opportunities, and equal rights in our community.

These sermons on hijaab or how women dress are getting old and nauseating. It’s time we take some responsibility and examine what needs to be improved if we really care about preserving the Prophet’s message (peace be upon him).

102 thoughts on “Question: Why Do Muslim Men Talk About Hijaab?

  1. Ellen says:

    Agreed… I don’t wear hijab right now and I would like to in the future but I know that even then a man would find something wrong with the clothes I’d be wearing!

    That being said, the best advice I ever heard on hijab was from a sheikh who understood how it feels to stand out because he wore a turban and robes full time. I think that in that case, he was justified to say his opinion but as for a brother who wears tight clothes? No way. That’s what annoys me the most! When men who don’t follow their own hijab expect women to be these pious creatures. Sure, we can do that but what about they do something too?

  2. If a Muslim woman wants to wear this manner of dress she should do so and similarly if she does not want to wear it there should not be negative social pressure against this choice. Also realize that too often in some Muslim majority countries the minority groups such as Christians ,must suffer under these sharia laws and Islamic social conventions which they want nothing to do with! Please respect the Christians right to worship and live how they see fit. Christians are governed by the Bible *not* the Koran. It’s hypocritical of Saudi Arabia to ban anyone wearing Christian cross or carrying Bible in public, yet non-Christians must listen all day to the Call to Prayer, Christian women must wear head covering, Saudi Arabi aggressively promotes its far right school of Islam Wahabbism all over the world, etc.

    • Zach,

      This post is not about the way Christians are treated in Muslim-majority countries. I’m speaking specifically about the way a lot of Muslim men obsess over the way Muslim women dress in our community.

      Also, why are you speaking about Muslims as if they’re all a single entity and think exactly alike like robots? Do you see anywhere on my blog where I said I don’t respect Christians and their right to worship? Who are you addressing with your comments? I can’t figure that out. You are doing what I call the “flying carpet fallacy.” Read my blog post on it here:

      http://muslimreverie.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/the-flying-carpet-fallacy/

      • Salam Jehanzeb,

        No I realize there is no monolithic “Muslim”. Islam has many different schools of thought and there are regional and cultural differences as well and then individual differences of personality, mind etc. This is a forum where I see some nice discussion between Muslims about issues that affect them so I, as a Christian, thought it would be nice to get some of these other issues to the surface. Just as if I were a Muslim living in America I would like to see Christians discussing how Muslims are welcomed or not here. No offense was intended.

      • Well Zach if you’re concerned about how Muslims are treated here in America, then perhaps it would be nice if Christians started speaking up about things like “Burn a Qu’ran” day. With the current climate it doesn’t seem like many Muslims do feel welcomed here.

        Also sorry for going off topic.

  3. Mohammad says:

    Stop worrying about what men think and worry about what Allah thinks. Stop worrying about what men find wrong with your clothes and worry about what Allah will find wrong with your clothes.

    You know what Allah says through the Qur’an and the interpretations of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) as brought to us by the authentic sources and his companions, the Sahaba (ra).

    • Mohammad,

      It seems like you’re suggesting that Muslim women don’t know how to think for themselves and aren’t God-conscious. With that comment, you’re basically telling them what to do. How about we Muslim men focus on ourselves and deconstruct our own problems, like the ones I mentioned in the post?

    • Salaam,
      Isn’t that another way of softening a criticism about our clothing choices? I will not defend my clothing choices to a man. I am a modest dresser but for personal reasons, do not choose hijab.
      Ramadan Kareem
      anthrogeek10

  4. Wa salaam Zach,

    I appreciate your response and thanks for your understanding. Just so you know, the United States is home to millions of Muslim-Americans, including myself. I never lived in a Muslim-majority country, and while I feel it is important to break stereotypes about those countries and address the problems, I do not have the experience of living there. My home is America. Also, one of the goals with this blog is to build positive relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. I have plenty of Christian-American friends who believe Muslims (and all people) are welcome in the US.

    • That is a good goal and I am one of those American Christians who believes that. I have Muslim friends I chat with weekly in Iran and Iraq and two friends in Pakistan.

    • I have lived in a Muslim majority country and I sure felt like an anomoly most of the time; just like when I spend time in a local masjid. Thank Allah for my new group of American Muslims. Awesome group of people.

      anthrogeek10

  5. Salaam,

    I think it is easier to fixate on what is most visible, which happens to be the headscarf. We also tend to hear more about hijab and other aspects of the religion from men, as men far outnumber women as scholars (although some women during the time of Prophet Muhammad (saws) and just afterward were quite outspoken in teaching the faith).

    With that being said, it seems that it is often forgotten that men have hijab as well – both physical and mental. Men must also adhere to modest dress, and they must also lower their gaze and not stare at women (and also shouldn’t chase them, yell them, make inappropriate or derogatory remarks to them, or basically just act like wild animals whenever they see an uncovered or ‘insufficiently’ covered woman). When men neglect their obligatory end of the deal, women are unfairly stuck with carrying the huge burden of responsibility for both sides!

  6. The fact that so many Muslim men are concerned with how Muslim women dress shows that the imposition of hijab is more about following patriarchal norms than about worshiping Allah. It can only be about worship if it is a choice made without compulsion. Leaving talk about women’s dress to women might help but women also enforce patriarchal norms. I think the ideal solution would be to *not* talk about how women *should* dress at all but rather let individuals share their own experiences, e.g. “When I wear x, I feel close to Allah.” This would lead to more respectful conversations among women who do and don’t wear hijab as well as between women and men.

    • Ayeshter says:

      Yes! you bring up an execellent point! Women can often be worse than men in this regurd. Lord knows how many women in know in my own comunity whos lives have have been made so hard by other women’s swift judgements. I think the problem of patriachy is much more deep rooted and will not be simply fixed by just designating hijab as a “women’s issue”.

