Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Saudi Women Defend Veil

An article in the post sheds light on a large group of Saudi women who are defending the use of the veil within Islam. Many are activists and scholars.

Its encouraging to see active, intelligent, Muslim women who are into their religion, instead of the anti-Muslim Westerners and whiney ex-muslims who consistently trash it and are paraded around in the media as if the speak for the majority of "oppressed" Muslim women (Hirsan Ali, Manji).

That being said, I think Islam in Saudi Arabia is a little off the mark. It doesn't make sense preventing women from driving, for example. Also, despite views to the contrary by many Muslim scholars, there is no compelling argument that the niqab (face-covering) is compulsory. But hey, if a woman wants to wear one that's fine, it's up to her.

In the West, women can wear what they want, even if its almost nothing. This rules goes except if you're a Muslim in France or Turkey, in which case wearing a headscarf is considered an offence to the secular state. There is something wrong here.

In any case, Islam is about finding the middle way, the right path. Sisters, if you're going for your driver's license, have a little common sense and remove your niqab before they snap your picture. Brothers in the Kingdom of Saud, its time to allow foreign muslims to marry your beautiful and intellectually stimulating women. Fellow westerners, let Muslim women wear their hijab to school, for God's sake.

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