This started as a comment on Isis's post
on hijab. As I started writing it I realized that I have too much to say about the issue that I decided to make it a complete post on my blog too... So, here it is:
Dick, Isis, and everybody else who's reading this comment.
I have to say that this is one interesting topic you're discussing here and it is still controversial even in Islamic countries, not only in the west.
I hope that my opinion here might open a new perspective especially that I've been living in Saudi Arabia for a very long while now.
I'll tell you my opinion on hijab at the end, but right not, I want to say that I disagree with muslim immigrants to the west wearing niqab or forcing their daughters to do so. I think that if you agreed to immigrate to another country then you agree to make certain compromises, I'm not saying that he doesn't have to be a muslim, but Islam is really based on five "pillars" or requirements that if you do them then you're a muslim.
I think that its only the most religiously extreme immigrants that chose to cover their whole body, it is extreme even in Egypt! But the issue is, if you are accepting to live in that culture you have to live by their social norm and not force it on the others, if you choose to wear niqab and cover you whole body then may be leaving your home islamic contry wasn't a smart choice to begin with.
I take it on muslims who live in westerns country and not try to accept and really become a part of the society they are living in now but instead hiding themselves behind cover after cover until they are completely insulated from the effect of that society, if you are afraid of it so much, why live there in the first place? And what is the niqab if it is not another barrier between the person wearing it and the society he's living in?
I think that these people live in a type of dilemma because Islam requires muslims who are not able to perform their islam correctly in any place to leave it as the prophet did when he left from Mekka to Al-Madina.
I'm not against covering the hair or wearing hijab, I believe that it is a personal choice, but its a personal choice that necessitates certain transition in a persons life style. Its a sign of humbleness and total abidance by the teachings of Islam thats why the example of the "sexy mohagaba" mentioned by Isis here is completely fraud!! cause being sexy in itself is completely against wearing hijab and the only thing I could understand from such attitude is that this person was forced, either by family or by social pressure, to wear something that reflects an image that is different than what the person believes in.
Western women who live in Saudi Arabia often wear some kind of cover "abaya - 3abaya" which is a black peace of textile worn on top of the clothes, just like saudi women do. Not necessarily because they believe in it, but because they are responsible persons who respect the culture of the country they're living in. I ask for nothing more from muslims when they're living abroad, and there's not contradiction here. One of my veiled friends when she goes to the states she wears an ice mask to cover her hair instead of wearing the traditional hijab she usually wears in Egypt because she understands that the essence is covering here hair not that she has to cover it in a certain way.
The insistence of girls to cover their faces -even with paper as Isis's saying! lol!!! never seen this one before though!- comes from a non-understanding of their own religion and instead listening to the new bread of neo-Islamists who are all around TV now who made these girls think that if covering your hair is good then covering your face is even better!
These people forgot that Islam always asked people not to do more than they could handle or afford, thats why we don't have a system of priesthood in Islam where men and women are not allowed to get married, its because Islam recognizes the needs of the body and well not accept or tolerate not accepting them, also there are a lot of indications on such things in the teachings of our prophet where people are specifically and repeatedly asked to make the easier choice between two good practices!
Covering the face is, at least in my opinion, a political statement that they think that the rest of us are wrong and that they're the only true muslims... the trend of the "Islamic Brotherhood" who were by the way responsible for the spread of extreme understanding of Islam all over the world and who are responsible for the birth of the Taliban and last but not least the guy from Austrailia...