      But the thing that gets me, why are we just talking about hijab? To me thats mearly the tip of the iceburg. What about the all over sexual double standards ie. Boys will be boys, but women must bleed like a slaughted goat on there wedding night or else their shamed for eternaty. Althought this case may seem to spacificly deal with sex, alot of restrictions are placed on women (that in most cases are not placed on men) becouse of it. To me THIS is a bigger problem that must be taken into account, for it effects all Muslim women, hijabi and non-hijabi alike.

  7. Saf says:

    This has been playing on my mind for some time, well since this time last year. I’ve often felt the pressure to conform to the Islamic society around me and don the hijaab. Interacting with other Muslims always left that little echo with me that whispered ‘If you’re Muslim then why aren’t you wearing hijaab?’. Aside from not wearing hijaab, I dress modestly yet my Muslim sisters, who wear hijaab, dress almost as if to say ‘Yes I’m wearing hijaab but I’m still hot/sexy/etc’.

    Also, you touched upon exclusion from the Muslim community. This is SO true – the number of times a Muslim has asked me ‘But do you pray?’. Since when was this their business? That’s between Allah and me thank you very much.

    Basically, it’s an annoying problem that unfortunately exists and I’m glad you wrote this. I don’t think it’ll ever be solved though – some men will always feel the need to speak for women and act as if they are the next single authority on Islam after the Quran.

    Jazakallah.

  8. Very good post. I’m not Muslim but as an outsider, this is something I’ve noticed. Besides I don’t see Muslim women telling Muslim men they must grow beards.

    Just sayin… :P

  9. What a brilliant post! I hope you don’t mind that I re-posted it on my blog.

    As a non-hijabi Muslima, I can’t emphasize how many times I’ve felt like I’m not a good Muslim simply because I don’t cover my hair. I’m sick of it, and I’m really sick of male-dominated Islamic discourses and interpretations. Again, great post!

  10. Because they find Muslim women fascinating.

    Also, more importantly, they see themselves as bastions of Islam, the one’s who are crucial to it’s “proper implementation” and of course they HAVE to “save” the women from themselves; we are weak, dumb, creatures you know….

    Nevermind what they dress like themselves, it’s the Muslim women they have to save!

  11. Melinda says:

    I don’t think patriarchy helps, when men feel they are entitled to comment on everything with a sense of authority even when it doesn’t pertain to them. Similar thing to “mansplaining,” I think.

    Great post, Jehanzeb! I *loved* these lines: I considered the possibility that the music I had playing reminded him of the sad and lonely time when he missed the “Niyaz” concert earlier this year, hence the angry look. Or, I considered the possibility that he was simply racist scum.

  12. Nick says:

    Many muslims who have insisted that women dress modestly have done so because they believe that women who do not dress modestly are partially to blame in that the event that they are raped. Famous muslims who support this view include Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali who described women who do not wear the veil as uncovered meat and Dr. Naik who has explained that if a rapist sees a woman wearing niqab and one wearing a mini-skirt, that the rapist will go after the one in the mini-skirt.

    I understand that you do not believe that men do not have a right to order women to dress a certain way. However, do you believe that immodestly dressed women are partially responsible for when/if they get raped?

    • Nick,

      Based on my posts, do you think I would agree that women are “partially responsible” if they are raped?

      What constitutes a “famous Muslim?” Shahrukh Khan is quite famous too, you know.

    • Melinda says:

      Ohhh wow, don’t say that women are responsible for rape. That is utterly hateful, vile crap. Rapists do not “go after” women dressed in mini skirts. (And there’s a lot of diversity among both niqabs and miniskirts, and a huge array of clothing between them, so why do people get so stuck on this false binary to represent “modest”/”slutty”?) Women are NOT responsible for being rape. Rape is, by definition, NOT WANTED. The only person responsible for rape is the rapist: the person who chooses to disregard, or never take into consideration, another person’s autonomy and desires by FORCING his/her body onto that person. That is an act of violence and a huge lack of respect of the other person as an equal human being with his/her own rights. Someone who has been raped is NEVER responsible for the rape. That is classic victim-blaming, and really misogynistic, disgusting hate speech. Appalling stuff to be suggesting, much less promoting.

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        Forcing one’s body on another unwilling recipient is of course “a huge lack of respect”, this is putting it extremely mildly.
        But it is also a lack of respect for others to go about immodestly and provocatively dressed. If you dress to provoke, you should not be too surprised if you get a reaction. I am pretty sure this is what Nick meant, and as such I agree with him.

    • RenKiss says:

      Nick

      Well ummmm……to me it should be rather obvious that Jehanzeb doesn’t blame women for being raped. Especially identifying as feminist. Yes, Muslims can be feminists. :D And just because Dr. Naik or Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said that, doesn’t mean all Muslims agree with them.

      Shahrukh Khan is kind of hot too. :D

  13. Nick says:

    There is no contradiction between believing that men do not have a right to order women how to dress, yet that women who do dress slutty are partially responsible in the case of rape. It is possible to believe in both of them. You may believe that women have to make their own decisions but that women who dress slutty are knowingly taking on a risk and should be held accountable for that risk. It’s perfectly reasonable for me to ask what your position is on the subject.

    Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali and Dr. Naik are extremely well educated and extremely respected within the Muslim community for their views on Islam. Certainly, there is a strong possibility that they have a better education on the subject than you do and it is for that reason that you ought to respect them as people even if you do not respect their views. That is why I referred to them as famous Muslims.

    Either way, your anger directed at me is misplaced. If you want to be angry you should be angry at the Sheikh and Dr. Naik for holding opposing views to you. However, I don’t think they would particularly mind as they have many, many supporters and are successful under any way that you could and would define success.

    • Nick,

      Please read Melinda’s comment. Also, read my previous post, “Stop Telling Muslim Women How to Dress” (the link is included at the top of this article). After reading it, you can figure out where I stand.

      Also, with all due respect, you don’t have a right to tell me who I should or shouldn’t respect. Just because they are popular Muslims doesn’t mean they reflect the attitudes and beliefs of all Muslims.

    • Hi Nick – where do you draw the line though? One cleric may say a Muslim woman must have the head covering and she will be OK, another cleric may say a burqa covering the entire body is needed.

    • Nick,

      I never got the impression that the author of this blog was/is angry with you. His positioning on this matter is clear–crystal clear. He is not shy regarding his strong support for women’s rights within Islam specifically (but also in general). That said, some positions do not even need to be vocalized by him (in my opinion).
      The Ummah is extremely diverse and thus, so are Islamic scholars. As a Muslim woman, I am judicious about who I support and I can only speak of ONE scholar’s views I would take seriously. of course, when I have more free time, once my education is finished, I can do more research on the matter.

      anthrogeek10

  14. Good point Jehanzeb. Unfortunately Osama bin Laden the mass murderer is very popular in some areas of Islamic community, but that doesn’t mean his views are valid just because he is a popular “famous” Muslim.

    • How do you know Osama bin Laden is “very popular in some areas of Islamic community.” That claim has been proven false in Dalia Mogahed and John L. Esposito’s book, “Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”

      I have never met a single Muslim who is a Osama bin Laden sympathizer. And I have been to Pakistan post 9/11.

    • Jaafar El-Murad says:

      It has never been established as a fact that OBL was anything to do with 9/11, so the “mass murderer” label is not as well-proven as the one that GWB should be wearing round his neck.

  15. Nick says:

    I’ve already explained to you that there is no contradiction between believing that men do not have a right to order women how to dress yet also believing that women who dress slutty invite rape. Your post does not answer how you feel on the issue of rape which is why I asked. I do not see why you have such tension towards me. Also, I agree with Melinda’s comment. I wasn’t sure whether you agreed and judging from the widespread support of the view throughout the muslim world that women who dress slutty are responsible for rape, it was a perfectly legitimate question to ask.

    I suppose that you are correct in that I do not have a right to tell you who you should and should not respect. Personally, since I respect all human beings I assumed that you did as well. My mistake.

    These scholars’ popularity do not reflect the view of all muslims but they reflect the view of their supporters. And their supporters are a large number of people.

    I was also wondering. You were talking about how men do not have the right to order women how to dress but certainly parents have the right to order their children how to dress. At what point, at what age does a girl become a woman and thus has the right to choose how she dresses. What do you see as the age of maturity for women?

    • You wrote: “I’ve already explained to you that there is no contradiction between believing that men do not have a right to order women how to dress yet also believing that women who dress slutty invite rape”

      Well, I completely disagree with you there. If someone advocates against men obsessing over the way women dress, why would one also say women are “partially responsible” if they are raped. That is very hypocritical.

      Define a “large number?” Do you have the estimated number of Muslims who actually share the view you’re talking about?

      As for the “age of maturity” for women, I am not in any position to say. It is best if you direct that question to women themselves.

      • Nick says:

        Let me understand this: you’re actually suggesting that the views that you’re advocating in your article are shared by the majority of the world’s muslims?

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        Jehanzeb, if we tone down Nick’s somewhat extreme statement to say instead “Women who dress in a certain manner risk attracting unwelcome attention to themselves”, would you agree with the statement, or not? The answer is pretty clear to me.

  16. Zach,

    Where are “some places”? What about the Muslims who held candle-light vigils for the 9/11 victims? What about the Muslim majority-countries, including Pakistan and Iran, that condemned the attacks? What about the nation of Iran holding candle-light vigil for 9/11? What about the Saudi mufti condemning the attacks? What about Muslim-American organizations like CAIR condemning the attacks? Why don’t you know about these things?

    Have you been to Pakistan? Have you spoken to the people there?

    Also, why are we talking about Osama bin Laden now? No one supports him here. Why are you bringing it up? The book I mentioned to you is grounded in scientific research. It is the largest study of its kind. You should get a copy of it.

    Please stay on topic.

  17. Yes I am aware of those points. As I said I am not contending support for him is popular, but it does exist. Even with a $20 million reward Osama can elude capture with the help of people and government officials. It is very sad. Yes I will look for that book.

  18. Nick says:

    I want to warn you though for your own good that in many Muslim countries there are blasphemy laws. If I were you, I would keep my views to myself while traveling there because they will punish you with no mercy if they feel that you have crossed the line.

      • Admin Note: Your comment was deleted because you are straying off topic. Islamophobia is a reality. Denying the experiences of people who you are supposedly trying to build positive relations with is not going to be tolerated here. If you want to see what Islamophobia looks like, just look at the uproar about the Islamic center in New York. Please refrain from the flying carpet fallacy — something which I pointed out to you already. I will not engage in cyclical debates. By the way, it’s Ramadan, thanks for showing some respect.

    • Bwa ha ha ha ha. Gosh darn those evil Muslim countries. :D. (note: Doesn’t explain what those countries are)

      Anyways I just realized that Zach and Nick are Person B in the Flying Carpet Fallacy. I don’t know, it seems some people don’t realize that Muslims aren’t this monolithic block. Or perhaps don’t want to realize it.

      I wouldn’t worry about arguing with them, in their minds Muslims will always be radical extremists who support terrorists and Osama Bin Laden. And Nick hasn’t really defined what the “Muslim world” is.

      • Hahaha, I Love how you’re referencing the fallacy. Yay, I’m glad to see that it’s useful. :)

        And yes, Person B speaks about the “Muslim world” as a single entity devoid of diversity.

        I don’t know what else to say to them. I’ve done my best to present the facts and redirect them to credible sources. Oh well. There’s only so much you can do.

      • Admin Note: Zach, I’m repeating myself for the last time. We’re not talking about Osama bin Laden on this thread. Comments unrelated to the actual post will be deleted. As a side note, it is interesting to take note at how a discussion about Muslim gender relations shifted into talking about bin Laden. How does that happen?

  19. Nick,

    Yeah, it’s in the book I already mentioned: “Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” by Dalia Mogahed and John L. Esposito. It is the largest study of its kind, as I said before. Look it up on Amazon.com

    Also, your e-mail address shows up as “dontspamme@gmail.com.” You have posted several comments which I did not approve because they were going on and on about Osama bin Laden. This post is not about Osama bin Laden. Further comments about him will be deleted.

    So, please. Don’t spam me.

  20. Admin note: This comment has been edited to fit within the guidelines of this blog’s comment policy.

    Jehanzeb can I interrupt with some facts. I don’t know what RenKiss and you are going on about referencing these opinions to myself which I NEVER EXPRESSED! I am not talking about Muslims as monolithic or generalizing “all” or “most”. I was careful to qualify all my remarks. It’s interesting I point out that Bin Laden is able to survive because he does get material support and that Bin Laden is popular with __SOME__ Muslims and instead of us discussing why this is and how to deal with it I am told to shut up and that I am somehow talking about all Muslims. Please go back and you will see I never made these absurd claims which are being ascribed to me. Ironically it seems that some here are guilty of speaking about those who even constructively criticize the actions of SOME FEW Muslims as if they are some Islamophobic hate monger. Very disappointing. I was hoping for more enlightened and fair minded discourse.

    • Zach,

      I have repeated myself several times on this thread that we need to stay on topic. Why am I not discussing bin Laden’s supposed supporters? Because this post is about gender relations in the Muslim community. This is intra-community dialogue. Tell me what is so difficult for you to understand about that?

      No one here supports the hijackers you’re talking about. No one is supportive of bin Laden here. So why are you bringing it up? It’s like me asking you why there are people who support the KKK or believe it’s right for a Church to burn the Qur’an on September 11th (as the Dove World Outreach Center is doing this year).

      Am I asking you those questions? Am I putting you on the spot and treating you like a spokesperson for all of Christianity? No, I’m not. So please, leave bin Laden out of this. I already recommended a book to you, which will answer a lot of your questions. Here’s a link:

      http://www.gallup.com/press/104209/who-speaks-islam-what-billion-muslims-really-think.aspx

      That’s the last thing I’m going to say about that.

    • You’re told to shut up because we’re not discussing Osama Bin Laden. This post was about how there are Muslim men who spend so much time obsessing over the hijab. You’re the one who brought up Osama Bin Laden.

      Jehanzeb
      I see this happen quite often actually, you have some non-Muslim who comes to a Muslim website and comments on the post that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

      It’s like they’re trying to seek some reassurance that Muslims aren’t terrorist supporters. But then when they realize that there are Muslims who actually despise terrorism committed in the name of Islam and people like Osama Bin Laden, they treat them like they’re an exception.

      It’s like…you have a post where Muslim is talking about how Muslims are portrayed in the media and this a non-Muslim comes along and starts asking questions like…..”so how do you feel about honor killings?”

      WTF? O_O

      Hey I think I did it again, referenced the Flying Carpet Fallacy. :P

  21. Excellent post, as usual!

    It seems to me that Muslim women risk being damned by the non-Muslim community for wearing hijab, and damned by the Muslm one for not wearing it. Every Muslim woman I have talked to about it is confident she is making a decision about it that is best for her, usually with the support of family. In one instance I am aware of a man asked his wife (both MDs) not to wear hijab until they left the town they were living in and where she was being harassed for it, and were living in a more cosmopolitan setting (in Canada).

    I recently had an incident occur in a bookstore where I was chatting with a Saudi woman wearing a hijab, and I thought it was representative enough to do a blog post on it:

    What’s worse: A Saudi woman in hijab, or with the adhan on her iPhone, or both?

    The Muslim community it the US is too small percentage wise, too diverse, and too targeted to indulge in internecine battles.

    Thanks for this post! :)

  22. Salaam brother,

    Your post is dead on correct!! You are a brilliant young man! I do not wear hijaab and do not anticipate wearing it except in a masjid. I am in Orlando, Florida and belong to Islam Inc (www.islaminc.org) and I credit them for keeping me a Muslim because of their love, acceptance and belief that we all answer to Allah–NOT the community as a whole.

    Are you an anthropologist because you sure exemplify a lack of ethnocentricity and appear to have an accepting spirit……

    Your blog is now one of my regulars.

    anthrogeek10

  23. I don’t recal telling anyone to wear a hijab. However if a thought or opinion came to my mind I would feel entitled to express it, despite being a guy. How a person feels has to do with that persons perception of reality. I could be a scholar worthy of your attention or a crackpot.

    An opinion only troubles if the person expressing. it has some influence with you. As a general matter, all opinions, from men and women should be welcome in the marketplace of ideas. If a woman expressed men should not go to the Masjid without headgear I would not feel like less of a Muslim by not complying, or feel she has no right to an opinion on the matter.

  24. Scub says:

    Being a Muslim teenager in America presents its own set of challenges. Adeeb Masood and Mustafa Abdul Moheeth are seniors at Westwood High School in Round Rock. They are used to battling misconceptions about their faith.

    “You’ve got to learn to cope with it, and you learn to make friends that don’t look at you the way media portrays us,” Masood said. His friend says he tries to be proactive about asserting the normalcy of his identity.

    “Right now what’s happening is like, once you’re labeled as a Muslim, some people start automatically attributing ideas and stuff to you,” Abdul Moheeth said. “It’s really important for Muslims like me and Adeeb to be really proactive about who we are, and like tell other people, ‘Hey, we’re just trying to live with you guys.’”

    Masood and Abdul-Moheeth say they haven’t noticed a particularly pro-Islamic bias in their textbooks. But the possibility that could happen is a concern for conservative activist Randy Rives. He ran unsuccessfully for State Board of Education this year.

  25. Ellie says:

    I’ve only just discovered your blog and I *love* it – particularly your metaphors and analogies.

    The flying carpet fallacy (again, *hearts*) has its parallels in other feminist blogs and safe-spaces – from what I can see, its closest cousin is “WATM” (What about the men?!).

    Generally, WATM comments will begin with something in the way of a teeny, weeny concession to your point (often just “Yes, but…”) and then fly off towards a world where men are somehow oppressed by women. One minute you’re talking about women’s experiences of, let’s say, street harassment. Next minute – Bam! But what about the men?

    It’s frustrating to see that Muslims and people of colour have an equivalent issue, but got to love the solidarity and possibilities for a comparative study at some point! As a white, non-Muslim myself, I’ll have to watch myself and make sure I don’t go in for any inadvertent magic carpeting! :)

  26. Jaafar El-Murad says:

    I have some sympathy with the issue in question but I believe it is a mistake to take this as a male/female thing, falling into the trap of the social scientists, so-called free-thinkers and feminists. For example, the statement “When we allow male heterosexual interpretations dominate the discourse, it leads to pushing fellow Muslims out of our community. In particular, Muslim women who don’t wear hijaab are far too often stigmatized, marginalized, and excluded by other Muslims.”
    On university campuses it is the Hejabi women students who make their sisters feel uncomfortable, perhaps hoping to shame them into donning hejab but instead driving them away from the prayer room and muslim student community in general.
    We should all welcome whatever encouragement we get to get closer to our Deen, and those doing the encouragement should do so care and understanding, to make sure that they are encouraging rather than discouraging.
    And Allah knows best.

  27. Jameela Al-Bakhnuti says:

    I think this article is entirely devoid of any real understanding of what in Islamic fiqh the stand point of hijab is. What most of these male scholars are doing is simply interpreting the Qur’an and ahadtih on this issue.

    Even female scholars of the past have continued to say the same thing, that hijab is mandated by the Qur’an, where Allah says ‘khimar’ (i.e. the covering that covers head/hair and upper body, leaving face uncovered) – as to what hijab is.

    Guess what? If you knew anything about Islamic jurisprudence and studies, this whole post about male-dominated discourse and scholarship, is simply shallow. If one is capable of looking at the original Arabic texts and has the required knowledge, they would be able to see that many of the hadiths narrated about hijab or covering are in fact by Sayyida Aisha herself:

    Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith # 282
    Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba (Radhiallaahu Ánha) “Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.

    However, the point about allowing Muslim women to slowly and gradually come to terms with hijab is completely encouraged and there is no compulsion in the deen. Anybody who suns or marginalises non-hijabi women is going against the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

    So this debate isn’t about male heterosexual interpretations, but about how people act and react to fatawa and opinions.

    The consensus and ijma’ on the hijab issue is well known, no scholar, male or female can deny its validity (based on Qur’an and Sunnah). So this issue will never change, it is about how we accommodate all people and allow people at different levels feel free to practice comfortably.

    • Jaafar El-Murad says:

      Thank you so much Jameela for making these very valid and important points so eloquently and concisely. I agree with you that women should be allowed to come to terms with the requirements of Islamic dress, that adopting it has to be voluntary, that a woman who wears hijab is not necessarily better than one who does not, and vice versa. The problem with hijab however, is that it is a visible gesture of compliance or refusal to comply with a clear command of the Prophet, on whom be prayers and peace.

    • Dalia says:

      Nice text, Jehanzeb. I have often thought about this issue as well, good to see a man addressing it. :)

      Salam Jameela

      It is simply not true that there has always been scholarly consensus on the issue of hijab. So it is a bit arrogant to make condescending remarks about the author’s lack of knowledge regarding Islamic jurisprudence when it is obvious that your own knowledge in that field seems to be lacking.

      If you take a closer look at the discourse between Islamic scholars in the past you’ll discover that many “rules” that we are often made to believe are undebatable and have been unchanged over centuries have actually been discussed quite diversely a long time ago.

      Early scholars had differing opinions on what constitutes a woman’s “awrah” (and, consequently, on which parts of the body have to be covered and when). What I find particularly fascinating is the variety of opinions that existed earlier on and how openly those were debated. And apparently the definition of “awrah” varied depending on the fact whether a woman was “free” or a slave woman. Some scholars, for example, defined the awrah of a slave woman as the area between navel and knee, the breasts were not included! Also, many scholars were of the opinion that a slave woman does not have to cover her hair in prayer. Some said that a slave woman only had to cover her breasts in prayer if they could be seductive to strangers, yet this did not include covering the breasts in general …

      Now of course most of this is not relevant today because luckily we don’t have that many slave women anymore. But it goes to show that the issue is far more complex and less clear than it’s often made out to be. If you think about those things it becomes clear that there is no such thing as a uniform for Muslim women that has been decided on 1400 years ago and never changed.

      For reference I suggest Khaled Abou el Fadl’s “Speaking in God’s Name – Islamic Law, Authority and Women”. The book has extensive footnotes which mention all the references to early scholars’ opinions on the subject.

      I have done extensive research on the issue and come to the conclusion that hijab is not an obligation. The Qur’an contains no order to cover the hair at all; and most of the ahadeeth which are usually being cited in support of headcovering are weak.

      I don’t need anyone, scholar or not, “allowing me to slowly and gradually come to terms with hijab” – what a patronizing suggestion. I’d rather say those who have an issue with non-hijabis should be allowed to slowly and gradually come to terms with the fact that there are Muslims out there, men and women, laymen and scholars, who simply don’t believe in covering the head and won’t be bullied into pretending otherwise just because that’s what the majority believes. ;)

      Regarding fatawa and opinions … they are just that, we don’t have to follow them. Personally, I prefer using my own brain and heart and coming to my own conclusions, I am quite wary of most scholars. Most of them do have a pretty patriarchal and mysoginist attitude, so yes, at the end of the day the issue *is* about male heterosexual interpretations.

      • Dalia,

        Thank you for expressing your points so clearly on this! Very well said!! I, too, am wary of scholars for those same reasons.

        Thanks for your comment! :)

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        “at the end of the day the issue *is* about male heterosexual interpretations”

        What is this, Islamic Feminism? Are you saying that all hejab-wearing women do so because some man has either fooled them or bullied them into wearing it? That sounds pretty patronising and condescending to me! Could it perhaps be that some of these women have also made “done extensive research on the issue and come to” very different conclusions to you?

    • Dalia says:

      Hi Jafaar,

      is my post “Islamic feminism”? I don’t really understand your question. Could you kindly clarify?

      I have mentioned misogyny and male-centered interpretations. Both exist in the ummah and need to be addressed. Currently, this is not really happening; mainstream Islamic discourse insists on upholding rules and opinions that are discriminatory to women while resorting to apologetic babble to try to explain them away.

      I have NOT said – and I don’t think – that women wearing hijab have been fooled or bullied into it by some men, and I don’t understand how you read that out of my post. Without knowing me, you seem to be stereotyping me; it would be more beneficial to the discussion if you tried to understand what I’m saying, rather than assuming you already know what I am thinking.

      As for your question – of course there are women who have done extensive research on the issue of hijab and come to a different conclusion. I have no problem with that, diversity rocks. :)

      I simply wish we would stop trying to force our personal understanding on others. And as far as hijab is concerned, there is a lot of bullying from people who think it should be worn, while you hardly find non-hijab wearing women trying to aggressively promote their opinion and telling others they are misguided, committing a sin, should take their headscarf off etc. pp.

      I have noticed, however, that many people who are fully convinced that hijab is an obligation have not done research of their own. They assume it is a fact because everyone tells them it is. Many don’t even know the relevant verses and ahadeeth; they have been bombarded with so many pro-hijab pamphlets, websites, campaigns, books etc. that they don’t necessarily think it could be otherwise. Going against the majority and going against the ulema takes courage and a mind of your own, not everyone is up for that, sometimes conforming is the easier way.

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        Dalia,

        I don’t know what you don’t understand – it seems prety clear to me. You said “the issue *is* about male heterosexual interpretations””, implying that women wear hijab because these men have told them to. You then say “I don’t think – that women wearing hijab have been fooled or bullied into it by some men” yet in the same post you say “there is a lot of bullying from people who think it should be worn”. So who is doing this bullying?!
        You wish to liberate these women from “male heterosexual interpretations”. Is this not a feminist perspective? Our host Jehanzeb is a self avowed feminist. I am intrigued (but pleased) that you resist being labelled one yourself, even though you use much of the language of “feminist” discourse.
        I and others have already said that women (sexuality not mentioned) have the same interpretation as men on this issue – and you have agreed, above. So it seems you have a problem with (heterosexual) men who support hijab. This sounds very much like feminism to me.
        You make a case for people doing their own research on matters of deen before practising it. Frankly this is rather absurd. Where do you draw the line? Should no-one do any of the acts of ibadat until they have studied the ahadith about how, where and when to pray?
        You want people to “stop trying to force our personal understanding on others” but you are doing exactly that yourself. I have no problem with you not wearing hijab. I would have a big problem with you telling others not to, that it is not a requirement of Islam.

      • Dalia says:

        >>>Well, I know what my Prophet said on the subject of dress to Asma bint Abu Bakr. And so, I imagine, do you.<<<

        No, we don't. We know what the prophet *supposedly* said – big difference.

        The hadith about Asma is da'if, many Wahhabis actually claim its weakness is a "proof" that niqab is obligatory.

        Besides, I believe we should look at ahadeeth in general with a critical eye and not derive rulings from them. They have been written down centuries after the prophet's death, so there is no guarantee that they are actually statements made by Muhammad.

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        “Besides, I believe we should look at ahadeeth in general with a critical eye and not derive rulings from them. They have been written down centuries after the prophet’s death, so there is no guarantee that they are actually statements made by Muhammad.”
        Whoa – you would disregard all ahadith? They were written down centuries after the Prophet’s death?
        The first of the four madhhabs in historical terms is the Madhhab of Abu Hanifah who was born in roughly 80AH and died in 150AH. He took many of his ahadith directly from Ali ibn Abi Talib, karama’llahu wajhah, and Abdallah ibn Mas’ud, radiya’llahu ‘anhu, and other famous companions.
        Imam Malik, rahimahu’llahu ta’ala, lived from 93AH to 179AH, in Medina. In Madina the Book and Sunna were established as an integral element of the community – daily life in Madina was the Book and Sunna in action – so in Madina it was simply a matter of absorbing and taking on the practice of the people there which had been preserved and transmitted unchanged, with the conscious collaboration of two generations of brilliant scholars, to be inherited and encapsulated and passed on to all subsequent generations by Imam Malik ibn Anas, rahimahu’llah, as the school of the ‘amal ahli’l-madina (the practice of the people of Madina).
        It is also acknowledged unanimously by the early ‘ulama of Islam that no bid‘a (innovation) entered Madina during the first three generations, meaning the generation of the Prophet and his Companions, their successors and their successors, the Followers of the Followers, one of whom was Imam Malik. So up until the time of Imam Malik nothing extraneous to the Deen, with regard to the Deen, entered into the environment where they lived. In other words what Imam Malik received and what he passed on to his students, and down to our own time in his great work al-Muwatta, was nothing other than the whole body of the Deen that had come down through those three generations to him in Madina al-Munawwarah.

      • Dalia says:

        Salam Jaafar,

        I haven’t said anywhere that I resist being labelled a feminist, in fact I would definitely call myself one. It’s sad that you obviously see that as something negative; to me feminism is simply about justice. And I hope you agree that justice in all forms is what believes should be striving for.

        My statements are not contradictory at all. Yes, there are countless women who wear hijab out of their own free choice, but that does not mean there is no bullying taking place. Of course there are women who are indeed being bullied into wearing it by their families, society, clerics etc. I live in the Middle East, in a country where the majority of women are veiled, and every single female I know who doesn’t wear a headscarf has been subjected to unsolicited advice and criticism by people of all sorts, even complete strangers.

        You think it is absurd to do your own research on matters of faith? How on earth should we decide on those matters then? How can you make an educated decision if you don’t know what your decision is based upon? The Qur’an repeatedly asks us to think and reflect, it doesn’t tell us to blindly follow the majority or the scholars.

        If you ask women why they wear hijab, most will tell you that they do so because it’s a religious requirement, yet many of them don’t even know the relevant verses. Is that a conscious, free and educated decision? I don’t think so.

        Your last paragraph is very contradictory and shows me you have either not read or not understood my post properly. Yes, I believe hijab is not an Islamic requirement, but, no, I don’t force my understanding on others, I was pretty clear on that. There is a huge difference between saying “this is what I believe” and saying “what I believe is the truth and everyone else has to believe the same thing”.

        I wish the same was true for people who regard it as a requirement, but this is usually not the case, as we can see from your posts. You keep insisting that a headscarf is a must and that we have no right to believe otherwise, yet you say you would have a big problem if I propagated my opinion in the same way. Quite a double standard, I would say. What in the world makes you believe that your opinion is more valuable than mine, that you have the right to state it in a particular way, but I don’t?

        You seem to be suggesting there shouldn’t be any discussion about this issue at all. Frankly speaking, I am sick and tired of that attitude … it’s okay if a woman doesn’t wear hijab as long as she feels guilty about it and admits that she will insha’allah wear it one day, that she’s not ready yet etc. pp. … but not wearing it and stating that you simply don’t feel it is an obligation is a big no-no. I refuse to play this game.

  28. Yusuf says:

    Whether you know it or not are part of the vilification program against Muslim culture. There is a war against Islamic couture and you are on the side of those who see Islam as defective and in need of “fixing”.

    They use women like you who believe and preach that Muslim culture is oppressive and that the Hijab is a tool invented by men to subjugate women. This is classical orientalist thinking.

    You should just be honest and come out and tell us that you want to alter the Holy Qur’aan and “modernize” the Shairiat.

    • Um, I don’t believe Islam is “defective.” The point of this post was to criticize the way men obsess over the way women dress.

      I’m not a woman, by the way.

      Did you pay attention while reading my post?

  29. MS says:

    I do agree that men need to stop talking and move over, so that women can speak for themselves.
    Have you heard of Tahmena Bokhari?
    She is one woman is speaking out and she suports women to dress as they desire.

    http://www.facebook.com/TahmenaBokhari

    Read her articles on this…

    http://www.thesamosa.co.uk/index.php/comment-and-analysis/society/384-niqab-vs-bikini-two-sides-of-the-same-coin.html

    and

    http://www.oyetimes.com/views/columns/4630-nuns-vs-whores-hijabis-vs-ho-jabis-a-various-other-shady-lines-of-womanhood

    and

    http://oyetimes.com/views/columns/4553-a-real-burqavaganza-the-little-play-that-once-could

    • Jaafar El-Murad says:

      What on earth has this person got to do with this debate? Do you honestly think it strengthens your argument to cite her? Of course women may dress as they desire. Tahmena Bokhari misses the point: “La ikraha fid-din” means she does not haev to be a Muslim. If she wants to be a beauty queen and show off her body and exploit her beauty, let her do so – but not in the name of Islam.

      • Jaafar,

        On one hand you’re saying that women “may dress as they desire,” but then you seem to suggest that a Muslim woman cannot be a beauty queen. Why not? How is her beauty being exploited?

        Who gets to decide on what is Islamic and what isn’t?

  30. I love this post.

    It reminds me of the time when a man approached me in the mosque (my hair was covered), looked me up and down, then told me “Sister, you should cover your feet.” I laugh about it now, but then my thirteen-year-old self was so troubled by the fact that an older man could look at me in such a degrading way and make such a comment under the pretense of piety. I’m happy to see another man counter such voices.

  31. Jaafar El-Murad says:

    Jehanzeb,

    you say/ask: “On one hand you’re saying that women “may dress as they desire,” but then you seem to suggest that a Muslim woman cannot be a beauty queen. Why not?”

    I actually answered this before you asked it: “There is no compulsion in religion” means that no-one has to be a Muslim. No woman has to be a Muslim, so if she would rather be a beauty queeen she can do that. A practising Muslima cannot be a beuty queen, as Muslim women are suposed to conceal their beauty.

    You also ask “How is her beauty being exploited?”
    The woman is exploiting her (God given) beauty to achieve whatever it is she seeks to achieve, be it fame, fortune, notoriety.

    “Who gets to decide on what is Islamic and what isn’t?”
    Thi sis pretty easy – Allah and His Prophet have told us very clearly what is “Islamic” and what is not.

    • Jaafar,

      You’re dealing in absolutes. Islam is not monolithic – everyone practices Islam in their own way as there are multiple, diverse interpretations. If one person is Sunni and another is Shia, what right does one have to tell the other that they are not following Islam?

      The whole point of this post was to criticize the way men dictate interpretations of the faith. You do not own Islam.

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        Well, I know what my Prophet said on the subject of dress to Asma bint Abu Bakr. And so, I imagine, do you.

        The dictation of dress codes (although I see you now wish to widen this out to the faith as a whole) is not the exclusive prerogative or practise of men – women do it just as much. You speak in the language of feminism but you do not realise that you are actually patronising the very women you seek to “liberate”.

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        You say: “Islam is not monolithic”. Perhaps not, but perhaps it should be.
        It was reported from ‘Awf ibn Maalik who said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

        “The Jews were divided into 71 sects, one of which is in Paradise and 70 are in the Fire. The Christians were divided into 72 sects, 71 of which are in the Fire and one is in Paradise.

        By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, my Ummah will be divided into 73 sects, one of which will be in Paradise and 72 will be in the Fire.” It was said, O Messenger of Allaah, who are they?

        He said, “Al-Jamaa’ah.”

      • Jaafar,

        We obviously have radically different views on this. I don’t see Islam as monolithic – and if you were to explore the immense diversity within Islam, you would see that. I don’t believe it “should” be monolithic either.

        Since you have a singular view of Islam, there cannot be any dialogue here. We will agree to disagree.

  32. Jaafar El-Murad says:

    Jehanzeb,

    don’t you think this post and the entire subsequent thread is rather ironic? I think (from your avatar, to borrow a Hindu term!) that you are male, and I assume that you are Muslim. Yet here you are asking why Muslim Men Talk About the Hijab! So – why do we?

      • Jaafar El-Murad says:

        No Bro Jehanzeb, I don’t talk about hijab – you started this whole conversation, not me! Still you miss the irony!

      • You’re sharp-shooting, Jaafar. If you understood the point of this post, you would be challenging why Muslim men obsess over the way women dress. Instead, you are talking about how Muslim women should and should not dress.

  33. Jaafar El-Murad says:

    I’m not sure what sharp-shooting means in your Lexicon Jehanzeb, but sharp-shooting has to be better than carpet-bombing, so I’ll take it as a compliment.

    If I don’t understand the point of the post, as you suggest, then you have failed to make the point of the post clear. Muslim men in my circles do not obsess about the way women dress. Muslim women in my circles care about the way they dress, of their own free will, guided by their Taqwa and Iman. They have Haya’. You do Muslim women no service by suggesting to them that it is not necessary to follow the teachings of the Prophet, salAllahu alaihi wassalam, and the practice of the wives of the sahaba, radiAllahu anhumma. If I have written here “about how Muslim women should and should not dress” it was only to counteract the incorrect information you are propagating, as is my duty. I am not telling your readers how to dress: that is up to them, just as it is up to them what to eat and what to drink, and whether or not to pray or fast.

    If I have understood the point of your post, it is misguided – as I and one or two others who have the courage to speak out against your oh-so-fashionable undergrad lefty militant feminism have tried to show. You say you like to write. It seems to me that you like to write because you want people to think you are clever and because you want to be popular, and have found an audience in need of a message, and a message for that audience. That is fine – play your little intellectual games. But do not try to change Islam: when you try to say that Haram is Halal and kufr is Islam it becomes problematic. You are still young, and enjoying your intellectual flights of fancy – this is absolutely fine. Insha Allah one day you will write with wisdom as well as with intellect, until then I suggest you stick with fiction, and acknowl;dege it as such. I am sure we would all enjoy it.

    • Jaafar,

      I laughed when I read your comment. It’s amusing how you speak so much about Islam, but then make childish personal attacks and accusations against a person you don’t even know. Do you really think your arguments hold any weight when you resort to ad hominem fallacies?

      Your “holier-than-thou” attitude is insulting and condescending. You cannot look into my soul and accuse me of wanting to “change Islam.” That is perhaps one of the most insulting things you could say to someone who is supposed to be your brother in Faith. What happened to the teachings of spiritual brother/sisterhood, what happened to the Ummah, Jaafar? I may be young, but I’m not the one making the immature personal insults such as “it seems to me that you like to write because you want people to think you are clever and because you want to be popular.” Where do you get that from? Did you just make that up in your mind? And “oh-so-fashionable undergrad lefty militant feminism” – what is that?? Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression – what do you have against that?

      I am not telling people to go against the Prophet’s teachings (peace be upon him). Stop trying to “infidelize” me. What you apparently cannot come to terms with is that Muslims practice Islam differently. We are not a homogeneous community. I will practice my way, and you yours – stop imposing; it will not earn your respect here. Learn how to respect people who have different views than yours.

      Further comments from you that are insulting will not be published. I am not interested in cyclical debates, especially when they get to the point where people resort to personal attacks.

      Salaam.

  34. Lissa says:

    Very interesting conversation about a very controversial topic. I agree that a woman’s dress is overly obsessed over by Muslim men and by some Muslim female reverts. I wish we could be more concerned about serious issues like poverty, oppression, injustice, and education inequalities, to name a few. I wear hijab and I am a American Muslim revert and the hijab issue has been the most difficult and has caused the most tension between my husband and I along with polygamy (but that’s a whole nother post!!)

  35. Mo says:

    Awesome Article

    I wish more muslim people had such intellectual diversity and intellectual flexibility !!

    I wish they had the courage to challenge views in a respectful manner (such as here) and play the devils advocate if necessary so a more balanced and robust outcome can be achieved.

    Ps I love the way the author thinks

    Cheers

    Mohammad

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